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Chapter Thirty-two: Moving to Montana

There were five named tropical storms in September after Eva and I made the trip to North Carolina in August.  Tropical storm Keith, the last storm of the 1988 hurricane season, moved up through the Gulf of Mexico before crossing central Florida right over our heads.

Keith brought more than wind and rain: the storm was the harbinger that signaled the beginning of my work as an exorcist.  Again it was my daughter who opened the door.

Tropical storm Keith churned its way to our back door on November 19th.  Keith was a minor storm in a sense, but gusting winds at 50 to 60 miles per hour, and threatening to intensify into a hurricane before it made landfall.  Most people weren’t taking chances.

We had neighbors by now, though the term “neighbors” is relative when everyone lives on lots four to eight acres in size.  Next to us there lived a young couple with a six-year-old son and a new baby, and they weren’t too sure the mobile home they lived in while building their house would be safe in such winds.  Larry told them they ought to come and wait out the storm with us, which is a fairly common practice in Florida during such weather.  The sturdiest house becomes the “safe” house, and generally serves as hurricane shelter for small groups of friends and neighbors.  By this time our house had tripled in size and was very sound, even if it could have used some expert finish work.  We had installed tempered plate glass windows all around.  I was actually looking forward to sitting out the storm with a good view!

My neighbor’s husband and Larry were soon engrossed in a fishing and hunting discussion, occasionally taking a break to put on their slickers and go outside to check on the neighbor’s goats.  After several hours of playing together with the wind howling outside, the children were definitely getting cranky.  Suddenly, my older daughter came running out to tell us that the neighbor’s little boy had said something really naughty.  His mother was mortified and demanded that he come to her immediately and sit beside her where he could be watched.  We were all in a stressful situation and I didn’t think that too much ought to be made of it, so I suggested that maybe my children ought to all go to their beds and the little boy could sleep on my bed for the duration.  Gratefully, she agreed, and we got them all situated.

After the children were all snug in bed, my young neighbor began to open up and confide that this was only one of many incidents that had been a source of concern for some time.  She said that there was a significant problem with their little boy: he seemed not to be  “himself”.  She described all sorts of behavior clearly not normal for a six-year-old.  As I probed for details, her descriptions became chilling indications that there was definitely something amiss here.  The boy had developed an obsessive and very “adult” interest in sexuality that should have been absolutely beyond his possible knowledge base.  What was more, when she questioned him about it, she remarked that he alternated between being a normal, sweet, six-year-old, and an old, jaded pervert.

Her words were: “He looks at me with eyes that are not his!”

I thought back to my own experiences with such eyes and wondered: just what kinds of possibilities were we looking at here?

My neighbor knew that I was doing hypnotherapy.  She begged me to see if I couldn’t find out what was troubling her son.  He was a bit young, in my opinion, for any such therapy, but she was so desperate I agreed to give it a try at some point in the future.  But it seems that fate had other plans.

We had been so engrossed in our conversation that we didn’t even notice that the boy had been standing in the shadows at the door to my bedroom.  Now he stepped forward.

“I brought the storm,” he said, “and I hope that you all die!”

A frisson of fear ran up my backbone.  The eyes looking at me out of that child’s face were not his eyes.  They were ancient and cunning and evil.  I thought I was seeing things, imagining things, overwrought with the storm and the endless wind and rain.  Maybe the child was just overtired or upset, his schedule upset.  A hundred thoughts raced through my mind in an instant.

I had seen the same eyes looking out at me from the ravaged face of the demoniac woman in church.  There was a deep silence between us as I stared into those eyes, hard and cold abysses of cruelty.

Finally I decided to take it as a game.  He said he brought the storm, so I asked him: “Who are you?”

I don’t know what I expected a six-year-old child to say.  It seemed safe enough to ask, without going over the line into some paranoid freak-out, where a lunatic woman assumes that a child is possessed by the devil and starts ranting and raving.

Silence.

“Who are you,” I asked again, a bit more demanding.  “Tell me your name.”

“We are many.”

“This is not sounding good,” I thought to myself.  The skin on my arms was prickling and the hair on my neck was practically standing on end.  “I am really not competent to do this sort of thing,” I thought.  “What do I do next?”  It seemed reasonable to continue the pretense that it was a sort of game of “make believe”.  So I asked, “Well, if you are many, where is Kevin?” (Not his real name.)

