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Since we’ve moved in, we’ve made friends and enemies.

August 21, 2017

0820171902a_resizedI shuffled into the classroom right before my Bible Doctrines class was to start.  

“Dr. Zockoll, are you okay?” asked Gina, frowning and noticing my belabored gait.  I struggled to put on my suitcoat.

“Yes, I’m just a little bit slow, sore from moving all of the furniture,” I said as I groaned and settled into my desk chair.  “We’re on the Second Wave.”

“‘Second Wave’?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” I said, grunting like a Neanderthal as I tried to position my legs under the desk.  My knees cracked.  “The first assault was moving from the Tan Rara home and getting all necessary furniture across town before the closing. This was done successfully, though we packed the garage to within an inch of the doors, and scattered the remaining items across the back of our property so that we now look like an Appalachian yard sale.  That was the First Wave.”

I leaned forward and spoke in a low whisper.  “The Second Wave is the movement of said furniture from the garage within the far reaches of the property dwelling.  Moving desks downstairs.  Carrying recliners and end tables to the back rooms.  Shuffling box springs and sports equipment into storage rooms.  It was brutal, I tell you.  Brutal.

Gina edged away quietly and melted into the hallway crowd.

It has been a week of lugging furniture and boxes.  It’s been heavy labor but it’s also been good.

May I put in a totally unsolicited plug for our realtor Mark Faust of Realty Executives. This man has been incredible in assisting us all the way through our home sale and the resulting shopping for a new home; we saw a good number before we settled in Oak Ridge at 102 Tamara.  I believe the unofficial count was three hundred and twelve, but I might be exaggerating.  Mark would know.  Contact him if you want to sell or buy a house.  He even helped me move furniture.  How many realtors do that?  He is not paying me cash to say this.  Only a small percentage of his next sale.

No, I’m kidding.  I don’t take payola.  Mark is the best in town.  Call him.

One of the great surprises of the first week was the greeting we received.  The across-the-street neighbor Ty is a former professional baseball player and now the father of a nice big family who, on the second day we settled in, brought us a box of homemade cookies.  Sam, a retired engineer who lives to our right, came over on the hottest day of the year and insisted that he get out his John Deere tractor and mow our yard.

We were stunned. Jill and I remembered our last home when, on the second day of our arrival, the next door neighbors demanded that we get to fixing the disassembled trampoline in our back yard because it was bothering their view out their side window.  In our back yard.  On the second day.  I am not making this up.

These new neighbors became immediate friends.  We returned the goodness with some baked goods of our own.  They were happily gobbled up.  Then Don and Barb walked over from the cul-de-sac one evening and welcomed us to the neighborhood, making sure we felt at ease.  This kindly retired couple stood in the rain and chatted with us, refusing to come inside because they felt they were intruding.  These people are great.

So now you know how God has blessed us with some awesome neighbors.

But we also have had to deal with some enemies.  It’s true.

Oh, things started off okay last Saturday. As you can see from the picture at the beginning of this blog, our garage is getting cleared out.  On Friday I had Julie and Jill run off for some Wal-Mart needs so I could move about the house freely shoving and pushing furniture, and at 6 a.m. Saturday morning I decided to surprise them by moving Julie’s piano into the front living room.  It’s just a step up from the garage floor to the kitchen entryway, I thought.  It couldn’t be that hard for me to move by myself, I thought.0820171902_resized

But this piano is evil.  It purposely made itself heavier when it knew I wanted to move it.

It went from a manageable mobile instrument to the Mother of All Fat Inanimate Objects.  Its weight exceeded the gross tonnage of the Queen Mary.

I pushed and grunted that stupid thing across the garage floor.  The wheels had “suddenly” become rusty. My sweat drops (not kidding) dotted the cement.  I wrestled it into position at the bottom step of the kitchen entry and breathed in heavily.  And positioned myself and lifted.

And pop.  I felt something snap in my back.

And I heard the piano snicker.

So I kicked him right in his fortissimo.

He is now my enemy.  I shoved him into the front room after he started chewing up part of the utility room flooring.  I am still shunning him.  I walk through the living room and look out the window on purpose.  He knows I’m miffed.

We have another enemy lurking about.  Our cat Oliver came in one night and had a fuzzed-out tail and a strange growl that sounded like those ceremonial Celtic wailings on a creepy fall midnight.  He kept darting toward the window.  He was traumatized.  I peeped out and saw the Enemies in the darkness, lit by the back deck lighting.

Four of them.  They were menacing.  To him.

0820171900a_resizedThey were the deer family.  A buck, a doe and two fawns.  We have named them Fritz and Stella, and their kids Mookie and Blaylock. Our cat has named them sworn enemies.  He’s flipped out.

He’s lost focus on his regular routine and sits in the storage room, mumbling to himself.  He’s developed a nervous tic, and the other day when he came around the side of the garage we caught a faint whiff of nicotine.  I’m not saying he’s taken up cigarettes, but you can’t be too sure.  His shaking has finally subsided to the point that he can sit on the railing of the deck without falling off.

But just as I am recovering so too will Oliver.  This place is too much of a blessing for us to remain sore – physically and emotionally – for too long.

The joy of the Lord is our strength.  And right now we are feeling mighty strong.





Copyright Brad Zockoll @2017
Dr. Brad Kent Zockoll

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