After 10 years of marriage, I finally don’t feel so guilty.  I mean with acquiring things.  I don’t collect anything, really, but I’ve always felt like I shouldn’t spend money on things I don’t need or use.  These past few months, I’ve had a little paradigm shift.  For the first time since I left my house, I acquired my own sewing machine.  I can’t believe I’ve lived for so long without one, all the hemming and mending done by hand.  I spent a whole $30 on it at the thrift store.  It’s probably a fair amount to pay for how much I’ll use it.  Now I can justify moving around those boxes of fabric, which had made their third trans-atlantic trip without any hope of becoming something until now. 

And after 10+ years, I recently convinced Andy to buy me a piano.  With all these music callings that I’ve had since we’ve been married, I am also surprised I survived without any type of piano or keyboard at home.  It just goes to show that the Lord does bless you with the things you need when you are serving in a calling for him. 

Usually I am disciplined enough to hold out for the good things, rather than just take a sub-par item immediately (except sewing machines).  Maybe that’s why it’s taken so long, or maybe I just got fed up, or greedy or covetous, or something.  Anyway, I had to convince myself, which didn’t take long, but then I had to convince the financier that my idea was worth the investment.  Of course, a piano will get good use, and will bring enjoyment and even peace (think “take-aggression-out-through-music-instead-of-on-boys”) for years to come.  It also really is the gift of all gifts, and Andy has really cashed in on that:  10yr anniversary gift, Christmas gift, birthday gift, and now Valentine’s gift (it’s to be delivered on 11 Feb).  We are yet to tell how many more future gifts this replaces, but I don’t mind.  I’m holding out for the Lamborghini in another decade or so.

Anyway, the real miracle of the story is not that Andy agreed to buy me a piano, it’s about luftbefeuchters, or humidifiers.  After visiting piano shops, we found out that humidity is important in protecting our investment. I bought a hydrometer….and found that the humidity in our living room was 20%.  That’s dry, even by Colorado standards, and especially for Germany, where we usually try to eliminate moisture. Our main problem was our floor heating. It was cooking!  You could probably feel the heat through your shoes. The previous tenants told us they were never able to control the floor heat.  For 7 years!  Imagine 7 years of hot floors, especially in the summer.  Imagine the heating oil burned up!  $$$$!!

The landlord showed us a knob in the basement that he thought controlled the floor heat. It turns out, it only turned off the heat in the master bathroom.  I tried to explain this to him, but since I don’t know any of the word for heat, floor, knob, or “it didn’t work,” I’m not sure if I got any of my message across.  He just stood there patting his head and mumbling in German.  One night we sneaked into the basement and tried looking for any knobs that might possibly control the living room floor.  No luck. We don’t have access to all the rooms in the basement (there is a ‘mother-in-law’ apartment there that we aren’t privy to)  and one door was locked without a key in sight.  It happens to be exactly beneath the living room.  Maybe there is a knob in there, but I’m not volunteering to tell the landlord that I want to go into the secret, locked room so I can look.  As a last resort to control the floor, I turned the two knobs the landlord specifically told us not to turn when we moved in, and voila, floor is sizzling no more!  This story is getting long…

Back to humidifying.   After the heat problem was solved, I needed to increase the humidity. I went all over town looking for a humidifier.  If the store had one, it was about $100 or more. If they didn’t have one, they could order it, for about $100.  Eventually, after praying, I found the last one for sale at a discount store, Aldi, the best, but still for about $50.  And it was small, meant for a bedroom or similar size, not a large living room with attached dining room.  It was a miracle I found that one, but it was not enough.  A few days later I went out on my quest again, praying for another miracle…and sure enough, my prayers were answered.  As I was exiting the thrift shop on post, I noticed a humidifier sitting in a pile by the door. I asked the manager about it, and she said that all the things in that pile were to throw away, because for one reason or another, they had been returned and probably did not work. She gave it to me for FREE!  After a lot of cleaning, it works perfectly, better than the one I spent $50 on.  Who says our prayers aren’t answered??

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