Whatever I expected him to say, it wasn’t what I heard next.

“I am the one who stalks you,” he hissed.  “I have come to destroy you.  No matter what I have to do, no matter how long it takes, I will do it!”

The feeling of cold hate that literally emanated from that child took my breath away.  What was even more frightening was that the voice that came from the little child, whose normal voice was really kind of a high-pitched normal child voice, produced the odd effect of both deeper tones as well as multiple, layered voices.  It was subtle enough that I wasn’t sure yet if this was merely an effect of perception.

But something else happened.  As I looked into the innocent face of that child, I knew that this “thing” looking at me and hissing evil words at me was NOT the child himself.  His mother, clutching my arm in terror, wanted her son back.

“What have you done with my son?” she asked in a panicked voice.

“Oh, he’s here.  He’s just sleeping a bit.  It’s so easy to put this one to sleep.”

And the word “sleep” was pronounced like a protracted hissss…

I heard, as if from a great distance, the low voices of Larry and our neighbors talking in the next room and the children still talking back and forth in their beds.  The wind was blowing the hardest it had all day, and the hour was late and we were all tired.  It seemed as if the fury of nature was peaking over our heads in the raging wind.

I knew that, of all things on this earth, protecting my children, and the children of others, was at the top of the list.  I would do anything for them, even give up my own life.  If there was such a thing as a “real” demon, if he was really after me, then let him take me on.  Just leave the children alone.

Something inside me cried out for help.  With the resounding crash of a falling tree outside, I felt a surge of force enter the top of my head, a baptism of fire, and I knew what to do.

I took both the child’s hands in mine, overcoming his resistance and struggle.  Looking into those eyes, transformed into pools of blackness that drew all they looked upon into a swirling nothingness, I ordered this “thing” to release that child, to return to whatever bottomless pit of Hell it had issued from.

“Leave this child NOW!    Before I really get angry!”

I have no idea what “force” was in me at that moment.  I did not know how I called it forth.  But as the child twisted in an agonized attempt to tear his hands away from mine, and to withdraw his eyes from my glare, I held my gaze and held my ground.  I wasn’t letting go.  What’s more, I wasn’t afraid.

“Go!”  I commanded again.  “Go!”

I felt a supreme struggle of wills and the weakening of the “other”.  Rage and fury was directed at me as the invader began to lose its grip.  Whatever it was, it went.  The little boy went limp, and I grabbed him and pulled him into my arms.  And just as if he were waking from sleep, he opened his sweet eyes and looked up and inquired curiously, “How did I get here?”

I was flabbergasted.

Was it possible for a six-year-old child to put on a performance like that to excuse naughty behavior?  Had he engaged in a drama with me to act out some psychological pas de deux whose dynamics I’d never read about in all the literature?

I didn’t know.  But what did this mean?  “He’s just sleeping a bit.  It’s so easy to put this one to sleep…”  With all the so-called “spiritual training” this child was receiving in a Christian home, why wasn’t it working?  Where was the “opening?”  What was the weakness?  How did children so young become so vulnerable?  I knew that Kevin’s parents were very much like us.  They were trying very hard to raise their child in a Christian environment.

My mind was drawn back to certain events of the past year.  I did have a clue to what makes children vulnerable, however small it might be.  Not long after the hypnosis session with my daughter, when she revealed the past life source of antagonism toward her sister, I decided to encourage her to “get away” for a little vacation all her own.  I talked to Eva, and she proposed to take my daughter for a couple weeks for a visit.

Eva came to pick my daughter up.  The child was so excited to be going somewhere on her own.  And I was happy to think she’d have a good time.  Eva seemed the right one to handle whatever might come up with discretion.  I hoped the two of them could form a bond that would bring mutual happiness.

But the visit turned out to be a disaster.  Within less than a week, our neighbor, whose phone we often used, came over and delivered a message from Eva to call her immediately.  Of course I did.  Eva’s voice was a bit tense.  I was puzzled to hear that “something had come up” and they were not going to be able to keep my daughter for the full two weeks after all.  Eva would bring her home the next day.  She assured me that everything was fine, they had a great time, but I felt strongly there was something wrong, and Eva wasn’t telling me.

