Our furniture arrived at 11:00 AM the next day. Needless to say, the boxes strewn throughout the house sat waiting for us to open them. Getting the beds made up with fresh sheets and pillowcases became our first priority. We worked until late that night to make paths between the boxes, because we were going to pick up Joyce and Jerry at the Flagstaff Airport early the next morning.
Therefore, we stumbled out of bed, had a quick cup of copy, and I put a couple pieces of bread in the toaster oven. As we started to walk through the maze of boxes to put Jethro in the car, I looked at Scott, and said, “Something’s burning!” I handed the dog to Scott, ran back into the house and threw my arms up in the air, “Oh no! Scott come back!”
Our toaster oven was on fire! I picked up an old towel to douse the fire, and when I had the fire out, I realized I had put the instructions for the toaster oven inside of it — a maneuver for organization, never losing anything — and well … it just didn’t work as I intended, did it?
Running back out into the garage, I texted Joyce to tell her we were “running late,” but we’d be there as soon as possible. Of course, they were standing outside the airport waiting for us. We put their luggage in the car, and I drove us down Oak Creek Canyon (7,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level in 23 miles) to Sedona.
After Joyce and Jerry put their stuff in their bedroom, we began working. Hanging the artwork replaced our first priority of making paths through boxes. As Joyce and I opened the boxes we thought contained pictures, Jerry and Scott tried to keep up with us by tearing down the boxes. Soon there were pictures sitting against every wall in the house.
Everything went like clockwork — we had a system going — Uh, not so much. When we awakened the next morning, we realized we had no hot water for showers. After making several calls, I came to a gruesome and embarrassing conclusion: I hadn’t gotten the gas turned on. Oh my. Our friends had come to work like dogs, but they couldn’t receive the simple reward of a hot shower — for the entire weekend — it was a Saturday, and in the eyes of the utility company, not an emergency. Nevertheless, even though I offered to pay for a hotel room, Joyce Jerry, Scott, and I went to work.
We decided to start with the largest pieces and go from there. Between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening, we made decisions about where to put each piece. During that short period of time, we hung 26 paintings, pictures, and artifacts on the walls of our new home.
Disagreements about where and how to place certain pieces ensued, but that’s part of the project’s fun and we laugh about it later. It’s always better to have four people speaking their minds about placement, because the finished product shines. Similar to worker bees, we worked each day relentlessly before going to dinner, where we relaxed, laughed about our arguments for that day, and reminisced about our biking trips, and travels we’d shared over the years.
I look back at that weekend and think of God’s protection over us — that we didn’t drive off to Flagstaff with the toaster oven on fire — that when we stood on high ladders, picked up the heavy pieces, almost dropping them sometimes, we didn’t fall, but finally pitched the bottoms out in order to get them on the hooks.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life; (Psalm 121:7 NIV)
Standing back with awe over the beauty of each piece, I also marvel at the gifts God has bestowed on each artisan for every piece of artwork we have. Moreover, I thank him for Joyce and Jerry, our good friends who were such good sports to work hard for 2-1/2 days without a shower.
I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. (1 Corinthians 7:7 NIV)