SHIPMENT OFF TO UKRAINEWell, the last time I wrote was November 15, when we were packing our shipment to send to Ukraine. That was three weeks ago, so I will just give a fast run-down of events up to December 3, when we actually boarded a plane and headed eastward toward the place where God has been leading us.
We did finally get the shipment packed and sent. The books (which were giving us the most trouble) were packed separately in smaller boxes and sent along with the main shipment. When Frank checked at the post office about sending them in one big mail bag, we could still do that. The big catch: they would have to go airmail. The USPS is no longer sending these big bags by sea mail, and the cost of airmail is just toooooo much to send books overseas. So, we were back to square one and finally decided just to pack the books in separate boxes that would each weigh up to 66 pounds, which was the size limit. It worked okay and we finished packing. When we were done we had nine boxes that each weighed about 66 pounds. A good friend from our Sunday School class, Craig Guy, helped Frank load the boxes into his big pick-up and drove with Frank to Tulsa to the Ukrainian shipping agent. They went on their way and we could turn our attention to packing up the house and preparing to leave.
Thanksgiving week was both hectic and fun. Our son Evan and his wife Lori, with their three little girls came on Tuesday to spend 3 1/2 days with us. Evan and Frank worked all day Wednesday cleaning out our garage and doing other jobs around the house that needed to be done before we could leave. They continued the work on Friday and got just about all of it done. Our garage had not been totally empty since 1992 or earlier! My mother had left things there, Evan and Lori left things there, and we left things there at various times. Evan helped move the big pieces of furniture into the the storage units we have rented, so our house began to look more and more bare as the week went by. Thanksgiving itself was good. Fourteen of us sat around the table at Laura's house. Frank's mom, five Tevebaughs (Laura's family), five young Deweys (Evan's family), two of us and a good friend of Laura's. The food was traditional, turkey, etc. We divided up the cooking between us, so Laura didn't have to do it all. She tried an interesting way of roasting the turkey: around midnight before Thanksgiving Day, put the turkey in a roasting pan, cover it with foil, and put it in a 275 degree oven. Let it cook slowly all night until noon or so on Thanksgiving Day. When the foil is removed, the turkey is self-basted and brown, as well as being very tender. It was delicious. Thanks to Laura's friend, Melinda, for the new technique---at least it was new to us. I could write lots more about our granddaughters and grandsons, but there's too much to say. I'll have to devote one entire blog session to them later.
SAYING GOODBY TO OUR HOME
After Evan and his family left, Frank and I continued cleaning, packing, and moving things to the storage units. On Monday, Craig Guy came by again and spent the whole day helping Frank move the rest of the furniture and taking trash to the dump as well as taking a big load of things to Goodwill. (One thing about moving is that it's a great opportunity to get rid of the clutter that accumulates so fast.) Laura came to the house and helped me empty the kitchen. She took charge and it was done pretty fast. Tuesday was the day for cleaning the house and getting it ready for the rental realtor. Frank and I worked all day, and Laura came in the evening to help finish the mopping and cleaning of the bathrooms. When Frank turned it over to the realtor on Wednesday morning, it was very clean, the garage was totally empty, and we said goodby to the house for two years. It was a little sad, but we didn't dwell on it, we looked toward the future and what would be happening in our lives after we got to Ukraine.
SELLING OUR CAR
I have to devote a whole paragraph to how the Lord worked out the details of deposing of our cars. We had decided to keep our mini-van: we like it, it's in good condition, and it will be waiting for us when we return to the U.S. in 2011. Evan's in-laws in Texas have big barns and storage areas on their farm, and they were glad to help us out by storing our van in one of them. Evan drove our van back to Texas when he and Lori left us (Lori drove their van with the three girls) and he is taking care of our car for us while we're gone.
But the truly amazing story is how we sold our little Mazda, which we used around town and on short distance driving. A friend had been interested in buying it, and we had been keeping it for her. But at the last minute she felt that she couldn't swing it, so backed out of purchasing it. We understood, we were not upset. However, this happened on the Saturday night before we were to leave on Thursday, not much time to sell a car. On Sunday morning in Sunday School, we mentioned that the car was available, if anyone was aware of someone who might be interested in it, and we were asking about $3000 for it. No one said a word. Okay. On Monday one lady from our class called and knew of a young man who might be interested. Before he had a chance to see the car, Linda Jergens from our class called and mentioned that her son-in-law, Kevin, might be interested. She was a little disappointed because the young man was going to look at the car. Well, he looked, talked to his dad, and finally decided not to buy it. But God had not left us without hope, because Linda had called and our next step was to get in touch with her again. It was arranged that Kevin would look at the car on Wednesday night (less than twelve hours before we were getting on that airplane.) He and his wife had been traveling home on Sunday, and had talked then about how they needed a good second car for him to drive to work. They needed it to cost about $3000. Well, enough said. You can see where this story is going. They had a need, and we were able to fill it. We had a need, and they were able to meet it. God had it all worked out ahead of time, but it would be nice if He didn't wait until the very last minute to reveal it! We needed that $3000 because our house taxes are due in December and we didn't want to dip into our savings for that. And there is enough left to keep a decent balance in our checking account until we begin to receive income from rent on the house. Thank you Lord for taking care of us.