The All-Day Walk

When I set out on my walk today, I had no idea it would turn into a five hour hoof-a-thon. I only packed two diapers in my purse, which is the usual for a quick 45 minute walk to the beach and back. (You just never know when you might have a poopy diaper blow-out). Today my destination was the toy store. It’s just down Pacific Coast Highway about four or five blocks. Easy as pie. Except I was on a mission to find Baby Einstein movies, since you all have convinced me that they are “crack for babies”. I wouldn’t want to deprive Baby Bug an experience like that.

Yesterday I checked the small library that is only two blocks away and they didn’t have them. The librarian put in a request for two dvd’s to be sent over from another library but she couldn’t make any promises how soon they’d get here. That’s way too long for me. So today I set out with a mission: Must find baby crack movies.

When the toy store proved to be completely useless, I decided to walk a few more blocks to a children’s consignment store. They didn’t have any but they did have two very cute Ralph Lauren dresses for twelve bucks. Score. After that I decided to walk to Block Buster. I hate Block Buster. I vowed I’d never go in that store again after I was plagued with the nine-dollar-late-fee every time I ever rented anything. But I’m a mom now and I’ve softened a little bit. I can break my personal boycott for the sake of my darling baby. But no. Blockbuster didn’t have them either. They had about nine-thousand Dora the Explorer dvd’s but no Baby Einstein.

Then I decided I should check out Rite Aid and since I was close by, why not go a few blocks further and take a peek in the little cottage furniture boutique. Of course Rite Aid didn’t have anything and after scouting the furniture boutique I decided I might as well head across the street and a shopping center later to the local big library. Maybe after that why not just hit the mall? It was only maybe a mile further. There’s a new two story Barnes & Noble going in, they might have them…

The local big library did have one dvd and I checked it out with a big fat smile on my face. But I had to hurry because by then, Baby Bug decided to wake up and make all kinds of noise that is not allowed inside a library. We rushed outside with our contraband and I snuck around the back of the library to feed Baby Bug some boob. Breast feeding rocks. No bottles and always handy. I can walk for days and I’ll always be able to take care of her.

Happily fed and a clean diaper later, we decided to trek on further to the mall. Why stop now? No blisters yet and Baby Bug was having the time of her life looking at the great big world while front-facing in the baby carrier. By then I was hankering for a burrito from the mall’s downstairs food court.

The two-story Barnes and Noble wasn’t open yet but the food court most definitely was. I ordered my favorite California burrito (cause it has avocado in it) and ate it outside in a big plastic chair from Design Within Reach that made me feel like I was sitting in a big round bowl. It was quite challenging to eat a burrito with a baby in my lap but I’m getting used to these challenges. I even managed to pour a little cup of mango salsa into my burrito with one hand on the burrito and one hand on the baby. I feel like I’ve grown two extra arms since I became a mother.

After that I decided to head up the hill to the grocery store and get some groceries. Of course I couldn’t carry them all back home with me, not only because I couldn’t carry that much but also because home was about five miles away by now. So I called Toby and he came to rescue us.

I kinda wish I had walked all the way home again. That would have made a better story. But just the same it was one big long walk. I sure wish I would have put on something cuter and maybe done my hair a little nicer before I set out. But I had no idea my short walk to the toy store was going to turn into an all day event.

goodbye dreamhouse

Well, I let my dream house get away this morning. The owner called to offer me one last chance to rent it and I had to decline. I didn’t tell you about this because it was so secret and exciting I was afraid to bring it up on my blog for fear somebody who lives around here might read it and snatch up my dream house from me. But in the end Toby and I decided that we really couldn’t afford to be paying three times what we pay now in rent and so we let it go.

It’s tragic. This house is so perfect for us, I don’t think we’ll ever find one like it again.

I’ve walked by this old fifties beach bungalow for the last ten years and admired it. It has a unique triangular architecture and it is situated sideways on a full size lot where every other house is built to property line and busting at the seams with cement and stucco. It has courtyards on both sides and big windows from floor to ceiling to let all that garden light in. It has a breakfast nook and an upstairs loft. From the upstairs loft bedroom you can walk out onto a balcony that goes onto the roof and from there you can see just a little bit of the ocean. It has a two car garage with washer and dryer hook-ups. It has wood floors and in the baby’s room it has one of those closets that goes under the stairs so there’s a secret place to stash toys and hide out. It has a bell outside the kitchen patio screen door that you can ring when you want your children to come in for dinner. It has a back yard and a front yard and there’s a fig tree in both. There’s also a lemon tree and a peach tree and an orange tree and a funny fern tree with an orchid growing off the side of it. It has working sprinkler systems and on one of the hose faucets the handle is in the shape of a quail. It has built in dressers with lots of drawers and cupboards. It has a gas fireplace… I could go on and on.

This place was meant for me. It’s old. It’s quirky. It’s got a story at every turn. So why isn’t it for sale? I don’t know. But it’s not. The owner lives in San Diego and he probably pays his mortgage with the money we’d pay for rent.

I had quite a few conversations with the owner and he assured me that even though he couldn’t sell it to me, he wouldn’t tear it down and build condos like every other property owner is doing in this neighborhood. I think it would kill me if this house got torn down. I’d have to camp out in the big juniper tree in the front yard like Julia Butterfly and chain myself to it’s branches in protest. I shared with him my love of this house and he said in a few years IF he decides to put it up for sale, he’ll give me a ring.

I know we won’t be able to afford this house in a few years. It’ll probably be worth three million by then. But we can always dream. We thought about renting it for a few years but it just would be too hard to move out and leave behind something that felt so right. It would be like we were trading in our future for a short term vacation. It would also be hard to live in it and not make the repairs and investments that we would make if it was ours. We couldn’t put in track lighting in the kitchen or change out the electric stove for gas. We couldn’t re-landscape the wood chips on the front yard hillside into long grasses and native flowers… it would be like living a dream but knowing it wasn’t real, that you couldn’t keep it. In the end Toby and I decided we would be better off investing the money in something we could call our own. But it sure was hard to get to that point. I cried many tears over this house. It just felt like destiny it was so perfect.

But it wasn’t meant to be.

Part of me wonders if this is the devil’s secret plan to make me dissatisfied with my life. I have the most beautiful healthy baby girl who makes me so happy who I’ve wanted for years and years and years… Isn’t that enough? Do I have to have the perfect house too? When I put it in that perspective, I’m okay giving it up. I’m okay living in my pig sty apartment for another few years. Some dreams just weren’t meant to come true. And who knows, maybe the house we do buy someday will be even better.