Well, Thanksgiving is almost here. In one sense the past 3 months have flown by and in another way, it seems to have slowed time into a random long, unending day. Truly like when there is a new baby in the house! The house is currently getting tile floors put in. The next step will be doors and trim. Then we can paint. Then cabinets and countertops and sinks. That sort of feels like when we can move back in a "camp" in our house. I'm not sure how the Wilder's lived without running water and since we don't have an open well nearby to draw from, we'll be waiting until the sinks are installed before we get back in. If things move along smoothly, that actually might be around the 1st of the year. We have been serving as our own "General Contractor" in order to keep things moving. In fact, that sort of makes us ahead of the game. I got a referral for a General yesterday who is booked out at least 6 months and the lady who referred me was house #20 and being worked on now. Good grief!
We also do not have insurance money yet. That is a long, long, long process. And once we do get it, we need to jump through the mortgage company hoops to get the money in our bank. They are "kind enough" to hold our money for us until we can prove that the work is being done. And since we aren't able to use a General Contractor, they require the work to be finished and inspected and paid for completely before they give us the money. Gee, thanks.
In the meantime, we have compiled a small list of things we know we lost and will want to replace into an Amazon wishlist titled GROTHOLSON LOST TO REPLACE (link here: http://a.co/cfY5BTU) This list will certainly grow over the next few weeks as we slowly move back in and better realize what we lost or need. If you have never used an Amazon wish list before, you actually do NOT need to purchase from the list in order to mark it as purchased. Under the button "add to cart" is a link that says "buying this gift elsewhere?" Click that and you can mark the item as purchased! Our Amazon list also does not include things like clothes, bookshelves, furniture, linens, rugs or some technology. It's not that we don't need those things, they just weren't very Amazon-able and we also don't quite need a table and chairs yet and have no where to store it! Contact us directly if you desire to help with some of those items.
Thank you for your help in all of this! You have truly been the Hands and Feet of God to us!
Super short, quick update! We are so excited to be in the repair and remodel stage of our Hurricane Harvey saga! Thanks to some family members and friends, we were able to hang sheetrock 2 weeks ago. That gave us a HUGE boost up to move the process along. We have hired help to finish prepping the floors and installing some smaller items like a tub and toilets. We just approved a quote to get the taping and mudding completed next week! Other subcontractors were quoting up to 12 weeks out just for THAT job alone! We have someone working on kitchen cabinets while the drywall and tile work is finished. Lord willing, we can have a lot of that taken care of by Thanksgiving.
Truly, it was the Lord’s hand in orchestrating all of this. We don’t even have a response from our insurance company, yet we have been able to get a fast and sudden jump on the process! Workers in the area are so overwhelmed and swamped that many don’t even respond to our requests for quotes. We thank God for our helpers that got us moving on drywall and then the referrals to get us quotes and installation work done.
The plan now is to continue living with our wonderful, generous host family until we can rough it in our own home. We will continue remodeling and at this pace, we may have it rebuilt before the insurance company even gets back to us!
Thank you to everyone who sacrificed financially to help us get back on our feet! We know many other people have been asking how to help and we had said “maybe later” because we didn’t really know the entire scope of our needs 2 months ago. Well, considering that things are moving along somewhat quickly, we are thinking about using the seasonal sales and Black Friday sales to get a jump on reaccumulating some of our necessary earthly treasures. In response to your requests to help, we will be publishing an Amazon wishlist a few days before Thanksgiving. The best part about an Amazon wishlist is that you DON’T HAVE TO BUY IT ON AMAZON to be able to mark the item as “purchased”. You can see a sweet deal in a local store and buy it there, but then go mark the item as “purchased” on their wishlist so there aren’t duplicates.
This is definitely the fun silver-lining to the tragedy of losing our home. The anticipation of seeing our little home remodeled is exciting! Thank you for being here with us and for following along in our journey! May we each be encouraged as we see God victoriously meet our needs in ways beyond our capability. It’s really cool!!
Jesse is a professor at Houston Baptist University. He also directs the school's theatre club, does handyman projects on the side, and produces features and short films. A Pastor's kid/missionary kid, his view of life is at the very least unique. And hopefully helpful.