Thursday, November 22, 2007

Filling the spaces

Yes, it's Thanksgiving and those of us lucky enough to be near family members are filling our plates and sharing the table with those we love, or at least those who tolerate us. I read a poem once that said "Home is where, when you go, they have to let you in." Something like that. It stuck with me because I think tolerance is a big part of the fabric of family love.

I made space in my apartment to have the kids over for turkey dinner. David, bless him, cooked the side dishes and I prepared the bird. It's been years since I roasted a turkey but it felt good on this day to be doing just that.

Sophie asked us to "hold hands" and, even though Hannah was the holdout, we managed to say grace and enjoy each other's company for a few, uninterrupted hours.

Hannah ran from the living room to the dining room and the neighbors downstairs knocked loudly on the ceiling. We couldn't believe it. A four-year-old running in her grandmother's house at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day is disturbing the peace? I was annoyed at first but then thought how sad that these two grumps were not eating Thanksgiving Dinner with their extended family (who live nearby). They had nothing better to do than bang on the ceiling and disturb another family's togetherness.

Sophie is sleeping over. She helped me clean up the kitchen and then got in her pajamas and we picked a fairytale from the Grandmom's Book which is next to my bed. She chose "Stone Soup". I think it was perfect for tonight. Sophie's a wise little girl. It's all about sharing and opening ourselves up to others.

I can't help but think of my mom. If a four-year-old child ran gleefully across the floor above her, she would have smiled, not knocked on the ceiling. Another reason to be thankful this day, I come from a family where hospitality was valued. There would not have been a need for stone soup in my mom's kitchen. All would have been shared, gladly. Cooking was a form of love.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates the day.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Going with the flow

I didn't get to bid on the little red house after all. It went under contract this afternoon. As much as I was starting to dream about just where the piano and computer desk would go and how I would manage the early-morning run downstairs to the bathroom, I was not totally deflated from the news. There's something out there with my name on it; I just haven't found it yet.

May I suggest that any woman who lives alone should make sure she learns three important life lessons:

- how to use a variable torque power drill
- how to properly manage finances and create a working budget
- how to bid on a house

I've mastered the first. Still working on the other two. It's all good.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Carpe diem ... or not

Did you miss me? Thanks for such great comments on the house. I've been looking at other houses and talking to annuity-fund advisors, trying to decide if the little red house is calling my name.

I saw two other properties and they just didn't have the charm. One was an older Colonial occupied by a woman going through a divorce. Been there, done that; I could feel the sadness coming through the wallpaper. Her house was still filled to the brim with everything that helped make it home for her and teen-aged children. I felt like I was trespassing when I dared to look at a family portrait hanging in the hallway. There was a grill and little cabana out back with a fridge and table where many family get-togethers must have taken place. Now hubby was gone and woman was on her own. She wanted to leave and get on with her life. I was not about to intrude in that story or space.

The other property was also a red house, with two bedrooms and an acre of ground. It was hard to find and it was pouring rain. There was standing water in the basement and a propane tank near a shed. I don't think I want propane heat. I also don't want an acre of grass to mow or shovel. The bathtub was custom made to fit a rather small space and I laughingly thought to myself that I'd have to sit with my knees up to even take a bath. The house was very private on a dead-end street; however, it's set so far back from main roads that, once a snowstorm comes, isolation.

Realtor than suggested we check out one more property near Jenn's. We drove in through a narrow driveway and realtor then discovered that the house is occupied by a renter. I started to back out of driveway and somehow got my front tire caught in the mud. Wheel started spinning and I stopped the car. Opened my door and thought "oh crap". What a predicament. Car was literally hanging on the edge of a steep incline into neighbor's property. The wheel had sunk deep enough that the frame of the engine was resting on the ground. Thank God for triple A! Guy had to hoist a chain around a large oak tree and then pull car sideways away from the incline. I'm not going back to see that house; the karmic encounter in the driveway was a warning.

So here I am, Sunday morning, deciding whether to take the plunge and make a bid on quirky little red house which I've now seen four times with assorted friends, co-workers, and family. Yes, I would have to let go of more earthly belongings but there is something so sweet about looking out that front bay window at the hills and mountains in the distance.

To be continued ....