Last was the biggest chore of all, the spare room. Like I mentioned, it was piled high with boxes everywhere- from clothes to items we’d sent home to dehydrated food to pictures to two years worth of mail. We had no idea where to start so we dove in, grabbed a box, and just started going through it together. We made piles of stuff- one for clothes, one for things that needed to go to the shed, one for first aid, and on and on. I don’t know how we managed to get through it all. It took a couple days, that’s for sure. We ended up with 3 or 4 huge bags of garbage. When we could see the floor, we started to get encouraged. But it’s all those little tedious things to put away that takes forever. At long last, we were ready for the vacuum, and then we just stood in the room embracing with amazement that we had conquered it! Lastly, we arranged all of Richard’s mom’s stuff (with her permission) into the spare room (she’s coming back from California for a while), finished putting away the last of the gear in the livingroom, vacuumed, dusted, scrubbed, and cleaned until our house shone like new. It was done. About 180 man hours in 6 days and now we were moved back home!
We also took a few hours to clean out the chest freezer to see what as in there and cleaned out the car. Good thing I did too because I found the source of the stench- two dead mice and their humoungus nest all over our trunk. NASTY!! The only thing left is filing the mail, updating all the records, going through the pictures, and making a scrapbook with our special momentos. That will have to wait after more urgent matters are seen to- like getting jobs!
We enjoyed a well deserved day of relaxing on Sunday when we finally got to see all our friends from church again. Then the second week it was back at it- only this time our focus was job searching. We created a powerful resume which we emailed and dropped off to about 15 jobs each. Thank God there are even jobs available! We each had 3 interviews the first week, and Richard landed a decent job on his third one. He is working at Broulim’s grocery store- the same store that donated all the produce we dehydrated for the trip! He was hired with the assurance that the store was making some changes shortly and he would be moving into management and great pay very quickly. But temporarily, they had to insert him in a night shift position. We were willing to put up with that inconvenience because there is great long term potential for this job until we are able to do Hearts Up Ranch full time. We had had Broulim’s on our hearts for several months before we got home as somewhere Richard should apply to and now we know that was God prompting us so we would be blessed with this opportunity.
I have not been hired yet and we are trusting in God as always to provide the finances we will need to pay our next month’s rent, utility bills, and insurances. It’s a bit daunting to get home and suddenly, without having had a job for two years, have to come up with the money to insure and register vehicles, renew my license, get the car tire fixed, pay for gas to drive the car, pay for copies of paper for resumes, pay for rent, pay for utilities, pay for trash, etc, etc. God has provided miraculously for us many times in the past and I am trying not to worry as the next month’s
bills sneak up on us before we have even received one paycheck. But it looks like we will continue to eat dehydrated food until I get a job! We are very thankful though, that the vehicles seem to be running fine and even the knock has gone away in the car.
Finally, the animals are all doing surprisingly well. The horses’ hair grew so quickly that they weren’t near as affected by the cold as we anticipated. Well, that and the fact that the temperatures have been unseasonably mild. I think the coldest we’ve seen was -1 so we are grateful for the ‘warm’ January! We have definitely been using the blankets on the horses, but not as much as we expected we would. They are adjusting very well and seem to be perfectly content to just be hanging out in the pasture. Chance also seems to have relaxed here and we can only hope his pals explained to him that this stop is different from the rest! I have noticed that he seems to be more a part of the herd than he has ever acted before. Perhaps the others, now that they are home, have decided he really is here to stay and now he is ‘one of the guys.’ It’s good to see. We have been giving them supplements and continuing to have them do their stretches to help them recuperate. And as promised, we have not been on their backs since they stepped in the Atlantic and will not do so until this summer so they can have a good 6 months off.
Nacho was cute. For the first few days it seemed that he remembered a little more each day who we were. He started to act his old way with us and remember our habits. When our friend Rick was over, he was surprised that Nacho was sitting on the toilet behind me trying to get my attention while I was using the bathroom mirror. He exclaimed that Nacho never even went in the bathroom when he lived here. I was confused because he always used to do that with me! It made me happy that he is obviously remembering us and starting to act just like old times around us.
Bella is just as precious as ever. She immediately chose the rocking recliner to be her chair and has spent many hours there ever since. I feel bad for her because she is used to walking at least 15 miles a day with lots of stimulus. And now she’s becoming a couch potato. But she is taking it well and we are doing our absolute best to get her out for two long walks (or cross country skiing) each day. It’s vital for her and it’s a good excuse for us to get started getting back in shape and adjusting to the high altitude, which by the way, has been remarkably easy this time. I have always had a very difficult time acclimating to high altitude- it affects some people more than others- but this time has been a piece of cake! I am so blessed by this. Back to Bella- we discovered that if we don’t take her out for some fun, she has a blast when we aren’t home getting into the garbage, toilet paper, and shredding newspapers! Little miss puppy is going to have to learn how to be civilized! This whole new life of not being around us 27 hrs 7 days a week is a bit of an adjustment for her. As far as Nacho goes, she is still very jealous of him every time he gets pet instead of her, but she does want to play with him. She is very polite about it, but he still swats and hisses at her when she gets too close. In the last couple days though, they seem to have made some headway in becoming friends, and I am confident that they will get over each other in a month or two and learn to enjoy each other’s company.
Well, friends, I guess we are home and nearly settled! If you are led, please continue to pray for a job for me, our physical stamina, recuperation, and adjustment to the high altitude, and our financial needs being met by March 1st. We continue to keep working on our pile of “to do’s” that has accumulated over two years. We are slowly catching up. You may notice many updates throughout the website. That is just one of many projects that we have been working on in between job hunting. When life normalizes a little, we will continue our fundraising work with Hearts Up Ranch and we will keep you posted on those developments via the blog and newsletters. Please do continue to check back here at least weekly. It may not be life-and-death adventure stories, but God is always up to something exciting! Our friends who have known us a long time know that ‘it’s rarely boring at the McGrath’s!’ So keep an eye out on these blogs- you never know what the future will bring when you have a vision….! With much love always, the McGraths