We are all in various stages of this respiratory infection. It’s been a terrible sickness in which we’ve had nightmares, periods of chills and sweats, terrible deep coughs, loss of voice, lethargy, and other symptoms. After a month, EJ is mostly healthy, although he still has a bit of a cough. After almost two weeks, I am finally beginning to feel better, although my cough is still terrible and wakes me in the night. JJ is currently at the lowest point, feeling absolutely miserable, cough, and vomiting mucous. This sickness has been awful.
EJ comes home from the Emerald City every Saturday morning and leaves on Sunday afternoon. We are always excited to see him. EJ said that when he came through the door this last Saturday, Kee Kee loudly scolded him for being away.
Last Wednesday we wrote an offer on the house in the Enchanted Forest. We didn’t hear anything until Saturday morning, when the sellers wrote a counter-offer and we wrote a counter-offer to their counter-offer. We waited and waited and didn’t hear anything. EJ began to wonder if we should have accepted the counter offer and then he began to wonder if we actually wanted the house at all. It has almost everything we are looking for except that it is an older manufactured house.
The Emerald City/Enchanted Forest area is a highly desired area. It’s hard to find a house that suits us. We wanted a one story house on a few acres that didn’t need much work, wasn’t too expensive, and was not too close to the city where prices and taxes are high–but not too far either because the area gets tons of snow and winter driving can be a challenge. We thought we might need to compromise some of our desires, but the thought of living close to neighbors made me (us) felt claustrophobic, and our current house is a fixer upper and it feels as if we are always pouring money and effort into it and still can’t keep up. We don’t want a too expensive house because we’d like someday to get debt-free. I looked at houses that were $50,000 more than we really felt comfortable buying and still didn’t find houses that we liked. When we crossed off all the houses on the real estate sites, we were always, always left with the house in the Enchanted Forest.
It turns out that the sellers are older and don’t have computers or email–and maybe not cell phones?–so they were hard to reach. They accepted our counter offer which means the house is OURS. Well, IF it passes inspections, and the financing goes through ok, and all that. I don’t like to count my chickens before they are hatched. As the old adage says, “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings–and all the other appropriate metaphors to express that I won’t really consider the house ours until all the obstacles are overcome and we have the keys in our hands.
Now I fluctuate between anxiety (“Oh, my goodness, what have we done???”) to joy and excitement–mostly joy and excitement.
The anxiety comes because it’s such a huge scary risk for us, and we can see all the ways it can end in complete disaster. I find that circumstances often bring a person–or at least me–to confront insecurities, anxieties, and fears. In addition, people who have suffered from abuse often struggle with fear of risk and failure, second-guessing, and need for security. Taking such a huge financial risk has made me confront these types of fears. I don’t think that is a bad thing–because often strength grows when fears are confronted and overcome. It’s only bad if the fear wins. Our journey to the Emerald City and the Enchanted Forest is in many ways an emotional and spiritual journey. It involves facing anxiety, letting go of security and taking risk in order to grow.
Still, it’s not easy. I don’t know if we would have taken such risks if life wasn’t becoming intolerable. EJ’s old job was abusively stressful. The company fired people often so everyone lived under the threat of losing their jobs. EJ had to lift heavy parts and crawl into machines, which was very bad for his back. The smoky factory was affecting his lungs and the coolant was eating his skin. EJ was often exhausted and in great pain when he was home. Also, EJ grew up on a farm so he found living in town difficult.
We currently life close to my abusive family. I’ve become weary of the turmoil they have caused. I no longer seek contact with them, but occasionally they contact me and it’s always negative. I don’t fear them, but their closeness and the possibility of unexpected encounters feels psychologically burdening. I long to get out of reach of contact. Also, I want to live in a beautiful area where I can enjoy nature and where the sky is not blocked by houses and the stars are not drowned by light pollution. We always go outside to look at meteorite showers, but it’s been years since I’ve seen any meteorites streaking across the night sky.
And JJ, also, is wearied and wants a new beginning. We have all felt as if our spirits couldn’t breathe and if we didn’t make changes NOW, we’d merely “live lives of quiet desperation” until we died. Sounds melodramatic, I know, but that’s how it felt.
So far the changes are good and it feels as if we are coming back to life and that is so exciting.
EJ says his new job is probably the most challenging job he’s ever had. However, it’s also the best job he’s ever had. The factory is not smoky, not noisy, and EJ never has to lift heavy parts. He has taken only one pain pill since he’s been at the new job. The coolant doesn’t eat his skin. Although the sickness he had was terrible, it caused him to cough up the magnesium dust he had breathed in the old factory for 17 years, ridding his lungs of it.
Saturday evening EJ and I heard there was a possibility to see the Northern Lights, so we went outside. We could hardly see any stars in the light-washed sky. EJ said that in the new area, the towns are like outposts of civilization surrounded by wilderness. Because of the vast forests and huge lakes, there aren’t many lights so the sky is the blackest black imaginable and the stars are so many and bright and close that it seems like he can reach up and touch them.
He said our new house is located “in a little valley, like a delicious sublime secret.” There are many state forests in the area and several nature/wildlife sanctuaries located nearby. There are deer, foxes, wolves, bald eagles, martens, fishers, weasels, a possibility of bears, and all sorts of other wildlife in the area.
It sounds enchanting, and well worth the risks, obstacles, and dangers we must encounter to reach it. Sometimes it’s worth throwing caution to the wind and reaching for the dream. I really can’t wait to get there. I’m so excited!