Next, I spoke to my daughter.  She went on and on about what a wonderful and luxurious house Eva had, how she had her own bedroom and bathroom, how they had gone to so many places and done so many things.  She just was having the time of her life.  When I told her that Eva would be bringing her home soon, she burst into tears and said “No!  I don’t want to come home!”

I was hurt.  But I couldn’t blame her.  Compared to life at Eva’s, what did she have to come home to? Well, except for her family…

The only clue I ever got from Eva was that my daughter was “a bit bossy” and a “very assertive young lady”.

Now, mulling it over in comparison to this present situation, I realized there must have been a distinct conflict with very subtle roots.  My daughter had never in her life experienced an environment at the level of luxury that Eva accepted as normal.  Eva had a beautiful home, well beyond the ordinary.  Her husband made a lot of money.  They owned race horses and their own private plane.  They ate at fine restaurants as casually as other people go to the refrigerator for a glass of milk.  We didn’t even have a refrigerator!

My poor child was thrust into an overwhelming environment, with all the luxuries Larry constantly described as “The Lures of Satan”.  Larry ruled the emotional atmosphere in our home and established an airtight reality.  Against his pronouncements, in stentorian tones, about God, the Bible, sweat of the brow, the sinfulness of having anything that wasn’t slaved for, – and even then, it ought to be as little as possible – the daily contributions of my own attempts to balance his views faded into obscurity.

Larry’s pressure on us to conform to his beliefs was so relentless that this sensitive, careful and caring child worked tirelessly to seek his approval.  The anxiety she expressed toward her sister may have been simply a mode of expressing this constant mental assault.  She resisted, fought, even cried, but then she felt even more confused.

It is now excruciatingly evident that my daughter, at the age of nine, and six year old Kevin, had come to believe that they did not have the right to exist.  The natural, loving and giving self of the child had been twisted all out of its natural conformation.

A child who is continually warned about a dire end if they “eat of the forbidden fruit” of luxury and comfort has been impregnated with the rejected and “sinful” desires of the parent.  Larry’s constant rejection of a “normal” lifestyle, his rants against the “life of sinners,” his assertion that no Godly person desired a comfortable life, money, or even happiness, had been impressed upon my daughter as truth from her earliest memories.  She worshipped and adored Larry.  So he must be right.  And the same was true of little Kevin.  Only Kevin was, apparently, more vulnerable to psychic invasion.

If our girls expressed interest in material things, Larry told them they were their “mother’s children,” subject to Hell-fire and damnation.  Any girl or woman who was “delicious” would “end up in the gutter”.  Being beautiful and sexy and enjoying life meant unholiness.  And so, my daughter felt rejected.  She was thrust out of Eden.  The illusion of her internal worthlessness had frozen into place.  And just like her grandmother and just like Larry, my daughter built a second self to protect this wounded little girl inside: she became self-centered with the compulsive need to be right.

After this visit to Eva’s, she didn’t want to go shopping with us.  She was “embarrassed” to be part of a family with so many children.  And when we went out, she told me,  “people looked at us strangely,” as if they knew a secret:  we were poor and of no account.

She had been proud of her ability to go shopping for me while I was bedridden.  At the age of six, she had been able to write a list, go to the market, and shop for the best buys like an adult.  Now, she no longer felt proud of her own abilities and felt shamed by our real circumstances.

Like Larry, who moved into his illusion of “Wilderness Man,” my daughter had “gone to sleep” in her own narcissist’s dream of a world where she was perfect.  Her anger and resentment against her family for being unable to match her dream began to grow.  Her capacity for lying to herself to sustain her illusions grew with each passing day.  And clearly this was what was meant by “it’s so easy to put this one to sleep…”

My daughter, like Kevin, was only a child, in no way responsible for the environment into which she was born.  Meanwhile, Larry and I, Kevin’s parents, and even Eva, dreamed on, each one wrapped in the illusion that we were all “doing our best”.  And in the end, we find this essence of “mundane evil” to be, at its core, the very track that we can follow to fuller knowledge and awareness of what is truly behind the system of our reality that promotes and perpetuates this darkness.  As Gurdjieff said: “People are machines.  Machines have to be blind and unconscious, they cannot be otherwise, and all their actions have to correspond to their nature.  Everything happens.  …And what conscious effort can there be in machines?  …It is precisely in unconscious involuntary manifestations that all evil lies.”  

