Since our last search-offer-fail expedition in our coastal city, we moved our sights a couple states over and recently moved into a lovely home in a foresty suburb.
We packed up last month, piled in our car, and set off on the roughly 1000-mile trip. A few days and countless "how far is it"-'s later, we excitedly rolled up to our house. It's our first home, and it's bigger and better than we ever imagined.
We began to unpack ourselves into a slurry of surprises this said dream home had in store for us. This isn't working, that's a little off, those will need some work...
Most of it is normal home-owner stuff, I suppose. It's all new to us just the same and pouring in like the unseasonable torrential rains that welcomed us last week.
Years of scrimping and saving, of planning carefully and underspending led us to this strange place where every which way we turn we need to spend money. Actually, no, you don't even need to "turn" - just move your eyes and the dollar signs will rack up across the horizon of empty, furniture-needing rooms, golden, late 80's chandeliers, dirty white carpet, rotting deck, and leaky showers.
I won't go into all the details, partly because that would be boring and partly because I might look a little insane spending our life savings to make this purchase. Instead, I'll just say, if you come visit us, you might need to go out to the garage to answer the telephone; jiggle the door handle up, not down if you find yourself stuck in the downstairs bathroom; and maybe do some push-ups to build-up your arm strength before you arrive, just in case you should like to open a window during your stay.
Hold on now. I'm painting a picture of a pretty dumpy place. It is not. It's a beautiful, huge home with a great floor plan and a big yard, sitting in a fabulous neighborhood.
There's just a lot of... surprises. Like the Jesus I found under the porch the other day. I crawled under the deck to turn smack into a massive hunk of wood and plastic greenery with a chipped old manger scene set into it. It's 15 feet long if it's anything. What, pray you, am I going to do with that? (Pun intended.)
Add it to the list.
The endless number of projects that I can not tackle immediately nor by myself, the constant outflow of money, the decisions... it's making me a little bit crazy. Crazy like I forgot to take my kids to the first two weeks of swim lessons that I had worked for two days getting them registered for. Crazy like if I have to pick out another light fixture I might point to the gilded gold monkey ones and say, "Those will do." House crazy.
But then, fortunately, by the grace of God -- or the Jesus under my porch -- my son's Nerf bullet hits me in the eye and I really look around. I am so blessed with this house exactly as it is. Shame on me that I should ever go a minute forgetting that.
I hear my daughter's little pink, plastic heels click across the sidewalk and catch a glimpse of her out there in her underwear, following the neighbor's daughter around. Taking care of my family is bigger than any house or yard project will ever be. And then I hear my husband jiggling the bathroom handle, stuck inside and trying to get out. And I laugh. Oh yes, we're going to have some fun here.