Continued from Mercies: part one. Written in April.
After a week of classes, Blaine had to take a day off that first Friday and get his permit. Texts were flying between our neighbor and I regarding her buying our house. Blaine was taking his written tests over the material he’d learned. He couldn’t continue the class without his permit – he had to have it to start driving in the semi. He passed every endorsement test except bus – he didn’t take that one. Something about not wanting to drive a bus. Can’t blame him there. He headed upstairs at the DMV with his test results and personal documentation.
They didn’t like his birth certificate. He’s only had the one all his life, but it’s super simple. It has his name, date of birth, place of birth, filing date, and a raised stamp certifying it as a birth certificate. Nothing else. Now, with all the “Real ID” whatnot that’s making the rounds, this birth certificate does not have enough information to suit them. It needs his parent’s names, bare minimum. His passport would have been acceptable, but it expired awhile back and international travel wasn’t exactly in our budget so we never bothered renewing it.
We talked to the admissions woman at the tech college. She suggested we go to the DMV in a nearby small town. They’d be more lenient. They were not, and furthermore, they called the state to clarify if it was acceptable. The state had them fax a copy. No go. Definitely not acceptable.
So… admissions woman said go to another DMV in our town. I went online to the New Jersey health department to see about getting a new birth certificate. It said it would take 8-12 weeks after approval. It takes months for approval. His class would be on hold. (He’d be allowed to join another once he had his permit… many months later.) Our house would potentially be sold sooner. We were at a loss. I ordered a new birth certificate, paid for expedited shipping, and we pulled into the third DMV. Both of us, at this point, felt this was pointless. But I didn’t want to have to tell the admissions lady we’d not gone there so… just spend the time, get the “no”, and be able to say we tried.
They. Took. It. After being told that we had to stand six feet apart inside the DMV – to which Blaine replied “We sleep in the same bed!” – Didn’t matter. So we stood in our separate little boxes on the floor, waited our turn, and both, without confiding in the other, picked which of the two agents there we hoped we’d get when it was our turn. He looked like he just wanted to go home. Don’t blame him. It was about 5pm on Friday at this point. Blaine had spent his entire day at the DMV or driving to the next one. We got the agent we both hoped for, he barely glanced at Blaine’s birth certificate, and handed him the permit he needed. Praise God! We walked out of there, holding our breath, and looked at each other in the van and said “That really just happened.”
I can’t help but think that the first two didn’t take it because he’ll need that new birth certificate down the road. Once we’d ordered it, the next DMV took the original. The new one still has not even been approved. He’ll need it in a week on April 13 when he goes for his actual CDL, unless the DMV again takes the original. I’m stalking the mail at this point, but 8-12 weeks hasn’t passed… more like 2 1/2. But at this point, miracles are evident and nothing would surprise me.
Meanwhile. I called the following Monday, March 22, to request an appraisal. Our buyer is buying as is. Fix nothing. Cash sale. We chose a title company, they gave me a list of appraisers they’ve worked with in the past, and I started calling them. Purchase price will depend on the appraisal. The first appraiser is at least a month out. The next is so backed up they aren’t even taking new appraisals right now. The third, I left a message for and they never called me back. The fourth, the first one on the list but I started at the bottom, (I think to make me realize exactly how complicated this could be.) scheduled an appraisal for April 5. Not so bad. We were going over the rest of the info and the office manager realized she’d messed up the schedule – and the 5th wouldn’t work. But how about March 23, tomorrow? Ummm… so much panic. Ok. Scheduled it. We had 18 hours to get the house in proper shape for someone to come through, decide value, and take photos of every room.
No pressure. We started panic cleaning. The horse trailer was called into use to hold whatever I deemed clutter. This little house is crowded. No getting around it. We spent all day and into the night cleaning and purging and Blaine sent Liberty for take out for supper. Said we all earned it. That was a super fun treat.
The appraisal went well. The appraiser was kind and thought the kids were fabulous. There’s a lot of people who see this craziness as less than optimal so… I was thankful for that. He got what he needed, called the girls’ room the party room (Two sets of bunk beds, one twin/twin and one twin/full has that room full!) and left saying he’d hurry the appraisal along. His scheduled due date to get it back to us was April 5.
We got the appraisal back on March 25, two days later. It came back disappointingly low. We knew an as is sale was not going to bring the best price, but we’d hoped for a bit more. Still. We walk away with a decent amount more than we paid for it eleven years ago. We went under contract the following weekend for just over appraisal price. We have the house through June rent free if we wish. Closing should happen next week.
Then, Blaine had to get a federal background check for his hazmat endorsement on his CDL. They needed his birth certificate for it. They took it no problem. We weren’t sure they would. He had a vision check at his physical. He’d been staring at his phone in the waiting room without his glasses and his eyes wouldn’t focus. They gave him a minute and he passed it fine.
We don’t have a final destination yet. That’s the biggest unknown. We have discussed taking the camper and taking a road trip. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Iowa have all been discussed, along with going up by my parents in South Dakota for a time. We don’t know anything yet, except the housing market in all of those places is a lot higher than here. That’s been disheartening. I really, really want at least two bathrooms and 2,000 square feet, on at least a handful of acres. It seemed a lot more possible before we started looking!
But. Between the class and the timing there, Blaine’s birth certificate and all that craziness, getting an offer on our house when it wasn’t on the market, the appraisal taking days instead of months, and so many details working out so smoothly when it doesn’t even seem feasible, we know that this next step is also in God’s hands. We’ve talked about doing this for years. I had said to Blaine a month or two earlier that maybe someone would just pull into the driveway and offer to buy our house. Then spending the time to fix things wouldn’t be necessary. Getting them done while still working was slow, slow going. And then, not quite that scenario but pretty close to it, really did happen.
That brings things up to now. Today, April 5, he started his day class week. This week should be easier on him. He doesn’t have to work and also go to class. He should be able to have supper with us tonight. Small mercies.
To be continued. Again.