Burning Down the House

Last night my husband attempted to grill bratwursts.  However, our dinner plan hit a hiccup when he couldn’t figure out how to light the propane grill that came with the vicarage house (the ignition cord wasn’t hooked up and there wasn’t an apparent way of reattaching it).  After pondering over the grill for 10 minutes and texting the few people we know who could tell us how to start the grill, he gave up and decided to pan fry the brats.  I left the kitchen to go work in one of the side rooms but a few minutes later my husband came in and said, “Um, the smoke detector is going to go off.”

Now, this wasn’t the first time my husband had smoked up the house while cooking meat.  I braced myself for the alarm but was quickly relieved to see the my husband had already pulled the battery out of the detector.  “Whew,” I thought to myself, “That was close.”  Then the alarms went off ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE.

My husband and I have never lived in a place with more than one smoke detector, so hearing screaming alarms all around us was quiet shocking.  I quickly grabbed a chair and and climbed up to pull the battery out of the detector in the side room.  I yanked out the battery only to stare dumbfounded at the alarm as it continued to blare its warning.  Not only did the builders of the house put a detector in every room, they had wired the system into the house so the alarms didn’t cease when the battery was out.  We had no idea how to silence the detectors!  

After a couple of minutes of racing around the house with alarms ringing everywhere we managed to open enough windows to start pulling the smoke out.  Eventually the alarms quieted except for an occasional voice declaring, “Warning, low battery.”  My husband then received a response on how to start the grill (apparently you light it with a lighter–weird) and dinner preparations continued without any more issues.  Fortunately, no fire trucks visited our home.    

While I admire the vigilance of the congregation members in relation to fire safety, we’ll have to figure out how to disarm the alarms when needed.  This wasn’t the first time we’ve smoked up our home while cooking, it probably won’t be the last, and I really don’t want to be known as the family that almost burned down the vicarage house. 


Starting Vicarage: How Do I Fit Into This Picture?

We’ve been at our vicarage house for a week now.  We’ve unpacked and organized most of the house, we went shopping at the local grocery store and Walmart, and I got a library card.  The daunting tasks of just moving are quickly being accomplished, leaving time to figure out exactly how to function in our new lives.

I know my husband is quietly trying to figure out what his role as vicar will be with this congregation.  After spending last year hearing about all the different vicarages and learning the vast range of duties vicars can have, it’s odd to finally start narrowing down the responsibilities while trying to get a feel for the congregation.    It looks like last year’s vicar spent a lot of time rebuilding the youth group, so that will be my husband’s starting point.  It sounds like there will other options for work including creating a group for the 20s, 30s, and 40s age bracket and plenty of teaching.  He’s a little bit nervous but very excited to begin his work.

As for me. . .I’m still trying to figure what vicarage means to the wife.  I’ve initiated a search for a new nanny job despite people advising me to wait a bit–no work and sitting around the house all day leads to a sure case of I-just-moved-and-don’t-know-anyone-in-town blues.  The pastor and his wife took us out to lunch last Saturday and they both seem very kind.  I had a couple of folks from the congregation ask if I was going to help with the youth group with my husband and after hemming and hawing for a bit about how I wasn’t sure I’ve finally came to the conclusion that I am not, at least not right away.  I know older adults assume that because I’m still in my 20s that I should find it easy to relate to teenagers but I don’t.  After all, I was a freshman in high school a decade ago–a lot has happened to the world and me since then.  Plus, I want my husband to find a comfortable way to interact with the youth without me hanging around.  My husband has already been away at meetings two evenings this week, making me realize that I am in desperate need of a hobby besides reading.  The good news is that we have cable internet again, providing hours of unhealthy entertainment online. . . Again, I need a better hobby.

We’ll attend service at the vicarage church for the first time this Sunday.  Thankfully my husband won’t be installed until the following Sunday so I won’t have to finagle the service by myself.



Why Using a Hymnal Is Such a Comfort

It would be foolish and prideful of me to claim that using the Lutheran Service Book (LSB) is the only way to worship.  I realize that there are many styles of worship and that God never gave a specific rubric for worship in the Bible–a church doesn’t have to use LSB to having meaningful worship.  However, that being said, I think my worship experience yesterday makes a strong case for the unified use of the hymnal within the LC-MS.