And so it began.  I was launched on a path of study that Eva predicted would bring the fires of Hell down on my head.  “Don’t you know that what you think about becomes your reality?”

Well, it was certainly already a part of my reality.  And I needed to learn as quickly as possible how to close the doorway that permitted its entry.

My reaction to facing such evil on the night of the storm was an intense need for comfort and safety and with Larry, there was only one way to get that.  It seems that I conceived my fifth child that night.

A couple of weeks later I experienced the worst pre-menstrual cramping of my life.  I knew it was now time to schedule the hysterectomy the doctor had said I would need.  It had been nearly a year since the D&C, and I had bought that much time, but I was no longer willing to suffer two weeks of complete incapacitation every month.  So, in December of 1988, I waited for the results of the lab tests done as pre-op work for the surgery.

The results were stunning.  I was pregnant.

“This will kill me,” I told the doctor.

“Yes, it is not an ideal situation.  The risks are very high, and you will have to be closely monitored.”

I started to cry.  I couldn’t have another baby.  I was too old; I was too sick, and most of all I was too tired.

“Can’t we just forget about the pregnancy test and schedule the surgery?”  I pleaded.

He looked at me with sympathy and said kindly, “No, I can’t do that.  But I can send you to another doctor who can take care of you safely.  You can come back and we’ll schedule the surgery.”  He wrote a name and number on his prescription pad, handed it to me, and passed the box of tissues.

I blew my nose, sniffled my way out, and went home.  It was just before Christmas.

I was given an appointment date of January 3rd, 1989 for an abortion.

I was miserable all through Christmas.  My condition was so bad that even Larry agreed that I couldn’t have another baby.  We both knew it would kill me.

It was a very depressing Christmas even though we tried to make it as cheerful as possible for the children.  The January 3rd date loomed in my mind as more like an execution than anything else, and I wept for this poor child who simply could not be born.

On the day of the appointment, we took the children over and left them with my mother at the Farm.  Larry drove me to the doctor.

With me on the table in the famous stirrup position women know so well, the doctor began his work, poking and prodding.  The sweat began to bead on his forehead.  Nothing was going on but more poking and more prodding.  Finally he dropped his instruments on the tray, pulled his gloves off with a snap and dropped them, made some unintelligible remark to the nurse and walked out of the room.

The nurse patted me and said she would be right back.  She rushed after the doctor, and in a few minutes returned and told me that I could get up and go home.  There wasn’t going to be an abortion.

“What?”  I was desperate.

“The doctor is unable to anchor the cervix.  It keeps moving.  The procedure will have to be done in the hospital under general anesthesia.  You can make an appointment with the receptionist.”  She patted me comfortingly on my shoulder as I finished dressing and I left the room.

That was enough for me.  As far as I was concerned, that was as close to a “sign from God” as I needed.  Whatever it took, if it killed me, this baby would be born.

***

I had made a momentous decision based on coincidence.  Finally, I knew I needed rest, and decided to read myself to sleep.  I went to the bookcase to select something that wasn’t too demanding, and found an old edition of  “Edgar Cayce on Reincarnation”.  Settling in bed, I began to read the introduction by Hugh Lynn Cayce, the same standardized intro that appeared in most of the Cayce books I’d read.

Then I came to the phrase:  “When Edgar Cayce died on January 3rd, 1945..”.

I realized with a start that I was reading this exactly 44 years to the day after the event.  According to numerology, which I had researched while writing Noah, that equaled an 8.  Number 8 signified “reincarnation”.  It was the beginning of a new cycle of the octave of creation.  After 7, which was completion, the 8 was the equivalent of the number 1 of the next higher sequence.

Cayce himself had predicted that he would be born again in 1989 as a “liberator” for humanity, though I didn’t remember the precise terms.  Naturally, my heart began to beat a little faster.  I wondered if it was possible that this child was special in some way?

Was this how the Universe conveyed that information to me?

