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IMG_1390Our realtor was our guide to our newly adopted megacity of Houston, TX.  We had no idea where to live or what to look for in local construction.  A vague budget was in our minds.

She showed us a house with all of the basic room necessities and good curb appeal.  Some of our wants were also on the list.  Most importantly the price was within our target range.

Yet, a price range for a couple like us that was devastated in the housing market crash didn’t have much to put down for a new home.  I looked at the construction issues with the very used home and figured out that the next decade of our life would be saving up to make major repairs on this fixer-upper.

Houston is famous for its heat.  Good windows are a must to fight the blistering temperatures in the summer months.  Keeping our air conditioning system happy was important.

IMG_1396The windows would eventually have to be replaced.  We had that in mind when we made on offer for the house.  Now, it was time to sign a contract and replace the windows with new ones.

Old windows are being torn out.  New well-insulated and excellent guaranteed windows are going in.  The installers are doing a superb job.

Half the windows are now done.  I can see clearly now!  The old broken seals and fogged up windows are going away.

The new glass is clean, clear and firmly mounted with strong heat resistant materials and block out unbearable temperatures. When the fogged up windows of our home make it impossible to enjoy the views it is sad.  The whole house feels ugly.

FullSizeRender-1Now, the improvement has given us a lift.  Looking outside is fun again.  Watching clouds float by and the daylight turn into night is enjoyable.

When we open the windows to let the cool winter breezes flow inside, the windows slide easily.  We don’t have to grunt and tug to get old corroded windows to scrape painfully across worn out tracks.  Figure tip control of well-made locks and well-lubricated tracks bring a great enjoyment to our home like few other purchases could.

Cost? Yes, it must be one of the most expensive home repair options that an owner must face.  We counted the cost, prayed over the options and even took on additional income jobs just for this very reason.  Then, God gave us His favor in an unexpected way.  He is good, all of the time!

photo credit: brucefong photography

 

 

FullSizeRender-1My bike ride took me along the Buffalo Bayou.  The sun was beating down, rising higher in the easter sky and intensifying its heat.  There was reason to finish up the ride just to beat the Houston heat but something made me slow down and make an unscheduled stop.

From a distance I saw something that was not a normal part of the landscape.  My scanning the horizon and enjoying the views stopped short.  Like radar locking on to target I automatically started to slow down.

There on the grassy field was a lump standing higher than the freshly cut lawn.  It was the only protrusion making for an obvious oddity.  Over the hill was the water in the Bayou.

Now, I was close enough to identify the surprise.  It was a turtle.  I looked at him and he made me smile.

Its tiny head was protruding from beneath its very strong shell.  I don’t know how well a turtle’s eyesight is but it was definitely having some eye contact with me.  Maybe I was intimidating like most humans who tower over these amphibians.

Slowly but deliberately it drew in its legs.  Its head shrank back a little too.  Now its house of defense protected most of it if I was a real threat or danger.

Someone must have cut the grass recently.   Shavings were sprinkled over its back.  The design on its shell was now decorated with foliage and giving it a comical appearance.  I smiled even more.

I got closer.  My movements were slow.  I did not want to scare, just photograph it.

Now, its image is tucked away in my phone.  I left it alone never having touched or disturbed it.  From a distance on my bicycle I could just make out its slow and deliberate movements.

This turtle was heading some where.  It wasn’t in a hurry.  It couldn’t be even it wanted to.

Maybe as it crept along, it reminds all of us Houstonians to take our time in the hot humid summer days.  Moving at a turtles’ pace may have the merits of making life in the hot south much more manageable, don’t you think?  It was a least worth a long smile, right?

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

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