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.

Kickin’ It Park Style

Wow. You guys have given me a lot to think about. It’s going to take me a while to process everything. I appreciate all your comments, even the ones from old friends asking me to talk about something else besides the baby for once. I’m sorry to say this (’cause I remember those days when I got bored to tears listening to my friends with kids talk about their kid) but I’m afraid this baby obsession is here to stay. I will make a little effort to broaden my horizons but don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, let me recommend some of my favorite blogs over there in the left hand column. Lots of good non-baby stuff there.

So anyway, we might not have the work/baby thing figured out but we definitely have the leisure time/baby time down. An afternoon in the park is delightful. (Can I pass you a crumpet Miss Moppet?) I really enjoy the park. Before the baby I couldn’t be bothered with taking the time to sit in the dappled shade of a tree unless I was there to do something else too. Like read a book or draw or write in my journal or at least wait for a friend or something. Not that those things are bad, they aren’t. They are delightful as well. But I’ve always had trouble just sitting and not doing something else too. I am a multi-tasker to the core. At least do your kegles if you must just sit.

But now I just sit for the sake of sitting. For the sake of getting out of the house. And though I may find my life frustrating, I do appreciate these moments where the world seems to stop turning for a few minutes.

Note: no harm was done to the baby while wearing the headband. I put that on her because I dressed her like a boy and even when she’s covered in head to toe pink, people still ask me how old my “son” is. I thought the bow might help. Plus, my mom has been on my case to put all the pretty girly hair things she gave me in Baby Bug’s hair. So I did. And then when I got home and showed Toby all the pictures we took at the park… he said, “You’re going to have to photoshop that garter-belt-panty-hose-thing off her head.” Whatever.