I’ve always loved the quote, “Wealth is not his who has it, but his who enjoys it.” We are blessed with a variety of wealth in our lives right now. May those who have helped to build it be blessed richly with the enjoyment of what they have, and with greater abundance!
By the time we winterized the property in November, we had hot and cold running water, (Huge thanks to my brother, who helped us out when Hubby’s knee injury would have prevented our being able to afford the water tanks and a few other necessities!!!) a functional driveway (with drainage system) up the cliff to the building site, electricity, a hot water heater, washer / dryer, and an insulated, 150 square foot yurt with in-floor, twig-powered heating in which we all slept. Yes, we were still living in a “tent,” but we were warm (even down to 22 degrees at night!) and dry and well-fed, breathing cleaner air than we’d experienced in 13 years living in “normal” housing.
The water was still outdoors, so yes, we accepted the job landscaping a home to improve the sale value in the spring in trade for winter housing in the area where clients were still calling Hubby to come back & do projects. The homeowner / client assured us over the phone that the house was “very nice” and “mold free.” This is very important to us, as we had lived in a house with mold once, and had some pretty major health issues as a result. It seemed like the most sensible thing to do.
We’d had a miracle car wreck a few days before Rosh Hashana in the Shmitta Year, in which no one was hurt, and the insurance company owed us nearly the entire price we’d paid in work-trade for the minivan. We owned it free & clear the month before the big move to the Frozen North. We’re so thankful for a dent in the back end, which we refrained from fixing in order to pay for other car repairs that couldn’t be put off, as well as gas & KOA cabins to get back across country for the winter job. The timing of it was beautiful: deliverance in the Year of Release!
The day before we left town, we met a family who offered help in the groundwork for the garage / shop / “first house.” They’d moved to the area about 8 years before, and remembered the challenges they’d faced. We’re thankful for their memory and friendship, and are looking forward to their help in the spring. They also sent us off with parting gifts to make the journey easier. Praise YHWH for kindness from so many amazing people this summer & fall!!!
On the way across country, we had the ONLY bad experience we’ve ever had at a KOA, where the cabins are located right next door to a feed lot. We all were getting sick within 20 minutes of our arrival there at 1 AM, so we packed up and went to a hotel for the night. It “just happened” that there was a guy staying the same night in the same hotel from the little town in the Frozen North about 15 miles from the land. He had “just happened” to see Hubby’s van, and recognized it in the parking lot. We chatted with him for a while, and he asked us to give him a call when we get back, as he’d like to help us with the build!!!
The next day, after visiting with Hubby’s uncle, we were gifted an extra night in a hotel so that we could thoroughly rest on the Shabbat. We are so grateful to the kind folk who own the hotel!
In spite of having had both the service van and trailer brakes checked professionally before we left, they both had issues going down the passes, so we stopped again and were held over an extra day: two more nights in a hotel at the next town (where most of my family live), and more of Hubby’s time fixing them with a friend (thank you for all your help!). It “just happened” that some of my relatives had been out of town, and we would have missed them entirely if we’d not been delayed the extra days. A gift from my grandparents covered the extra expense of the hotel (thank you again!).
Traveling across the next two states was relatively uneventful, but then the alternator went out on the service van. Apparently, that’s something that’s likely to happen around this point in the mileage on that vehicle. We were in the mountains in the middle of nowhere when it went out, but we “just happened” to not have been able to sell one of the batteries from when we were still on generator at the homestead. We’d packed it, and it fit the service van. A kind gas station owner allowed us to plug in the charger & charge the other battery so that we’d have a back-up to get us to the next town, in which we found the right part in stock, and got it installed. We were delayed a while that day, but we hoped not to have to pay for another hotel or KOA that night, as we’d spent most of what we had from the miracle car wreck on the pre-trip repairs, gas, KOA’s & hotels, brakes & alternator already. We drove until 2 AM, and finally pulled into the “very nice” house we’d been promised over the phone.
Well… it was probably “very nice” at some point in the not-too-distant past. It was about 3,000 square feet… but NOT home. So we packed the kids back into the vans, and found a hotel room with very nearly the last of our money.
The next morning, I called up our synagogue administrator, Hebrew teacher, and friend to ask if she would put an ad in the weekly newsletter to let folks know we’re looking for housing. I never got to that question. She told us to come right over, as her son had just moved out, and she was not looking forward to the “empty nest.” So we checked out of the hotel, and landed in her son’s old bedroom as he was moving the last of his things out. If we hadn’t been delayed by so many car repairs, we’d have been here too early for the room to have been available. We wound up renting the room from her for a month. Praise YHWH for unexpected hiccups in our plans, and for her kindness!
More miracles since then… but I need to stop for now. Love to you all, and thank you for your prayers and blessings and support! We are truly wealthy people!