The horrible experience of house hunting and then the unavoidable moving day has finally come to an end for me and my bride, Robin. Every time we visited an open-house we felt like the selling agent had just transferred from Bob's Used Cars.
"So, Mr. Marlar, what's it going to take to get you into this house today?"
"Zero-percent financing and employee-discount-pricing!" I enthusiastically reply.
"Done!" he says. But then I then see the wave of reality wash over his face. "Oh, wait a minute... that was my old job. What I meant to say was..."
"Too late, buddy," I gleefully cheer. "Where do I sign, Suckerrrr!!!"
Still, our house payments are awful high even with zero-percent financing; probably due to the extras he talked us into. I'm not sure why I need rust proofing for the undercarriage of my vinyl siding, or road-side assistance for my fireplace - but then I’m not into home maintenance and repair, so I just trust the experts.
After walking through ninety-seven homes, I’ve noticed three key indicators that a house is a "lemon."
1. A "Sunkist" sticker on the garage door
2. Three inspectors have mysteriously fallen ill while checking the water heater
3. House comes with extras like helmet, fire extinguisher and Jaws of Life
Fortunately, we found the right home for us and we made the move. There must be some unknown law of physics that explains why, with every relocation, you lose or break something. Somehow, I lost my favorite 52oz Bubba Keg coffee mug. Gone! The strange thing is that we only moved two-tenths of a mile. Seriously! From the apartment to the house I could've walked the blasted mug over in under three minutes. But somehow, placing the mug in a box with bubble wrap and pot holders triggered a kind of "inter-dimensional large-goblet gobbler," sucking my Bubba-Keg into limbo where it will now float in a zero-gravity environment forevermore, bumping gently into lost airline luggage and socks who've yet to find their way back to their owners' clothes dryers.
Less than 18 hours after the move we had our first crisis involving a family member. Her name is Patches. Apparently, cats love exploring - and an uncovered floor vent is an open invitation for feline spelunking. We woke our first morning to loud meowing – from the air ducts.
After dozens of calls, we finally found two companies that contained laughter long enough to send someone over. We also ended up greeting an animal-control specialist. Not sure how he got an invitation, but he had a truck and a really cool looking flashlight, so we let him in.
Two hours and numerous ripped-open air ducts later, we had our pain-in-the-whiskers pet in Robin's arms. We then observed something truly ghastly. Either the trauma of the ducts was so terrifying that all of the cat’s fur instantly turned gray, or we desperately needed to clean the ducts of our new home. Turns out the latter was true, which stinks because a prematurely gray cat is a whole heck of a lot more affordable.
Cat-astrophe averted (sorry - such an obviously bad pun cannot be ignored), the three of us are fine now.
While I say I never want to move again, I am open to relocating to our permanent home awaiting us in our Father’s kingdom. I won’t have to worry about visiting dozens of homes to find the “right one for me.” I won’t have to settle on a home that is “good enough.” My home – my mansion, actually – is already there, empty, waiting for me to arrive. Of course, in this world I can’t afford a mansion – but allowing God to use me, I am already investing into the home I will someday have. The perfect home, designed precisely for me. It will have all of the luxuries and necessities needed for the perfect existence in everlasting life. I have no idea what kind of appliances would be used in Heaven – that could be an entire column in itself (and then some), but I do take comfort in knowing that God knows my needs both for here and for the hereafter. Realtors will be obsolete, air ducts will be unnecessary, moving trucks will be unheard of, cats will be well-behaved.
Back on this earth, however, if the day comes and Robin and I do have to relocate, the cat is not coming out of the vents until she finds my coffee mug. It has to be in there - it's the only place I haven't looked.