My friends are getting married! They’ve been engaged for three years and they won this incredible wedding package from an Inn. I can’t tell you how excited about THAT I was. What’s more, the bride has asked me to stand up with her in the wedding and be her Friend of Honor.
I am excited about this, and truly honored that she has asked me to stand in this capacity.
There’s more to this story…
Truth be told, now that almost everyone in our circle of friends knows, I’ll be the friend of honor in this upcoming wedding. I had a chat with the bride last night about said tuxedo. When I originally heard the ideas about how the wedding party would be dressed, I heard the word “tuxedo.” I was uncertain if the bride wanted me to be dressed exactly as the groomsmen or perhaps be set apart by some detail like color of vest or style of jacket. It was during this conversation that I learned that the men will be wearing suits, not tuxedos. I favor this over a tuxedo because it will be an afternoon wedding on or near the beach—hardly tuxedo conditions.
Be that as it may, it doesn’t look like I’ll be purchasing a tuxedo soon.
When I started this goal I anticipated one of three occurrences: some important event, my daughter’s wedding, or that I would find a deal that was too good to pass up. Sometimes there are things in life that just blow you away.
I have some friends who are getting married in November. I know that this is a few months off, but they have asked me to be in their wedding.
I am honored and thrilled at this invitation, but it also means that I’ll be purchasing a tuxedo before the end of this year.
In January of 2009, we talked to our pastor, Bruce, about our interest in buying a home. The reason I mention this here is because in past months he mentioned that if we were ever in the market for a home that he knew a great mortgage broker and a fantastic real estate agent. Boy was he right. We contacted Debbie and within a week she had at least a dozen properties to look at. Scott, the mortgage agent, e-mailed me that same week. We met with him to see how much house we could buy. We had a pretty fair idea of what we wanted and how much we wanted to spend.
To make a very long, ten-month, story short, we looked at 60 to 70 houses and made offers on 10 or twelve of them. The reason for this was simple: many of the houses that we looked at were either trashed, smelled smokey or musty, or were snatched up by people with cash or investors faster than we could make offers on them. Of those we did make offers on, we were undercut by people with cash, folks who were willing to make much higher offers, or investment companies.
About June we finally got a little more competitive in our offers. We were more acute about which houses we really wanted to look at and which ones we really wanted to make bids on. Debbie was a saint. She was always supportive and helpful. We were hoping that she wouldn’t tire of us after looking and being rejected all these months.
Up next: Our place in this world.
I would like to preface this blog with this fact: none of the decisions we made was without a tremendous amount of prayer and of seeking God’s will for our lives. We endeavor everyday to follow Him and ask for His guidance in everything we do.
In 2000, my family and I moved back to California. We had been a single income family and we had hoped that the economy in California would allow us to continue to do so without more drastic changes in our lifestyle. We lived here for about a year when we decided that homeschooling was the best option for our children’s education which thereby precluded my wife’s status as “stay-at-home-mom.” It was not economically feasible for us to purchase a home and we had hoped that we could within a few years.
This was not to be.
With the announcement of our town being the choice for the location of the new University we soon saw house prices begin to soar. We knew some people in the real estate market and they all confirmed our suspicion that Bay Area investors were driving up the housing market and the prices. We actually met a few people who moved here, commuted to the Bay Area for a few short years, and then turned this house into a rental while they would move back into (presumably) their primary residence in the Bay Area.
It was soon evident that we would be renting for a very long time.
Around 2006-2008 we saw the housing market peak. People were paying extraordinary prices for houses. We went house shopping one summer, just to see. Anything newly built listed as “affordable” was very cheaply constructed and shoe-horned onto tiny lots. Living in this kind of condition is not for the shy or the claustrophobic. You WILL know your neighbor. Half-million dollar homes did not have the bells and whistles that you would expect from a half-million dollar home. It was just a house, but an expensive one.
We set our sites on staying put in our little rental, that we were quickly out-growing.
As market forces continued to drive the housing market, and the promise of our town becoming a University town, prices continued to climb and become less affordable.
A plethora of reasons could be cited for the housing bubble to burst; but burst it did, with a pop heard across this country.
About October, 2008, we decided that perhaps we could afford to buy a house, but we’d have to adjust our expenses once again. We began the process of finding every unnecessary expense and either eliminate it or reduce it. For every bill that landed in our mail box a phone call was made. We reduced our phone bill, cell phone charges, switched cable TV companies and got fewer channels, we even switched out light bulbs to lower wattage or cheaper fluorescent.
