About a year ago we bought a new bed. This was occasioned by the fact that our previous bed had become rather too much like a bowl for us to continue to get a good night's sleep in it.
We gave the previous bed to Shannon. It was a very expensive bed, but it had not held up well. We do not know why this was. Shannon sleeps well in it. It always had been more comfortable for one person than for two.
Our new bed, the bed we bought last year, was not expensive. I don't remember exactly how much it cost, but it was well under $1000. (The other bed had been more than $1000, seven years earlier--one has a moral obligation to sleep on a bed for at least seven years, no matter how bad it is, you know). Our new bed is a foam bed, not a spring mattress. It is very comfortable. I loved it as soon as we got it.
There is a drawback, though. We didn't notice it for a long time because, you see, we bought the bed in the fall. It was fantastic in the fall, wonderful in the winter and spectacular in the spring... that is until spring started to turn to summer. In the summer, our foam bed became exceedingly hot. It reflected all our body heat back at us and did not absorb one cubic centimeter of sweat. We found ourselves awakening bathed in perspiration, tangled in soggy sheets, morning after morning. I almost (almost) started not minding so much when Shawn went out of town, because the bed was so much cooler without him.
Towards the end of summer, Shawn communicated to me that he was quite unhappy with the bed, and weary of waking up wet.
Since we are committed to sleep in the bed for at least 6 and 1/4 more years, I put my energies into finding a solution.
Did you know that you can buy a refrigerated mattress pad with cooling coils in it? They cost about $750, roughly as much as the bed cost in the first place, I think. So that solution was a no go.
There are also mattress covers (mattress pads) called "isocool" mattress pads. They run about $125. I thought one might be worth a try. But I kept looking for options, before I placed an order.
I ended up ordering a feather bed from Overstock.com. It was $75. This was a good price point for a beginning solution, I thought. The literature suggested that feather beds allow for air circulation around your body, keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The featherbed arrived quickly. I was surprised at how thick and pouffy it was. I washed the cover that came with it, and put it on the feather bed. Then I swathed the thing in one of my favorite L.L.Bean fitted cotton sheets and placed it on top of our mattress.
It is like sleeping on a cloud. We love it. Of course, it is October, so it may not be a fair test of coolness, but this is THE most comfortable thing I can imagine. I no longer understand why anybody would buy a pillow top mattress, ever, when you could buy a $75 feather bed instead, and shake it and fluff it every morning, and replace it if it wears out, not having to buy a whole new mattress.
This featherbed makes for the best sleeping, and on top of that, it is just pure fun. It's fun to shake it in the morning and see it billow up like a parachute. It's especially fun if you shake it with somebody else, as hard as you both can shake, laughing across the bed at each other like a couple of three year olds. It is fun to think about the princess and the pea. It is fun to make the bed and see it all puffy and high under the quilt, like something on display in an antique home.
So, that was a good purchase.
Another purchase is now truly in the works. We are purchasing the twenty acres of land I wrote about earlier. I hope this will also be a good purchase. I remember about fourteen years ago, we needed a new house and we needed a new car, and nothing was coming together... so we bought a leather recliner. To be completely honest and fair, I have always loved this recliner. I feel affectionate towards it in that it somehow helped in taking the edge off the fear I felt over making a major purchase. A year later, we bought the home we live in now.
This has been a good home for us. I have been serenely happy here for many years. It is a nice neighborhood, and the people are good people to live around. I even have some Christian neighbors! Our house is exactly the floor plan that I wanted at the time, and it has worked very well. The only two things I have wished for are... (#1) a closet where I could store my vacuum, and (#2) a little more bedroom space for the boys. Otherwise, this house has been just about as perfect as it could get (well, since we redesigned the kitchen it has been).
So you can see that it would be terrifying beyond belief for me to think about moving out to the country, far from Wegman's and WalMart and the mall, far from school and gas stations and banks. Right now, we live within 5-10 minutes of everything, including church, except Shannon's college (~ 25 minutes) and Shawn's office (~20 minutes). And we live in a quiet suburban enclave with nicely landscaped homes and--amazingly--largely two-parent, intact families.
For awhile, it didn't look like we were going to get the land. I was at peace with that. I figured, as God wills, it will happen. I could be patient. Maybe God had a different plan.
As events have unfolded, it is clear that God is in control, directing our paths. I need to continue to have patient faith, to wait in anticipation to see what God will do. Although I am frightened, I know that God is for me, and He has a plan. My prayer is that we can build a home with a sort of in-law apartment for my parents, and that they will be able to move in with us and live with us in their last years. If that were how God would "give back the years the locusts have eaten"... all the years that I have longed to be near them and have my children know them and love them... that would be so much more than a dream come true.
I don't know if that will happen. I don't know what God's plans are. I need to trust and be strong and courageous.
The signed purchase agreement is currently on our lawyer's desk.
It's hard to be brave when you are such a small animal.
~Piglet, Winnie the Pooh