Ironic that I just started blogging under our house’s longtime name, “Shady Fifth”, when out of nowhere there is some thought of moving.
When we first moved here in July 1997, we intended to live in this house for 3-5 years. We had put bids on two different houses prior to this one that fell through; it definitely wasn’t our first pick. But God had reasons for us to be here, naturally, such as the dearest elderly neighbors who were huge in our life until a couple of years ago when the gentleman passed away and his wife moved far away to be with children. I am so grateful to have had them in our lives.
But for decades now, my dream has been somewhat more rural. For myself, and for our family, I have longed for things that we are not zoned for; chickens and mini-goats, and things that we just don’t have space for: to run and shoot arrows or slingshots, to climb an apple tree with a book, to have laundry on a line. We did finally put in a lovely organic garden last year, but it has no ability to get bigger because the rest of this shady fifth is concrete, house, or septic leach field.
Still . . . we weren’t house hunting. Weren’t looking at all. But I did begin to wonder if we couldn’t perhaps have a couple of mini-goats. Sure, they couldn’t graze and we’d have to buy all of their feed, but I wanted to investigate. So we went out to visit the wonderful Wendy of Soaring Hearts Farm and her mini-Nubians. Oh what a fabulous day we had there. We took the little ones with their allergies, since it was important to see if they’d react (and they were fine).
On the drive there, The Patriarch took a back road from our house. I love that road, since it has all of these great rural-y properties. I saw one for sale with a small house and what looked like a couple of acres, so I made a note of the reality company. I went to their website the next day. Hadn’t been there before (the website), but there was a very handy tool where you could go to a map and select an area to look at all of the MLS listings in that square/rectangle. Well, I found the house I’d seen, and as I suspected, it was twice what we could afford, however there was a listing a few blocks away from that that seemed a dream.
We drove by it, drooled, and condensing weeks of stuff here, found that we could qualify for it, then found a great realtor and looked inside. Well. It would definitely be a whole-house re-do. But the thing is, it felt like it would become what we want in our forever home. For so many reasons, it was the unlikely perfect place.
BUT . . .
The sad bottom line is that this place is not ready to sell. It just isn’t. We couldn’t sell it as a “fixer” and get what we’d need for it to afford the “new” place. And there is not the budget to fix it quickly at all.
I have been going over and over in my head all of the blessings I have. This house does have some very nice things about it. I am blessed with a sturdy roof, food for all of us on the table, the ability to go to the doctor and turn on the heat. A bed at night and children around me. I don’t want to be a whiny, ungrateful person, even in my head. But I have to confess this unexpected finding of the affordable dream, learning we could qualify even when I’d assumed we couldn’t, getting so close . . . ouch. Just ouch.
And days after that, we had guests scheduled, which was actually perfect. It was my sister and niece. This sister has three of the qualities most needed at that moment in time: the ability to always talk me through things, clarifying my thoughts by asking great questions and really kicking me in the katootie if necessary; a fabulous decorating eye; and the ability to make an immense amount of decisions quickly. So the latter two will be discussed in the next post. But the first: we’re all full-steam-ahead with this remodel to the extent that a little from each paycheck and heavy mining of Craigslist can take us.
Whether that house will still be up for sale when this house is ready, whether interest rates will have risen so that we no longer qualify, whether this is just to light a fire under us to have Shady Fifth more livable for some reason – well, God knows all of our “what if’s” and He is in control.