We returned last night after a long working vacation in New Jersey. It was much more work than vacation, but we managed. The purpose of the trip was to clean up and fix up our house in Hamilton and find new tenants. We were half sucessful on both accounts.
Highlights of the trip include:
- Getting a speeding ticket in Florence Twp, NJ. Apparently, they are notorious for this. Nobody bothered to tell me, though. So, here's a warning to you. No breaks cut for military spouses even though it was Memorial Day either. Full damage TBD.
- Weeding my garden (MY garden, even though I don't live there anymore) and looking up and realizing that all the work Bill and I did a year and a half ago was really paying off. And having a neighbor say that the tulips were really beautiful a few weeks ago was wonderful too.
- Neglecting and/or abandoning my children for 5 days, much to their pleasure. Their diet consisted of way too many hot dogs and chicken nuggets and too much soda. They spent most of the time playing with old friends in a mostly unsupervised environment. They had very few baths and went to bed more than once with visible dirt on their little bodies.
- Attending Hamilton's Memorial Day parade with these same grubby kids. During the first 2/3 of the parade, the people on the floats threw very little candy. I was sitting with 2 friends and we had 12 kids altogether (2 infants). Somebody would throw 2 or 3 pieces of candy in our direction and 6 or 7 little
street beggerschildren of God would scramble for them. Finally, the paraders started throwing some serious candy and the kids had more than enough. Pete started getting fussy, so he got to sample his first, second and third Dum Dum lollipops. And since I was holding him, I got sticky lollipop goo in my hair and down my face, arms and shirt. A good mom would have brought decent snacks and drinks. Oh well.
- Hopefully finding some tenants for the place, but not sure. We are sure that we'll get somebody though, since we've had lots of inquiries.
- Realizing for the millionth time that God really takes good care of us. A house down the street is listed at $250,000. A house across the street was bought (off market) for $215,000. We were the last ones to buy in that neighborhood for cheap ($125,000). Three or four months later, houses on the street were going for $150,000 - $180,000. So, basically, in 6 years, we've about doubled our investment. This is due only to good luck and God's blessing.
We're glad to be home. We have to go back in 2 weekends to finish up. But for now, we're just really glad to be home.