Ya’ know how I said things were finally settling down, and I wasn’t quite as overwhelmed as I had been recently? Well, the calm didn’t last. In fact, it didn’t have time to settle in before I ran it off. In a move I like to call the crazy dance, Hubby and I threw caution to the wind and decided to sell our house. And buy another one up the street. Never mind that the housing market sucks monkey toes for sellers right now or that we’ll have our current house paid off in a couple of months. Never mind that the last time we moved it was so traumatic I told everyone I’d rather be beaten with a stick than to move again EVER. Or that we are too busy taking care of two senior citizens in failing health to make a move, and we’re still trying to settle Sissy’s affairs. We’re doing it anyway, dadgum it. Get this, we’re buying Sissy’s house. I’ll take my straight jacket in a size small please, with brass buckles. And could I have a valium cocktail with that?
We have outgrown our house, and for the last few years we’ve talked about the day we’d buy a bigger home. We always assumed it would be after Mama J. and Papa T. passed away because living next door to them is ideal for taking care of them. In fact, it’s why we bought our house years ago. However, the space issues have really grown increasingly troublesome in the last couple of years. At least once a week I tell Hubby, “One of these days I’m going to have a house big enough so that I don’t bump my ass on the bathroom door every time I turn around in here!” There’s my old standby, “And just where am I supposed to put this? You know if we had a pantry….”
Or the old reliable, “We CAN’T move the bed because it won’t FIT anywhere else!”
Our living room TV is on a lazy Susan so it can be moved to accommodate the one and only furniture layout that will work in that room. I have groceries stacked on garage shelves. There are small cooking appliances I’ve given up because I have no place to put them. The only time of year we can have a party is summer and fall because the deck and backyard is the only place we have room for more than six people in our home at once. We’ve shuffled clothing in and out of storage each season because of too little closet space (thanks in part to my clothing addiction). And on days when school is in session, Teen Angel and I have Ultimate Fighting Matches over the bathroom sink, mirror and electrical outlets. There are times when I literally end up fixing my hair in the living room mirror because she and Hubby have taken over the bathrooms. Don’t tell anyone, but I have made promises to God that involved me getting my own bathroom mirror. And after months of bargaining, He’s finally giving it to me.
About a month ago, Mama J. asked us if we were interested in buying Sissy’s house. We were surprised, and our first reaction was no. It was very difficult for us to be in Sissy’s house after she died. The first few times I walked in there I felt as if she was standing next to me, especially when they were still searching for her body. It was all I could do not to run for the door. Hubby was the same way. Gradually, it got better, but it still wasn’t a comfortable situation. There are some very strong emotions attached to that house. We had a terrible time picking through her belongings and packing up her things. We were still in the midst of packing her stuff when Mama J. approached us about buying the house. We agreed it was a decision we could not make until the house was empty and we had had time to thoroughly think about it.
The house has been empty for about two weeks. In that time, we’ve pondered and debated the pros and cons, wavered back and forth and sought a lot of advice. We’ve been criticized within the family for even considering it since we were not on good terms with Sissy right before she died. We know there are people who will never understand our relationship with her or how we can live there. But the bottom line is this: The house fits our needs perfectly. It’s big enough, but not too big. We can afford it. We can grow old in that house without major renovations, and best of all we can still be close to Mama J. and Papa T. in order to take care of them as we promised them years ago. So, my friends, we are doing it. We’re buying the house. Critics be damned. We’re making this move because it’s the right move for us. The realty sign goes up in our yard this weekend, and the remodeling we want to do to Sissy’s house, I mean our house, begins too.
In the four days since we made this decision, we have talked to a carpenter, a painter, an electrician and the flooring guy is on his way as I’m typing this. Suddenly, I’m overwhelmed again. With paint samples, lighting fixtures, furniture and all kinds of other choices that will make me want to pull my hair out in the next several weeks. I’m not sure I have the stamina for this, but I guess I’ll find out. Call us crazy, but we’re moving. During a recession. And a housing slump. And the busiest, most stressful time of our lives. We are doing it. We're excited. And as God is my witness I will never go without my own bathroom mirror again.
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