You may have noticed that things have been quiet around here for the past week or so. For that, I apologize. Life has taken some unexpected twists and turns…but I’ll get to that in a minute.
First, a couple of announcements:
*Over the past few weeks a number of book clubs have added Empty Arms to their reading lists and invited me to attend their discussions. To show my appreciation, I’m giving away a free copy of Empty Arms to one lucky winner! You can find the details over on Facebook. And, as always, if you want me to join your group’s discussion of Empty Arms, just shoot me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org).
**Now that Empty Arms has grown up and left the nest, I have a little more free time to return to something I’ve always loved: guest blogging. On Sunday night, I had the chance to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters, Ingrid Michaelson, perform at a new (well, new to me) venue. And today, I’m over at Lehigh Valley InSite talking about my experience. If you have a couple of minutes, pop over and check it out…“Ingrid Michaelson Live at Muhlenberg College”.
And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming…
As I was saying, life has taken some unexpected twists and turns. For the past three and a half years, Dave and I have been on the hunt for the perfect home. In our eight and a half years of marriage, we’ve owned several different houses and have moved A LOT. While we’ve lived in some great places, none of them were “forever homes”.
Three years ago, when the real estate market started nosediving, we decided to rent an apartment until we saw how things shook out. We thought apartment living would only last a year. We’re going on four.
In the past four years, our definition of the “perfect home” has changed quite a bit. Visions of ample square footage and endless lawns have been replaced with something cozier. Something requiring less maintenance. And less money. Because if the past four years have taught us anything, it’s that we look forward to spending our weekends biking, hiking, camping, and having fun outside (not mowing the grass or cleaning our house), we love to travel, and we cherish our freedom to come and go as we please. We’ve also realized that we’ve been miserable in the nicest places and happiest in the most unexpected places. In other words, where we live has less to do with our happiness than how we live.
Last year, we took this lesson to heart and approached our house hunt with a completely different set of criteria in mind: just enough space to fit our lifestyle, small, if any, yard, and a price that’s well within our means so we’d still have money to travel and do fun things. Miraculously, ten months ago, we found a place that fit our new definition of “perfect”. Better yet, it was in the historic district of our town, an area where we’ve always dreamed of living. The negotiation process was slow and arduous. It took three months to agree on a price and conditions of the sale. And because renters were living in the house, we had to wait until the end of next month to settle. It’s put our lives on hold for the better part of a year, but we didn’t care because it was all going to be just perfect.
And then we started running into problems. Expensive problems, like a telephone pole that would cost $15,000 to move eight feet to the left to allow us to put in a driveway. Frustrating problems, like the owners demanding that they take the original wood shutters that belong on the front of the house so they can sell them in their gift shop. And ridiculous problems, like the current residents telling us that there’s a demon spirit haunting the home.
Day after day, the problems continued to mount. Old electrical wiring, a chipmunk family living in the walls and termite damage. A friend of mine recommended getting professional Termite Control Kansas City
from an exterminator, but money was becoming too much of an issue for us. But day after day, we accepted that somehow we’d overcome all of these problems, because it was all going to be JUST PERFECT. There are loads of termite control services that we could have used luckily because once I find out that I had this problem I wanted to get it sorted as quickly as possible. If you find yourself in the same situation as me, but if Kansas City is too far for you, then don’t worry you could try someone like termite control los angeles to help you sort out your problem.
And then, somewhere between having to pour a new cement floor in the basement and having to replace the roof, we wondered if the universe might be trying to tell us that our perfect home isn’t perfect at all. The fantasy of how magnificent our lives would be in that house slowly started fading as we tallied up all of the expenses and frustration. And finally, after ten months of planning and dreaming and waiting, we came to the heartbreaking decision that we had to let it go.
So if things have been a little quiet around here, that’s why. A dream has fallen apart and I’m in the process of collecting the pieces, dusting them off, and trying to shape them into something new.
But that’s the thing about dreams, no matter how much you build them up in your head, you can’t force them into being. Sometimes you have to follow the signs and blindly accept that the universe has different plans for you. Better plans. Sometimes you just have to let them go.