When we shared our “plan” with friends we received a lot of counsel. Our pastor Bruce connected us with a real estate agent, Debbie, and a mortgage lender representative, Scott. In January of 2009 we finally placed a call to these two people so that we could get a better idea of where we stood in the midst of this volatile housing market.
We discovered that it was definitely a buyers market and we found out what we could feasibly afford. So the game is on.
Next: our adventures in house hunting.
We moved in over the weekend of September 4-7.
Last night, May 7th, 2008, I was nominated for the board of directors. The board voted and unanimously approved. I am now firmly involved in a cause that I am passionate about: our local community theater.
On Saturday, I met up with some friends (and some people I didn’t know). There were nine of us, seven bikes. We left town about 8 a.m. and drove to Monterey. We stopped a couple of times along the way for gas, to rest our butts or to just take in the view. It was a beautiful day and the vegetation is starting to green up. Most of the trees already had blossoms on them. It was gorgeous.
We stopped in Monterey, on Fisherman’s wharf, for lunch. We gathered around a table overlooking the ocean. It was a great view.
After lunch we walked around a bit more before climbing back on our bikes. We weren’t sure about our next destination, so we just headed south on Hwy 1. We drove until we figured it was time to go back home, so we ended up in Big Sur.
Hwy 1 hugs the coastline. It is windy and winding, and the views are simply breathtaking. This can be an unfortunate distraction, but we managed to take in enough of the scenery. We stopped three times along the highway to take pics and to inhale the magnificant vistas.
Our route back was a bit of a digression. We didn’t take the usual routes, but tried to stick to country roads and smaller highways. The road took us through farms and smaller communities and away from the weekend traffic. There were a few roadside stands that would have been worthwhile stops for fresh produce, but even with our current schedule we still had at least two hours of ride-time before we got home. We pressed on.
I got home about 9 p.m. We covered well over 300 miles and had the fortune of glorious weather all along the way.
It was worth doing, and I would do it again.
Rehearsals for “Guys and Dolls” starts tonight. The show opens May 30th. I just got a call from the director of “Some Enchanted Evening.” Turns out that she would like me and my wife to be in the show afterall, as extras. We’d have lines and we’d get to do some ad-lib work (my favorite). I said I’d give an answer tomorrow. The show opens on May 2nd… less than two weeks away.
I finally got the honu tattoo today, April 12th at 1:00 p.m.
I don’t think that she realizes just how sexy she can be just being herself, or how amazing she truly is.
April 12th, 12:30. I have an appointment with a needle, ink and a sadist.
We have been volunteering time, ability, talents and money at the local community theater for about 5 years now. Over the past two or three years I have been invited to be on the board of directors. I have had no real urgent need to to be a part of the decision making process for the theater. But recently that has changed. Since we are so involved and have an interest in where the theater is going, perhaps it is time to become more actively involved in shaping the future of this organization. I will have a firm decision made by Saturday.
Additionally, my wife and I have also been asked to be on the board of directors for the local Shakespeare group. Personally, I think that this would be a great opportunity for my wife. We are still in talks about what our role would be and our commitment level outside of board meetings.
There is yet one other opportunity that has come up today. More will be posted as things develop.
some people tend to think that there’s an ulterior motive for benevolence.
that this is at the top of my list, but it is my only goal with a time limit. It looks awful selfish to put this at number one, but my wife is making such efforts to look good for our vacations. We are encouraging each other to look our best this summer because we’ve both gotten a bit flabby. Both of the trips that we have planned for this summer are “bathing suit” oriented.
She’s much too young to be thinking about such things, so this is a long-term goal. But someday, she’s going to have ideas, and I want to do everything that I’m able to do to make it a very special day for her and her groom.
A cottage or a yurt on a warm, tropical secluded beach.
A long (10 days or more) cruise in the tropics.
Well… I auditioned for a musical review “Some Enchanted Evening.” (They held the auditions for this show and “Guys and Dolls” at the same time.) As it turned out, I got called back for both shows. The director called and asked if I’d be interested. Funny thing happened… I didn’t get cast for “Some Enchanted Evening,” but I did get cast in “Guys and Dolls.” It’s not a big role, but it will be a whole lot of fun!
This weekend I’m auditioning for a musical review… all Oscar and Hammerstein. This is huge stretch… playing a supporting actor or being part of an ensemble is one thing, but if I get this I will be a part of a quintet. Personally, I don’t think I’m up to it, but I hope my voice is. Fake it til you make it, right?
It represents love (the heart shaped shell with two halves making up the whole); endurance (green sea turtles are known for their endurance from birth to long life); and safety (green sea turtles and maco sharks are natural enemies, if you see a turtle you know that there are no sharks around).