Friday, June 28, 2013

Really Murphy? Seriously?

"Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong."  So states Murphy's law.  There should be an addendum that states "When all is going smoothly, look out 'cause Murphy is on the way."

For the last several weeks I have been uneasy.  Everything was going along very smoothly with pack out, Alonzo's 13th birthday, sponsoring a new family to post in early summer, and lastly purchasing and furnishing a small house in the states to function as our permanent home base.  Dave smirked and called me WW2 every time I expressed any worry.  WW2 for Worry Wart 2, the original WW being his Grandmother Pearl.

Packout is finished and although we came in ever so slightly over the allotted 7200 pounds, we had planned ahead, and it was easily dealt with.  Hands dusted! All finished with that, at least until it all shows back up in Oman.

The new family touched down earlier this week.  In spite of my using the welcome kit's two-molecule thick cheap pots and pans, I manage to create something edible and leave it in their house for their first meal in Malawi. Their house was mostly ready, stocked with the usual welcome kit supplies, and we even made it to the airport on time to meet the plane.  As a bonus for having us as sponsors, they inherited some of our unused consumables.  I hope they are as thrilled with that as I am.

Earlier this month Alonzo turned 13.  In our house 13 is a big deal.  We try hard to do something extra special.  When Dakota turned 13 he had his first ever airplane ride (pre-FS) in a WW2 Ambulance plane. During an air show. It was hard to top that.  We think we managed.  Dave booked a walking safari to go rhino tracking down in Liwonde National Park. Dave and Alonzo didn't just see one rhino, they saw three.  Totally cool.  I will get a blog post all about it up soon, I promise.

In Early March we closed on a house in close proximity to family and friends.  We now have a place that is our very own.  A place with not one single piece of Drexel Horrible furniture, no blah beige rugs either. I can even pick my own curtains.  Those of you rolling your eyes haven't spent the better part of the last decade living in government furnished housing in various countries. We've been online shopping like mad and have managed to order almost an entire house's worth of furniture all scheduled to be delivered within days of our arrival.

The kids are signed up for summer camp in the states. Alonzo and Colin will be going to sleep away camp in Galveston where they will be learning about marine biology and coastal ecology, while  Gray will attend a local day camp. This gives us one week mostly kid free to get the house set up.

In short everything has been going smoothly.  Too smoothly.  I kept waiting to see what was going to go wrong. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. Something had to  go wrong eventually.  I thought a delivery was going to be delayed and we would end up sitting on the floor all summer instead of on a nice new sofa.  Or perhaps our UAB heading to the states full of ethno-plunder so our new house reflects our travels would be sent to Ouagadougou or deepest darkest Peru.   I should knock on wood because that could still totally happen, but at this point I am not sure I even care anymore.

Monday morning just as we were getting ready to leave for the rhino encounter Dave decided to check his email one more time, and found this waiting in his inbox.

Yep, that is the floor in our new house.  The floor that was fine just a week ago. The floor in the house we haven't even moved into yet. The house where we are supposed to hosting a big family house warming get together just a week after we arrive.  Granted I didn't like that floor and was already planning to replace it in a few years.  But still.  WHY???  I have cried, and ranted, and raved, then I calmed down and looked at flooring options. I discovered if I like a floor it is guaranteed to to cost 75 gazillion dollars a square foot.  I also discovered we are looking at around $3000 just to get the old floor out before we can even talk about a new floor.  I am trying not to freak out, yeah right, like that's working. In the end there is really there is nothing we can do until we arrive in early July and get a good look at the floor ourselves. We may be having that big family house warming get together in the backyard because our new house may not actually be livable right about then.


Connie said...

Arrrgh!! Murphy needs to find a new hobby! *sigh* the good thing is, that bad thing you were anticipating, is here and you can stop worrying about what it might be :p (ok, not much help, but I was trying) Do you know what caused this? Can it be repaired enough for you to wait a bit and do a real renovation when you are there and more ready to deal with it?

Anyway, happy birthday Alonzo, and I hope they enjoy their summer camp. That sounds like a lot of fun! (can I go? :) !)

My fingers are crossed that Murphy turns his attention elsewhere and leaves you guys alone!

Shannon said...

Strangely now that the floor is a mess I am strangely calm. It's like "OK now I know what I am dealing with."

As far as we can tell it is due to heating - the tile expanding faster than the slab, and a bad tile job. We knew when we bought the house a few tiles were cracked and a couple had that hollow sound that means they are not stuck down very well, but we really thought it was something we could deal with a few years down the road.

We are not sure if it can be repaired enough to wait until later or if we really need to deal with this now. We have someone coming out to look at it soon, then we will know more.

The camp is fabulous, it is the marine biology at Texas A&M Galveston. My oldest went to that comp when he was younger, he loved it.

Brooke said...

oh nooooo! I'm so sorry this is happening!

Your birthday celebrations sound awesome. Also, I can't wait to learn all of your foreign service wisdom in Oman :)

Organic Hispanic said...

it's all gonna be fine. :o) I know you guys will pick the perfect floor at the perfect time and it will all work out. meanwhile I will miss you dearly at the parade on Thursday. ;o) xoxo and see you soon!!!!!!!!!!!

Monica said...

oops that was me. don't know why i'm signed in as ed.

Shannon said...

For a minute there I was a bit worried about the xoxox from Ed, Dave gets jealous you know. LOL!! Can't wait to see you. Still annoyed to be missing the 4th, we will be there next year!! Unless we are in China?

The boys say save them some candy!

Anonymous said...

Well, your sponsor family was beyond happy with all the goodies (nutella!!! pasta! pb! wine! jars of things I recognize!), and the pancakes and dinner. Not to mention your copious email help and on-the-ground driving and shopping training. Everything was a big big help. You two were great sponsors and we are just sad that you've left. Thank you thank you! I hope the tile issue is going to be less of a huge hassle to resolve than it seems. Have a great summer!

Shannon said...

J - I wish we there had been more time for us to get to know each other. Hope all is going well and keep in touch.

The floor worked out OK, we just pulled the broken tile, put some plywood and covered it. Still working on a permanent solution. It will all work out.

Nomads By Nature said...

Somehow over summer I missed this post - HOLY COW those tiles! Hoping all your other plans, parties, reunions and moving successes far outweigh the inconvenience of floor drama. At least you don't have to wait on government red tape to get it fixed how you want. Maybe this will also be the catalyst for getting some REALLY AWESOME tiles and mosaics from Oman into your new home to add to all those other worldly touches! Think about you all as you make your transitions and head to a place that we hold dear in our hearts!