Of course, the cosmos needed balance and a few days later the plumber came to fix the blocked sewer line at the house. When the plumber tells you that he has never seen a situation before, you know it is bad news. Apparently my property had a septic tank that no one ever knew about (including the boro), which county codes demand must be removed. So, my ant of financial flexibility to get me through until I start my new position just got stomped by a total bill of $16,500.
As the events unfolded, the scenario morphed from the merely tragic to the existentially comic. It is amazing how we can agonize over a $1.00 coupon at the grocery store, but then once the damages hit five figures, the amounts simply become a blur.
Driving back to Smithton after getting the news, my mood sank. Suddenly, the traffic ahead of me on the highway ground to a halt. A few minutes later, the three lanes of traffic inched around an accident that must have happened literally a minute before I got to it. Pieces of a car lay splayed across the road and emergency vehicles were just starting to arrive. I immediately called my son back at the house and left a message that we would figure out a way to get through this, and that things could always be far worse.
As I wrote this posting, I got a call from my daughter Ashley, who had just returned from her sonogram appointment. My first grandchild, due in early September, is a girl and looks very healthy. There is also no sign of cleft palate/lip, which was a worry since Ashley's mother was born with it.
So, all in all, I would say that the cosmic tumblers are still falling in my favor. I may not be buying many books or records in the near future, but I have my health, two great and happy adult children, and the hope of a fantastic ministry for years to come -- and that's enough for me.