This past week was moving week for my husband and me.  On Thursday and Friday we traveled about 650 miles from our farmhouse to our new home (which I am dubbing “vicarage house”).  Since my husband technically has a week or two before starting his vicarage and the current vicar was preaching the last time, we decided that we would wait another week before worshiping at with the vicarage congregation.  However, this also meant that we needed to find a different church to attend on Sunday morning.

My husband found a tiny Lutheran church about 30 minutes from the vicarage house.  Upon arriving, we were warmly greeted by the pastor.  He explained to us that they were using Divine Setting III from the hymnal and gave us a card so we could take communion.  We found a pew and waited for the service to start.

Nothing has been more comforting in this move than to walk into a strange church 650+ miles away from where we worshiped last Sunday and know what was going on.  I may not know where the post office is, I may not know how to get to the bank, I may not know what on earth I am going to do with myself this year but I do know DS III.  I have heard that some people don’t like a traditional liturgy because it isn’t exciting enough or that it doesn’t change enough from week to week.  However, when everything around me is different and a bit scary, I don’t want an “exciting” or “unusual” church service.  All I wanted yesterday was to hear God’s Word and receive the Lord’s Supper without feeling overwhelmed and confused.  Thanks to that hymnal-using congregation, I was able to find just that.

Really, We Used That Many?

We spent this past year filling one of the rooms upstairs with boxes and packing materials.  Apparently it only takes two weeks to use almost all of those boxes and packing materials.  On the plus side, we’re almost done packing (the downside being that most of the the boxes are now being marked as “misc. stuff”).

In other news, our region is suffering from a severe drought–I can count on one hand the number of times it has rained since April.  It’s predicted to storm tomorrow during our truck loading time.  Where’s the fun in a move without a bit of irony?  

Help! I’m Surrounded By Boxes!

One week until moving day (six days until truck loading day) and we’re currently trying to function as normally as possible in our ever-growing box maze.  However, this is proving more and more difficult because there seems to be a correlation between the box maze growing and our things disappearing.

Haha, I’m so funny.

After spending half the day diligently packing everything from clothes to baking pans, I still think my crowning achievement is making sure I have the best music to jam to during the 11 hour drive to our new home.  Yes, I do think this was really important; never mind that the stove needs to be scrubbed and the closet need to be emptied!  

I Laugh Because It’s True

I especially feel this way now that I’m packing to move.

From XKCD:   http://xkcd.com/1077/

Well, That Storm Took Out My Plans

I had an awesome timetable for our upcoming move.  It went as follows:

-June 29:  Last day of work.  Be very sad.
-June 30-July 4:  Clean house like a crazy person in preparation for move/husband’s family
-July 5-10:  Party with family
-July 11-12:  Pack, pack, pack
-July 13-15:  Parents visit/pack
-July 15:  Attend an ordination
-July 16-17:  PACK, PACK, PACK
-July 18:  Load truck
-July 19:  Begin our vicarage journey
It was a tight schedule, admittedly stressful, but doable.  Then came June 29 and a storm swept through our fair city, blowing trees over and damaging 95% of the distribution circuits in our area.  Consequently, our house has been without power since the storm, meaning no fans or running water (did I mention that it’s been consistently in the 90s for over a week?).  After 16 hours without electricity and learning that it was going to take up to five days to get power back, we called our friends and asked them for help.  They kindly have let us crash at their apartment so we can enjoy the finer things in life like a flushing toilet and fans.  Yay!
While we’re thankful that our friends could take us in, we are very obviously not deep cleaning the house.  At this point, I’m trying to figure out how we can wash the pile of dishes that have been sitting by the sink since Friday (I think if I can buy some more gallons of water and heat them up on the porch, we can get the dishes cleaned. . .).  Likewise, we still have 10 people coming to visit us in just a few days and that truck will be at our house on July 18 whether we’re ready or not.  Needless to say, I’ve gone beyond normal stress and have reached the emotional mess level of stress.
According to the power company’s website, we should be getting power back late tonight.  I’m praying this is the case, otherwise it might be as late as Saturday night before electricity is restored.