Well, all mothers have such fantasies or similar ones, so I didn’t take it too seriously.  Whoever or whatever child came to me would be special.

As it turned out, that was the easiest pregnancy I ever had.  If anybody was being “reborn” by it, it was me.  For the third time, though, I had a ten-month baby.  She also had her own plans about what day she was going to be born.  When the first contraction came late in the afternoon on August 17th, we made it to the hospital in record time.  After six hours of labor, it was obviously time to deliver.  The doctor did a final exam before I was taken to the delivery room.  A troubled look came over his face and, after removing his gloves, he came around the bed, put one arm around me, took my hand in his, and said gently:  “You’re going to have to hold it for awhile until we can get an anesthesiologist in here.  We have to do a caesarean.  The baby is presenting sideways.  She cannot be delivered this way.”

To say I was a bit distraught to have to “hold it” when my body was convulsing and screaming to “do it now!” is an understatement.  But, somehow I managed.  I watched the clock as the minutes ticked by like hours of agony, and finally they came to take me to surgery.  It was just after midnight.  My fifth child and fourth daughter was born at 17 minutes after midnight on 8/18/89.  You will notice that, numerologically, that is an 8.  Funny place, this Universe we live in.

***

Backing up a bit here: Larry’s father had become ill and couldn’t live alone anymore.  (Larry’s mother had divorced him long ago, and Larry had been raised by his stepfather.)  He wasn’t happy staying with his daughters, Larry’s half-sisters, and he just showed up at our door one day practically on the verge of collapse.  He had paid a neighbor to drive him all the way to our house, about a hundred and fifty miles, and the neighbor told us that he found him wandering senseless outside.  The family needed to do something!

Well, I took one look at him and put him in the hospital.  His belly was bloated with what I supposed was a liver disorder.  It turned out that I was right.  He had hepatitis.  Because I was pregnant, I was forbidden by his doctor as well as my own from being in a room with him without gloves and a mask.  That meant, of course, that I couldn’t take care of him as Larry wanted.

We put him in a nursing home, but after my first visit to him there, I told Larry that I simply could not reconcile myself to doing that to anyone.  They tied him in his bed and he was lying in his own excrement.

At almost the same time, the man who Mother had hired to run her boat drove it across a big rock pile out in the Gulf.  It sank.  Even after it was salvaged, with the huge hole in the hull it was declared a total loss.  She didn’t have insurance.

Well, Mother was in a fix with that big mortgage to pay and no income other than her Social Security, so it seemed the obvious solution that she could take care of Larry’s father, and we would pay her out of his income.

Meanwhile, we had to take care of his father’s property, and it seemed like the best thing to do to sell it since it was too far away to manage at that distance.

Just a few days after the new baby was born, Larry’s father suffered a stroke and died a few hours later in the hospital.  I felt bad that I had not been able to visit with him, even though I hardly knew him, but I also knew that we had done the best thing for all concerned.  He had lived his last months in peace and tranquility, Mother had survived a period of near disaster, and we had experienced an improvement in our own situation with the income from the sale of his property.

Things were not so positive for Mother at this point, however.  When she finally let it be known that she was going to lose the place very soon, I extracted all the details from her.  I was shocked at the amount of money she had borrowed.  Even if we sold it, after the note was paid off, there wouldn’t be much left.  I looked around me at the decay and decline of the property I had loved so much and had put so much work into maintaining on my own, and despair flooded me.  What, in the name of God, had she done with all that money?  There was nothing – nothing!  – to show for it.  I knew what had to be done.

I turned to face her and said:  “You sign the deed over to me and I’ll bail you out of this one.  But don’t you ever question what I am doing, and don’t stand in my way.”

She didn’t have much choice.

Neither did I.  The Farm was on land now officially protected as wetlands.  No one could subdivide or build on it.  As a potential investment for real estate, it was virtually worthless now.  But I got a referral to an attorney who specialized in real estate law.  She found an investor just panting to part with his money and willing to take on state regulators and federal environment agencies.  Fine, where do I sign?

It broke my heart.

We needed to find Mother a house to live in that she could afford to make payments on.  I most definitely did not want her living with us.  There was enough money to cover half the cost of a nice little house, but the remainder would have to be financed and we couldn’t help her make payments more than just occasionally.

