Wednesday, June 27, 2007

a place to call home

We are buying a home.

I'm still a little shocked by the whole thing. All the rentals were too small, not right, or just really horrible. As I complained about them, hubby would nod his head and tell me to buy something. The next day, I would look for more rentals. This has gone on for a good month and a half, maybe more.

I bought a copy of the local newspaper this week. I read through the rentals, found nothing new to look at and began reading the ads for home sales. I'm not really sure why when I had been so dead set against it just a few weeks ago. Perhaps it was my husband's voice in my ear. Or maybe it was the fear of being made to move again. Whatever the reason, I picked up the phone and called on a home.

In the past we've always gone for twenty or thirty year old neighborhoods, the kind with sprawling houses and enormous trees. This home is brand new but the neighborhood is a bit rural. The homes in the front of the addition were built as long as fifteen years ago. The lots are large and the streets are wide. Trees have been saved throughout the neighborhood during construction, so the landscape isn't barren and treeless. It's really quite lovely.

The home is beautiful. I especially love the kitchen. The cabinets are a lovely medium dark oak and the countertops are granite. There is an island in the middle, a six burner gas stovetop, a built in microwave and double convection ovens. There are tile and wood floors as well as carpeting. The master bath has a whirlpool tub that I can hardly wait to get into. I am in heaven. The kids have laid claim to bedrooms, tried out the computer nook, and laid on their backs in the empty living room floor. The boys have scoped out a treed area for their 'secret hideout'. I think they'll be happy with their new home.

There are details to work out. The home still has to be inspected. There are odds and ends to be addressed. But barring catastrophe, I think my search is over. And in the process, every member of our family has committed to living in Edmond. Wonders will never cease. Now I just have to pack.

Monday, June 25, 2007

driver education (the practical kind)

My lovely daughter has been scaring the bejeezus out of us.

Daddy thought it would be a smart and grandfatherly thing to give her a vehicle for her sweet sixteen. He decided on a pick-up truck. It was just sitting around one of the farms and was not really much the worse for wear. Rather large, though. She is delighted with it.

I have cleaned it, washed it, buffed it and made sure it's full of oil and gas and antifreeze. I bought her an FM transmitter in order to run her mp3 player through the stereo. As Daddy would say, she's in tall cotton.

Having a child drive is really a terrifying business. Riding with her is nerve wracking and I make her quite nervous. Letting her go out alone is bone chilling.

Two nights ago she went to a friend's house to watch movies and listen to records. Believe it or not, she isn't the only 16 year old in town with a turntable. But I digress. There is an 11pm curfew for teenagers. It was the first time she drove in the dark. She could not find the switch for the headlights. Her friends could not find the switch for the headlights. (I am wondering about their collective common sense.) She drove home SANS HEADLIGHTS while her friend followed to be sure she made it. Her father made enormous noise about this. I am quite sure she won't do it again. Of course, it never occurred to me that she would do it once.

A couple of days ago I noticed one of her tires was a bit low. I put air into the tire with hubby's handy air compressor and told her to watch the tire in case it went flat. Yesterday she made two trips to the library, apparently without ever checking the tire. It was flat as a pancake this morning, and I feared it was ruined just from the way it looked. I made a quick trip for a can of fix-a-flat, put air into the tire, and woke her up at an unreasonable hour to drive to the tire store. They just called to say the tire was not ruined and the flat is fixed. She is a lucky girl. Her father would have had a field day with this one.

I think I'll just lecture her myself. And continue to pray.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

in limbo

I spent the morning driving around town looking at rental properties. I have to say that it's a very depressing thing to do. I walked through empty, dark, dirty houses with unkempt lawns. Assurances that the carpet will be cleaned and the lawns mown did little to brighten my mood. I found one that will do.

I have more houses to see today. A couple of the brokers I contacted have expressed interest in purchasing this home we're in and letting us stay on as tenants. That would be the answer to my prayers.

My daughter passed her driver's test this week and has begun driving on her own. It's an odd feeling. I am happy for her but I am terrified. I'm sure it's a common reaction.

My middle son has been gone all week. My house is quiet and my younger son hasn't yelled, screamed or cried once since the older one has been gone. I feel a bit guilty that I am enjoying the peace of his absence.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

little sacrifices

I woke up to rain and my father's huge shadow in my bedroom door. He told me to get out of bed, he had something for me. In the living room floor sat my mother, a short haired black and white cat in her lap, my baby brother on his knees beside her looking on with his robin's egg blue eyes.

My father worked midnights and it was early morning when he left his office in the pouring rain. He drove a 1972 Chevrolet pick up truck in those days. The back was loaded with farm paraphernalia: baling wire, feed sacks, a fence stretcher, his tool box. As he walked to the truck he heard pitiful meowing from the bed of the truck but could see nothing. Finally he found her hidden underneath feed sacks trying to stay dry.

Daddy is allergic to cats. I had been asking for one for months. The drive from his office to our little town took him right at an hour. The grateful little cat curled up in his lap on the drive home and purred. By the time Daddy woke me his eyes were red and swollen. But something made him bring her home to me.

We named her Katie and within a few months she had gotten pregnant. She lost that litter of eight and the next one of six. Mama talked about having her spayed then she popped up pregnant again. Four this time, and three of them lived. All black and white, one long haired. I remember crawling behind my mother's olive green wing back chair to watch the kittens, amazed at the new life. My brother had just begun to talk. The long haired little boy had a face of mostly white, with an inky spot decorating his nose. My brother dubbed him Blacknose. He lived until I was seventeen.

Daddy is still allergic to cats. When my children found a pair of kittens someone had dumped on my parents' farm, they ran for their Pa-pa to help them. Daddy loaded the children and the kittens into his truck and took them all up to Mama. When I arrived to pick them up my mother was sitting in the middle of the floor with kittens in her lap and my children gathered around her.

I had no choice but to bring them home.

Friday, June 8, 2007

searching for a home

The first week of summer is coming to a close. The kids have slept late, cooked up delicious things in the kitchen, spent their days playing with friends. My house has been full of children of all ages, mostly boys. I hear video games and guitars in their bedroom. There have been late nights and heavy footsteps on the stairs that got them into trouble with their father. Not once this week has the doorbell been for me. It is heaven.

I am looking for another house to rent. We are running out of time here. Each time I think about it I get a bit angry all over again. I looked at a house right here in the neighborhood a few days ago. It was in disarray, needed carpet, needed paint. It seemed small in comparison to this house. The search for this house took so long. I know there has to be another one somewhere that we'll be happy and comfortable in. I just can't seem to find it.

Hubby thinks we should just look for a home to buy, but I don't think we have enough time. It usually takes a couple of months once you find the home you want. I reminded him that we are renting for a reason, to be sure this is where we want to be. Buying seems so . . . final. I know it's not really, one can always sell a home. But something is keeping me from taking that step. I am not quite sure what it is.