North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

August 7, 2013

Danielle Cater: With new homes come blessings and challenges

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — "Gloom, despair and agony on me..."

If you remember these words from "Hee Haw," then you probably have a good feel for my mood all last week. The past nine days of my life have been engulfed with nothing more than moving all of my belongings from one home to the next.

My husband, myself and our four daughters all had the privilege of buying a new home just a few miles down the road from our old homestead, but when moving, it felt the same as moving across the country. Trying to fit every last piece of clothing and furniture in each car load is testing, but after we started considering it more like a puzzle than a task, it did become more bearable.

Our new home has 23 steps from the living room to upstairs. I hail from a home with no steps, so this is a new beast to me. My legs will be in excellent shape when this move is completely over. After walking and running up and down these steps over 7,000 times during the week, I felt like the stairs and I had become pretty good friends. I know that the third step from the bottom squeaks and the steps know exactly how much I weigh. We seemed to be moving in synch pretty well throughout the whole move.

When most of the stuff was finally moved in this Saturday, the hubby and I decided to scurry off to a celebration dinner for all of the long hours and hard work we had put in. It was the first time I had put on make up and fixed my hair right all week, and I was finally feeling like a human being again. As I walked down the stairs with a phone in one hand and a brush in the other, it became quite apparent that the stairs and I were no longer in synch, as I hit the third step from the top and completely missed the next three. Missing steps wasn’t the issue, it was the fifth through 20th steps that hurt as I landed on them.

I didn’t just fall down the steps of my new home, I started falling, and seemed to continue falling for about 35 minutes. I was trying to grab the handrails, catch my foot on some wood, anything to make this big body stop surfing down the hardwoods at an impressive speed.

When my limp body finally came to a stop at the landing, I was laughing so hard I couldn’t stop. I was just imagining what my husband must have thought as he watched his wife wobble about down the steps until she finally hit the last one.

Being the good husband that he is, he was sober and serious, telling me to check for broken bones and scratches. Being the basket case that I am, I just kept saying (through my laughter), “I looked so stupid while falling, and I’m pretty sure my arm will never be the same.” You see, as if the fall wasn’t bad enough, we had a long metal rod sticking through the rails to take back to Lowe’s. And yes, of course, I caught my arm on the sharp metal edge while riding the wave of embarrassment down the steps.

That fall wasn’t the worst part of my week, but it was a highlight that broke up the monotony of the move. I’ve never moved a whole house before this week, and I don’t care to ever do it again. When I was 21 years old, I moved out of my parents house into my own house. That move was fairly simple since I only had the basic essentials from staying at my parents’ crib.

But moving is not a job for the faint of heart. We moved our whole house in one week, which involved a lot of late nights and early mornings. We would move stuff until about 1 a.m. and then the alarm would go off at 5:30 a.m. to start the work day. After work, we would head to the house for the moving process again.

The only truly smart move we made was unpacking as we brought the boxes into the new house. We used totes and laundry baskets as carriers and when they hit the new floor, I was busy putting the belongings where I thought they should go.

We are very blessed to have a beautiful, new home that has plenty of room for our happy family. With most blessings comes a challenge, and a house is just like that.

You may still have a lot of work to do for your blessings, but don’t lose sight of the fact that you have been blessed. If your blessing is a newborn baby, don’t despair over the late nights; enjoy the fact that you’ve been blessed with that sweet bundle. If your blessing is a new job that seems to take over your life, enjoy the newness until you learn the ropes. It will get easier as time goes on.

And if your blessing is a new home, know that it will never be completely finished, but it’s the lives of the people inside of its walls that truly matter.