So I set about the search for a house by doing library research on buying and selling real estate.  I didn’t want any financial surprises.  Mother didn’t qualify for a real estate loan, so that limited my selection to sellers willing to hold a note.  Every day I went through the ads in the two local papers and made a list of potential properties.  Then I called and asked the “right” questions according to the books.  I discovered that it was actually a lot of fun to walk through empty houses and imagine them with all kinds of different decorating schemes.  I realized that if I had a lot of money, I would probably just buy houses to decorate them and then re-sell them.

House after house, and nothing was quite “right”.  I had learned a lot about the various neighborhoods, the utilities that served them.  One day I found a new ad with the right price, the right terms, and even the right neighborhood.  I made an appointment to meet the owner and look at it.  It was even the “right” color!

I explained my terms to the owner.  He said: “You must have been reading a book about buying real estate!”  I laughed and admitted I had.  He was a young guy from South America.  I strongly suspected he was laundering drug money from the amount of gold he had all over him as well as his flashy car.  But, that wasn’t an issue for me.  I was looking to buy the right house for the right terms.

He agreed to my terms and we made an appointment with the real estate attorney to draw up the papers.  I guess it’s a good thing she was booked into the next week, considering what happened next.

Having found the right house, I discovered that looking at houses had become sort of an addiction.  There I was, the first morning after striking the deal, with no ads to read, no lists to make, no houses to look at.  Well, heck, why not look just to see if there’s a good one that got away!

Actually, there was an interesting ad, though it certainly wasn’t for a house that would suit my mother.  In fact, it was for a house that would suit us and our five children.  It was a five bedroom, two story house.  “Handyman Special: Come expecting the worst and be pleasantly surprised”.  Gee, who could resist an ad like that?

But I wasn’t shopping for another house.  I put the paper away.  An hour or so later, a small voice inside my head whispered: what would be the harm in just looking?  Just a peek to see what they meant by that curious ad?  After all, walking around in empty houses was a lot of fun!

Okay, I gave in.  I opened the paper back up, found the ad, and called the realtor.  I told him I really didn’t want to waste his time to show it to me since I wasn’t buying, but I did want to just drive by and look at it.  He gave me the address.

It was on Montana Avenue.

Laura Knight Jadczyk family album

The house on Montana Avenue.

I drove by the house and thought, gee!    That’s a pretty big house!    It looks really good, too.  What do they mean, a “handyman special?”  I admit my curiosity got the better of me.  I drove into a convenience store to call the realtor to see if it was at all possible to have a look inside.  As it happened, he was free and agreed to meet me there in ten minutes.

When I walked inside, I knew why it was a “handyman special”.  It would take two weeks to clear all the junk out and get it clean.  The downstairs was “finished,” but apparently, no one had ever finished the upstairs.  There were partitions for bedrooms, and someone had dropped the ceilings to an unpleasant height, but basically, it was as livable as the house we were living in and in some ways better.  What’s more, it was twice, or even three times as big.

Okay, I had my fun.  I went home.  All night long I kept waking up and thinking about that house.  It was so big and so charming and had such possibilities that I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  But, of course, it would be impossible to buy it because I had already committed my money for mother’s house.

Then I thought about selling the house we had built.  This led to the idea that if we did sell the current property and bought this bigger house, it would be very easy to make some inexpensive improvements and resell it for a much larger profit than we hoped to make from our present house.  That would mean we could move to Montana much sooner than we had planned.

The next day, I decided I really had to go and look at it again just to make sure that all the possibilities I had thought of the night before were really there and I wasn’t just fooling myself.  Maybe I hadn’t looked hard enough for the flaws.  Besides, what would it hurt?  If there was a real possibility of buying it as an investment, then not going to look at it would be walking away from money we could put to good purpose for our “Ark in Montana”.

I went.  There were two couples already there looking at it and discussing possible improvements and renovations.  It was better than I remembered it, and I examined it even more closely.  As I was wandering through, several other couples arrived to look and suddenly I was in a panic that someone would buy it and all our chances of getting to Montana would go down the drain.  Without even thinking about it more than the length of time it took to realize what I needed to do, I made the decision and left to drive straight to the realtor’s office.

