I love like need have my house

By Mir
May 29, 2004

Before I forget, I want to thank everyone who participated in Facts and Fiction Friday. I had a good time, and I hope you did, too. Let’s play again next week! (Sometimes, it takes remarkably little to entertain me.)

My cold is improving, I think. By improving I mean that once I’d been up an entire hour this morning and didn’t feel the need to go back to bed, I decided I was well enough to tackle the lawn. It is beautiful here today, bright and sunny and cool and oh yeah, not raining, which is about damn time unusual.

Quick check of my lovely self: I spent all day yesterday in my pajamas, so the thought of going outside without a shower was… uhhhh… frightening. But the thought of showering in preparation for lawnmowing? Preposterous. I threw on some sweats and a little extra deodorant and put my hair in a ponytail and called it good. A couple of Advil Cold and Sinus and two puffs on my trusty inhaler and I was soon allreadytogo.

Themowerdidn’twanttostartdammit. Ipulledandpulled. Itstarted! Yay! Thisisn’tsobad, Ifeelprettygoodinfact. Imowedandmowedandmowedand wasdoing prettywell… untilthe Albuterol started wearing… off… and I started… coughing again… but I kept going… and going… and g o i n g….

Lawn. All. Done.

Must. Die. Now. Thanks. Seeya.

No, no worries, it’s all okay. I’m fine. I came inside and lay down on the kitchen floor for a while… nice comfy tile… and then I drank, oh, I dunno… about 64 ounces of water… and then I came in here and sat down, and it looks like I’m gonna live. But as a result of this fun morning I am once again woulda-coulda-shoulda-ing about the Joys Of Owning Your Own Home.

My house is something of a conundrum. I have lived here for four years. With the exception of the house I grew up in, this is the longest I have lived in any one place my entire life. This is the only house my children know (Chickadee sometimes speaks of “the red house” but I don’t think she remembers it, she just enjoys the stories about it). Being well in-touch with my tolerance for stress and change, I made it clear during the divorce that many things were up for negotiation, but this house was not. This is Our Home (mine and the kids) and we were not moving.

Part of my motivation was Keeping Change To A Minimum, both for me and for the kids. The other part of the equation is this bizarre little town we live in, and how real estate works here. Moving out of town was never a question; if we stay in this general area (yes), this is the town with the school system we want. Period. But to relocate within town? Heh. Lemme tell ya about my town. When we bought this house, the sellers were relocating back to the midwest and had just had a deal fall through at the last minute. They wanted OUT and they wanted out FAST. They didn’t know that our realtor had shown us this house when it was (unbeknownst to her) under negotiation already, and we’d fallen completely in love with it. We would’ve happily paid their first asking price, which was on the low side for this area. But after the deal gone bad, they reduced the price. Woohoo! We scored our dream house, at quite a bit under market for this area.

Four years have gone by, and I have since learned that I live in the “less fashionable” section of town. Heh. I can live with being less fashionable. Remember when I left the garage door open all night? I wouldn’t call this a low-crime area so much as a no-crime-other-than-the-occasional-drunk-teen area. The house has appreciated, both due to time and some work we put into it, and is now worth Quite A Bit Of Money. It’s also a good-sized house, suitable for the gaggle of children we’d planned on having, but bordering on too big for just me and two kids.

So the logical option: sell this house, buy a smaller one, in this town. Well, thanks for trying to make sense, but no. Not here. Sorry. First of all, there are very few small houses in this town that aren’t located two feet off the highway. The ones that aren’t located in places that make me picture my children very flat and very dead are new construction, and oh yeah, they cost so much money it makes me want to ask what are these people smoking, and can I please have a toke? They cost more than this house, despite being half the size or smaller. This house is A Very Good House, on an acre of land; but it does not have a new kitchen, or fancy bathrooms, or central air conditioning, or shiny titanium appliances, or a roof shingled with gold bullion. It appears that many new houses in the area have many of these things because People Want Them.

It was a matter of great excitement for me when the town announced plans to build an “income-controlled” community of 2- and 3-bedroom houses. I phoned my friend Sue, who is a realtor, to ask about the waiting list. It was full. And had been, actually, since before the announcement. Turns out, it didn’t matter, because the 3-bedroom houses? About 5% less, cost-wise, than the value of this house. After brokering fees and moving costs? I’d be in the hole. Scratch that.

Looks like I’m staying here. Which means I need to mow the never-ending who-needs-this-much-stupid-grass-anyway lawn, and paint the fence periodically (did that about a month ago and it took an entire day and I got a wicked sunburn… and today I chipped one of the posts with the mower), and have the septic pumped, and do all the other things that one needs to do when one owns a house. And I need to remind myself that these are all Good Things, because I really do love this house. I do. In sickness and in health… oh crap. Turns out I’m more committed to this house than I was to my marriage. Is that bad?


Things I Might Once Have Said


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