Steve Schappell-My Blog

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Welcome Home

Here's an admission.  I have OCD.   No surprise to those who know me, right?  I am not the "straighten the tassels on the end of a rug" OCD, but the "organizing, everything in it's place" OCD.

This is something that I need to work on, and get assistance with.  It can be a good thing from an organization standpoint.  I helps at jobs I have had that require organization.  It helps when planning trips, lists, or arranging at home.  It comes in conflict when it is used to control my surroundings and others.

My pastor told me recently that "life is messy."  Family and relationships matter more than things, but those relationships are never neat.  There is always a give and take.  This is a current story about that messy life, and how it is changing me for the better.

I am an only child, and never experienced the sharing of things with a brother or sister.  I was used to doing  things alone and enjoyed it.  After the divorce, I had my kids every other week, and lived alone 2 weeks during the month.  The townhouse I found worked great for the three of us.  When I got married again, and a decision was made that (2) of my wife's boys would move with her, we worked into those arrangements.  The finished basement became Noah's room.  Phil moved into my son's room, as he lives in town with his mom.  My daughter kept her same room.  This arrangement also worked-as we adjusted to each other over time, and earlier this year--after everyone being here (2) years, were settled.

So, I admit, I was the objector to plans to have (4) more people move into the townhouse.
I thought we were tight already.  I had many questions to consider.

Let's set the stage.  My step-daughter is married with (2) kids (our grandkids)  They are 2-1/2 and 8 months.  They were living 5 hours away on the other side of Pennsylvania.  Her husband had a good job and was a supervisor for Safe Tarp, a company that secured and tarped large vehicles hauling materials.  For some time, they have been looking at moving to the area, but were not sure when.  Then this February, Justin received news.  His company was being bought by another firm.  He would have to re-apply in order to stay there.  He was given (2) choices.  He could stay at lower pay, and no bonuses, but keep his position.  Or, he could stay to early March, and leave.

After lots of discussion and prayer, he decided to leave, and they made the decision to put their trailer up for sale and move in with us.  To prepare for this, they came in on weekends so Justin could apply for jobs here and we could make preparations.

In the past when they visited, they would stay in Phil's room (moy stepson)  He would be temporarily displaced to the sofa downstairs, or to Noah's room in the basement.  This worked when it was only a few days , but what about a few months.

Thankfully, Noah decided to give up his space in the basement so they could stay down there.  We took some time to pack up his things, and take his essentials to Phil's room.

This is where God took over.  The weekend before hie job ended, Justin, Moriah and the boys came in to visit.  He had an interview on Friday with a Pipe Maker outside Harrisburg.  It was a laborer job, working on the grind line, making large pipes.  I was at work when he called me.  He told me he had good news, he got the job, and then he told me they wanted him to start the following Monday.  That meant, they were going to move in the following weekend, in early March.

Remember how I said I was not good at change.  Well, when change is sudden, you have to roll with it.   So, my wife went with them to watch the grandkids, and they packed up the moving van and headed out for Palmyra,  We unloaded on a rainy Sunday night in a rented storage shed, and they moved in.

The first few weeks were an adjustment for all of us.   We had a morning routine for school and meals, plus evening activities.  I forgot about the adjustment for them.  Justin started a new job in an area he was not familiar with.  Moriah had to get settled in with  her boys and adjust to our routine.  And we needed to work on the arrangements. 

Of course, to my surprise, things started working out quickly.   My daughter and the boys went from an annoyance to acceptance.  Moriah and Justin wanted to help out by buying groceries and helping with dinner.  We kept our routines and developed new ones.  I was learning to let some things go with my OCD, and learning that this situation was temporary and to enjoy it.  I had to learn that a living room full of toys, meant we had family here.  That dinner was a social event, and that in all things, God was in control.

The past few months have been sent with Moriah and Justin looking for homes or trailers in the area, and getting used to the area in general.  Looking for a church to attend, and places to shop and eat.

And of course life moves on.  Shari finished her college courses in the Spring.  Noah graduates from High School in less than 2 weeks.  We got another van for Shari.  We are planning for our summer vacations, and working on our garden.

The point for me is that I needed to learn that this was family, and family is more important than things.  I know that should be easy to see, but for someone who does not have a large family, and used to a controlled situation, this was an adjustment for me.  My fears were not realized (They usually never are)  My perspective had to change.  Like if I needed some time away, I went up to our bedroom and worked there.

Anyway, the house hunting has been progressing.  They recently sold their trailer and moved the remaining items out.  And this week, they put an offer down on a house that is in the Palmyra School District.  We are currently waiting to see if the offer is accepted.  It is exciting, because it could mean a home for them.  And if this does not work out, there will be something else to come along.  In the meantime, they have a place to stay, and although they would like a place of their own--to call their home--they have a home now and family here.

Here are some pictures of the home they put a bid on.  Maybe this will be the place where they can say, "Welcome Home."

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