Strict Standards: Only variables should be assigned by reference in /home/congmicj/cathyconger.com/wp-includes/query.php on line 751

As a writer, needle artist and photographer, I invite you to share my pursuits with me on this site. Among other things, there is a weekly post called “D-mail” that examines the spiritual meaning in current stories, both personal and news events.  I invite your comments at  cathycongerblog@gmail.com

“The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.”  N. Platt

13

Emptying family room leaves us with little seating

14

Stained glass window gone

15

Trundle bed gone in purple bedroom

16

Bare bones bedroom

To see remaining photos:  go to www.flickr.com/photos/congerfamily

After living in the same house for 36 years, we have decided to move from our home in central Wisconsin to Door County, Wisconsin for our retirement. Chuck plans to retire in August of 2014.  One year ago we purchased land on a high bluff a few miles south of the charming town of Egg Harbor, overlooking Green Bay.  Our plan was to build our retirement home on it.  So far, we have finished a house plan and chosen Portside Construction as our builder.  The plans have undergone many changes and probably will undergo a lot more, but we are happy with the plan.  It is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom open concept home with a walkout basement (which we have no plans to finish).  So our living space is all on one level - something my creaky knees will appreciate as I age.  The best part of the house is the view!  The entire lake side of the house will be glass.  The next best part of the house is my very own, big sewing studio!

So we have begun the journey.  Of course the downside is that we must leave the town where we have lived and worked for 38 years.  We have many blessed, old friendships here, good neighbors, a wonderful church family, and all the memories surrounding raising our 5 children here.  We built our present two story, 5 bedroom, colonial home in 1977.  Many made many changes and improvements to the house over the years.  It feels comfortable and just fits us, like an old slipper.  A few months ago we hired a realtor, our friend John S. to help us sell the home.  Little did we know what a huge job that was going to be!  He recommended that we remove all the clutter (also known as my beloved memorabilia, photos, and comfy furniture) and try to make the house a neutral space for perspective buyers to imagine themselves living in.  Imagine 36 years of accumulated “stuff”!  Imagine how much of that “stuff” has to be sold, given away, packed for the new house, or just junked.  The hard work we anticipated.  The emotions we’ve been experiencing we did not expect.  Why wouldn’t a buyer like my wallpaper?  What’s wrong with the color scheme I spent long hours developing?  What do you mean we have too much furniture?  What’s wrong with our art work?

Right after the Christmas tree came down, the project began.  The first thing we did was walk through each room with a critical eye, making lists of what needed fixing, what needed new paint, what furniture had to go, etc.  Before it got really cold, we had a crew come to wash all the windows inside and out.  After New years,flooring installers came to tear out the well worn carpeting  in our master bathroom and laundry/mud room and lay the new vinyl flooring I had chosen.  Wow!  What a difference!  And we are just getting started. When we built the house, we had a large stained glass window made for the landing of the stairway.  Since it was very special to us, we decided we wanted to move it to our new house.  Also, it had a big letter “C” in the center which we thought the new owners might not appreciate.  The carpenter came, removed the window to a sturdy wooden crate, and covered the opening with plastic and brown paper until the new, custom window arrived.  The plastic is keeping a surprising amount of the cold air from coming in.

Two of our daughters helped us tackle the basement while they were home for the holidays.  We collected LOTS of trash, organized and packed a lot into Rubbermaid bins, and separated out the furniture and stuff that needed to be hauled upstairs and either taken to the storage unit or to Goodwill or sold on Craig’s List.  I went through clothes we’d been storing down there for…well, I don’t know what for.  I cleaned off shelves of paint cans, old camping equipment, toys, seasonal decorations, etc.  It was liberating!

January12th our third daughter and her husband arrived to help us with the next step on the journey.  We hired 2 hard-working teen boys as well.  We rented a storage unit and a U Haul truck.  My daughter, the organizer, led the way with a roll of masking tape and a marker.  She’d ask me what I wanted to do with each box or piece of furniture.  Then she’d slap a piece of tape on it that had either an S for storage unit, a C for Craig’s List, or G for Goodwill.  The boys carried an amazing amount of things (some very heavy!) to the garage (that’s either up a flight from the basement or down a flight from upstairs!).  Meanwhile my son-in-law kept them directed and expertly packed the truck.  Thank God the temperature outside was in the 30’s - unusual for January in Wisconsin - because they were outside all day and the doors were open too!  The next day the temperature dropped into the teens and all were very happy the outdoor work was done.

January 13th:  Chuck and I assembled a microwave cart.  The realtor said that we needed to clear as much off the kitchen counters as possible.  Our big microwave took up a lot of counter space so is now on a cart along with the coffeemaker.  We moved the kitchen table and chairs around as well.  I had my Dickens Christmas village displayed year round on a long, high shelf in the kitchen.  I took it down and wrapped each piece carefully in bubble wrap (it took over an hour!) .  Meanwhile Chuck was setting up my desk in the library to accommodate both of us on one computer since he had to empty his office in the solarium in order to make it look like a solarium again.  He managed to consolidate his 4 drawer file cabinet into one bankers box (his mobile office now) and pack everything else-which was A LOT- into boxes that went to the storage unit.  He’s not quite done yet but it’s coming along.

January 14th: The cleaning lady came today and couldn’t believe all the empty shelves and open space.  She made the dust and trash disappear and mopped up all the dirty boot prints from the kitchen floor.  Then out in the garage, she spied all the things we are selling.  It seems that her bachelor son has just bought his first house and has nothing but a bed, a desk, and a TV.  She chose quite a few things for him.  The garage looks more bare and we have made enough money to pay for a night’s stay in Door County!

My parents are coming for a 2 week visit on Thursday.  They are willing to help us pack some boxes and do touch up painting, etc.  Bless their hearts!  I will post some photos as we go along.  Until next posting…

“What trouble? you say. “It’s the trouble of not having any that’s the problem!”

But think about it.

Money, in truth, is one of the most unsatisfying of possessions.

It takes away some cares, no doubt; but it brings with it quite as many cares as it takes away.

There is trouble in the getting of it.

There is anxiety in the keeping of it.

There are temptations in the use of it.

There is guilt in the abuse of it.

There is sorrow in the losing of it.

There is perplexity in the disposing of it.

Two-thirds of all the strife, quarrels, and lawsuits in the world arise from one simple cause – MONEY!

Statistics say that the second most common reason for divorce is conflict over money (the first reason is unfaithfulness).

The Bible says,

“The love of money is the root of all evil.”  (By the way, it doesn’t say that money is the root of all evil)

Learn to handle money wisely.  It is a gift from God that He wants us to be good stewards of.