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Archive for April 15th, 2005

This one was inspired by recent posts at Julie’s place.

A few years ago, when we were househunting, we went from one bizarre prospect to the next, trying to get into the grotesquely overpriced excellent school district where we hoped to raise LG. We looked at about 40 houses before we found the one in which we now live. One of those houses had carpet so ugly, it nearly changed our eternal destinies.

We walked into this brick rancher, about 30 years old, and saw that it was decorated with all the latest colors and textiles. And by “latest,” I mean the most modern available. And by “available,” I mean available in the mid ’70s when the house was built. At one time, it had been “all that,” but all that had not been updated in any way. It was like stepping into “That ’70s Show,” but Ashton Kutcher* was nowhere in sight.

Who was very much in sight, however, was Buddha. This appeared to be the home of a devoutly Buddhist family. There were books on Buddhism, there were shrines, there were figurines and statues of every sort of Buddha, every shape and size. As we approached the family room, I could see that it was a step down from the kitchen. No, I don’t mean it was inferior to the kitchen. I mean, you had to walk down one step to get into the family room. But this was not so easy to see. The step and the floor below were covered in long shag carpet. This long shag carpet was black and brown and white spotted. Big spots. Can you picture it? If you close your eyes and picture that carpet, and if you’re really getting the picture, that carpet starts to move — to wave and undulate right before your eyes. That’s the kind of carpet it was. The kind of pattern it was. It moved.

I followed the realtor down into the rolling sea of carpet and took a few steps into the room. Just then I heard a “Phhhhuh. Thud.” sound behind me. I turned to see my husband on his knees beside a rocking chair, head bowed toward the two-foot tall Buddha he cradled gently in his arms. I just stared for a moment. We read the Holy Bible, various versions. We pray “in Jesus’ name.” We are both officers in the Presbyterian Church. We had never discussed this bowing and loving the Buddha thing. But there was Jif. On his knees.

“What are you doing?” I asked, in what I hoped was a religiously tolerant tone.

“I didn’t see that step,” he answered, flustered.

“And your friend, there?”

He looked at the statue in his arms as though seeing it for the first time. “It fell out of the rocker when I bumped into it. I caught it.”

“But you still love Jesus, right?” We both started to laugh so hard, from exhaustion, frustration, and the absurdity of the scene, that the realtor suggested we call it a day.

This family story has become known as “The House that was So Ugly, It Brought Jif to His Knees and Converted Him to Buddhism.”

I know that some blogfriends are moving right this minute, and some are househunting. If you’re doing that sort of thing today, may your new home be blessed. BLESSED.

*or “Asthma Catcher,” as blogger spell-check calls him 🙂

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LG took this pic of Biscuit. Pardon me while I brag about my kid for a moment: LG won first prize in a PTA-sponsored competition for this. The theme was “I feel really happy when…” LG explained that this photo captures the theme because she feels really happy when she sees Biscuit watching for her out the window when she’s walking home from school, and he feels really happy when he sees her coming home.

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