When I was a kid, I was in a giant hurry to be a grown-up. The day after my birthday, I was already telling people I was almost the age I’d be on my next birthday. I think I got my driver’s license on July 7th, 1975. If the DMV was open on July 4th (a Friday, and the date of my 16th birthday) or the weekend following, surely I would have gotten it three days earlier. I couldn’t wait to vote, drink, sign a lease, bounce a check, and buy a major appliance.
Sometimes, being an adult is pretty fun. I like being able to eat ice cream for breakfast if I so choose, for example. But the last few months have been a difficult reminder that sometimes adulthood is vastly overrated. Our midwinter move was packed with a lot of non-fun drama and loss. I became very ill shortly after the last box was unpacked at our new house. Chronic sorrow over a long-standing family situation simmers on the back burner. Insecurities about employment shroud our days.
Since the moment we moved into this house, we’ve been dealing with its problems. The pipes that had burst while the house was sitting vacant prior to our move-in did all kinds of damage to the place. We’ve had visits from no less than a dozen different contractors, fixing everything from clogged toilets to sizzling electrical fixtures to water spotted ceilings. They rebuilt the bathroom where most of the water damage occurred, but as a precaution, we asked them to do a mold test. My husband has monster mold allergies, and we wanted to make sure the house was safe, clean, and dry.
Testing led to five days of mold remediation as soon as I was sufficiently recovered from my bout with pneumonia. During this “remediation”, we had to sleep in a hotel because there was a dishwasher-sized filtering machine with the approximate decibel level of a jet engine next to our bed, and another equally noisy air scrubber machine inside the plastic-sealed bathroom. (When they said “air scrubber”, I imagined a tabletop fan with a bunch of SOS pads tied to the blades. Wrong.) The mold people tested at the conclusion of this business, and last week, we were informed that there was still a problem. The remediation people came out, drilled a few holes in the newly-installed drywall, and informed us a couple of days ago that there was black mold growing between the studs of the wall. They’re now telling us we have to leave the house for ten days this time, so they can rip out the problem area, rebuild, and re-remediate.
We’re investigating options, asking lots of questions, and documenting every step of this delightful journey via dozens of wordy emails. Many have wondered if the mold has caused my long stint with upper respiratory illness. My doctor assures me it hasn’t been a primary contributing factor, but it certainly hasn’t helped the situation. In the meantime, concerned friends have shared dire warnings and black mold horror stories. I’m in the midst of all kinds of medical testing for my CVID right now, and am reading scary stories about that illness, too. I’ve spent too much time over the last months dealing with the pile of details regarding housing and health stuff. This is the part of adulthood I wasn’t banking on when I wished away part of my childhood in my quest to be a grown-up.
I had a bit of a melt-down the other day, as I found wondering if we needed to leave everything behind, grab our car keys and make a run for it. Maybe we could join the circus.
We’re praying for God’s protection, wisdom, and guidance – and if you’re a praying person reading these words, we’d value your prayers, too. I don’t know where this chapter will take us, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be as circus performers.
Hopefully, we’ll be a little more like Jesus as a result of walking through this part of our adulthood, seeking him for our next step of the journey.