You know life is not all you hoped for when you’re spending time at Pray let me tell you a story of staggering to triumph through, over and around adversity.

Once upon a time a girl named Bette thought it good to move from Tucson to Phoenix. Bette, you see, is a person of energy and determination, which, to her eyes, made Phoenix a more amenable spot in which to dwell. Tucson, as you may know or have perhaps heard, is the land of the laid-back. Phoenix, on the other hand, is a city of activity and energy, with goers going many places and doers doing many things.

And, so, with great hope and enthusiasm–not to mention excitement about being around people who did not think her strange as she attacked life at her preferred pace–Bette forged ahead (forging ahead being her wont) with this plan for a better tomorrow.

Alas, as you may have already surmised, it cannot be said that all went well. For you see, in the purchasing of her new abode, Bette put her fate into the hands of a realtor whose 15 years of buying and selling real estate had not imparted all the necessary insights. And who could fathom why? True, she was a blonde, but that certainly could not have been the problem because our girl Bette is, too–and both via the same helpful bottle.

Well, whatever the reason, Bette lost the first house she contracted to buy–even after the inspection went swimmingly. Then a second, albeit verbal, agreement also went astray. And the day arrived when our girl had to find and take possession of a house in a mere eleven days because the buyers of her Tucson house would not share. They were moving in and insisted she move out so they could have the house all to themselves.

And, so, Bette bought what could be described, if one were kind, as a handyman’s special. Now, Bette’s Tucson house had also been a handyman’s special, and she had hoped this time to move as a lady. But it was not to be.

Sadly, Bette would have to delay her Queen of the May role for yet another while. Daunting nightmares of building yet more sweat equity replaced her dreams of a life of ease and bonbons. Had the fates not heard that ladies are only to glow and never to sweat? Would her hands ever be able to forsake the paint brush for the demitasse?

Sadly, paint brushes and sweat were not the half of what faced our girl.

For you see, large beasts of the canine variety had dwelt in the house. Beasts who understood all carpeting to be bathroom facilities. Consequently, upon entering the house, one’s eyes burned and brought forth tears due to the stench of the beasts. And, forsooth, even after the offending carpeting had been banished from the house, the malodorous fragrance lingered with great intensity.

Word was sent across the land seeking help, a remedy to this most undesirable of predicaments. But our girl’s plaintive plea met not with wise counsel, but disbelief and, at times, even uproarious laughter. Finally, in desperation, Bette went drearily to her computer to search on “removing pet odors.” And so it was she ended up at, where she gratefully received the kindness and help for which she sought.

Now let the word go forth. Once again our girl has conquered the obstacle before her. Where stench had once prevailed there is now only sweet-smelling, breathable air. The Lord be praised! As well as bleach and Kilz, of course.

Furthermore, with eyes no longer streaming tears due to the foul remnant of the beasts, one can see vaulted ceilings, a gracious floor plan and mirrored closet doors (which needed cleaning to be sure, but–work with me here–happy endings do take some time and effort) among the amenities.

Perhaps best of all, our girl can now sit on the patio and enjoy the lake. A lake inhabited by ducks, coots, a pair of geese (dubbed by our girl Bette as Maude and Elmo), a lone, white, non-honking goose (named, naturally, Harpo), a few herons now and again, the occasional flock of egrets and, in season, migrating Canadian geese.

Peace reigns. Joy abounds. The paint brush has returned to its rest.

And Bette has decided that as the years slide by in their merciless pace, she will look forward to living happily ever after as a dotty old lady who speaks with ducks.

Or maybe give that moving-as-a-lady concept another try.

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