Sunday, June 24, 2012


It's a funny thing. For me, it's more of a sense than a thing. I have lived in some places for months without them ever quite feeling like home. Other spaces have felt like home before I moved in the first box. And it's not just about shelter. It's about location, too. But mostly it's about people. My  husband and son make any house home on some level. And yet the house we're in now is one of those that has never quite felt right. It's not ours; it doesn't suit our needs; it isn't what we would pick for ourselves. But that is all about to change.
We bought a house last Friday. But we didn't buy just any house. We bought our house.
Our home.
 It felt like home the first time I saw it (almost three months ago now). It was full of outdated Grandma-y decor and really, really bad carpet, but I loved it. We put an offer in almost immediately but, sadly, got out-bid. I was beyond heartbroken but, mostly for my husband's sake, tried to keep my chin up. "There will be other good ones," I told myself.
The next time we went house hunting, I tried hard to keep my ex-realtor Dad's tough-love advice in mind: "You can't have that house. It's gone. Forget about it." But I couldn't. I compared everything to it and was completely underwhelmed by my new options. Justin felt the same but chose to let his practical mind take over. My emotions were, as usual, overshadowing my otherwise logical self.
After a few weeks of that, it was a relief to us both when our realtor called to ask if we wanted to put another offer on the first house, as the other buyers' offer had fallen through. Yes! Yes! Yes! A big, emphatic no-hesitations, "Yes!"
In the nearly six weeks since then, a lot has factored into our level of excitement over the new house: financial worries, leaving my home town, the stress of packing. But through it all, I've never doubted for a moment that this is the house for us. What I did doubt was that the proverbial "they" of the world was actually going to give it to us. The seller was going to back out; the appraiser was going to tank the deal; the bank was going to decide "Just kidding! We don't like your credit score after all."
But none of that happened.
On Friday afternoon, the title company receptionist very unceremoniously handed us a manila folder full of plastic baggies full of keys labeled, "garage and greenhouse," "back door," "front door," and "oddball." We drove out of the parking lot like we were afraid they were going to realize their mistake and take them back.
As we drove into Three Forks, I took in everything around us. The old abandoned train station; the tiny coffee shack for sale; the Chinese restaurant with big red letters.  I turned to Justin and said, "Hey, we live here now."
"Yeah, that's what I was just thinking. Weird."
At the house, Justin swept me up and carried me across the threshold and we giggled and kissed and freaked out and generally relished in it for a minute.
Then we got straight to destroying it.
We tore up carpet in some corner of each bedroom and were ecstatic to find old hardwood floors under most of them. They are going to take some hard lovin to get back to pretty but they are there! I accidentally broke the cat door in the front porch. The second you become homeowners, right? Oh well, we don't have a cat.
We ran around doing funny things like tasting the water from the tap - good! - and testing the garage door openers.
I still can hardly believe it.
It belongs to us.
Tomorrow we start the messy job of tearing it apart a bit. A couple of walls are coming out. The - hardwood! - floors are getting refinished. We have so many plans. Because we can. Because it's our first home.
Drake will crawl there for the first time. He will say his first words. He'll take his first steps.
Next week, the three of us are moving home.

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