“I want that house,” I told him.  “I have no idea if I can get the money to buy it, but I at least want a chance to try.”

For some reason, I guess he wanted me to have the house too.  Even though he was the seller’s agent, he sat down and wrote up an offer for the most ridiculously low price you could even imagine.  It was just about half of what was being asked for the house which was already a bargain.  I signed it, wrote a check for the “earnest money,” and went home.  I knew I had a problem: explaining to Larry that I had made an offer for a house without consulting him first.  Never mind that it was one of those decisions that couldn’t wait.  I knew he would be furious.

I decided that maybe I ought to break it to him gently.  If I could get him to go with me to look at the house, I was sure he would see a good investment and a big improvement over where we were living.  It even had a washer and dryer and dishwasher.  I knew the kids were sick of doing laundry and endless dishes, and so was I.

Reluctantly, Larry agreed to go look at the house.  I called the realtor the next morning to make another appointment.  Larry and I met him there.  We went inside, and I was anxiously watching Larry’s face to see how he reacted to the house.  I could see that he was impressed with the big fireplace in the living room.  The realtor was yakking away as we walked through the room, and he headed straight for the stairs and started up.  I followed and Larry came behind me.  The guy yakked on until he reached the top of the stairs, at which point he stopped, turned around and said: “Oh, by the way, the owner accepted your offer.”  I could feel Larry’s eyes burning a hole in my back as he asked: “What offer?”

“Oh, well…” I laughed.  “I sort of made an offer on the house.  I just knew you’d love it and it’s too good an investment to pass up and it won’t take much to get it into shape to sell, and I knew if I didn’t make an offer right away, it would be gone in nothing flat…  so I just – made an offer…”

It wasn’t working.  He was furious.

When we got home, we had the biggest fight of our marriage.  Only this time, I didn’t take the blame, I didn’t back down, and I ended up saying: “If you don’t want to help me, fine.  I’m buying that house with you or without you.  The kids and I will live there with you or without you.”  And I meant it.  Larry knew I meant it, too.

Now I was faced with figuring out how I was going to pay for it.  I went to the bank – several, in fact – but none of them would lend on a house built in 1925.  It was just too old.  Never mind that it was built out of heart pine and was a better house than all the little tract houses that had been built since the real estate boom in the 50’s and 60’s.  The bank said “no”.

I was practically in despair.  I had been so certain that this was the way to get to Montana, and now it was just going to slip out of my hands.  Suddenly I thought of the guy who was selling me the house for my mother.  He had given me his card and it had said: real estate investments.  Okay, maybe it means he lends money?

He did, and he actually seemed to want to help me sort out my situation.  He pointed out that buying a house for my mother did not really make sense.  She could just as happily, and even more conveniently, live in an apartment in one of the many communities set up for elderly people.  She didn’t need the headache of maintaining a home, and we didn’t need to be hassled with taking care of it for her.  His idea was that he could simply rescind the agreement we had made on the small house for my mother, I would put the money I had on the big house, and he would lend me the balance.

Everything he said made sense.  I was surprised that he was willing to give up a sale, but, in the end, it was six of one, half dozen of the other to him.  There was always somebody tomorrow who would buy the other house.  The end result: with the large down payment we were able to make on the house, we actually ended up paying for more than half of it up front.  And we were getting it so cheap, due to the amazing fact that the seller had accepted my ridiculously low offer, again, suggested by the realtor because of some internal “nudging,” it would seem.

There was absolutely no doubt in my mind that there were “forces” at work that wanted me to have this house.

But I still had a problem to work out: how to sell our unfinished house.  Not an easy task, to say the least.  In fact, just to assure myself that I was truly following the guidance of the Universe, I made a deal with myself that I would put both of the houses we now owned on the market.  If I sold the one we just bought at my asking price, I would still make money.  If we sold the one we were living in, then we could pay off the note on the new one.  This way, the Universe could make a clear declaration of intent.

Believe it or not, we sold the house and acreage on the first day my ad came out.  The Universe had answered the question.

Because I was so focused on moving to Montana, I didn’t even realize that I had already done it.

There was the street sign right out front: Montana!

Whoever is in charge of this world sure does have a sense of humor!

Continue to Chapter 33: Synchronicity City

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