“You haven’t taken me to the new house, ” my cousin says. “Let’s do that.” My husband and I have found a house in our small town after quite a bit of Zillow obsession. And not before we have tendered four offers that have been sidelined in favor of other, better ones. In the pursuit of a place to live, I had become less-than-enthusiastic.

When I take the turn up a gentle sloping road into a planned senior community, I am already trying to sell the spot. This is less for her and more for me. I am a senior, there is no doubt, and this is the first community of its type in our town, built when I was a teen. I have spent summers here my whole life and remember the controversy around the real estate developer’s plans. He was canny, however, and the spot is a prime one, set on a hilltop, bounded by impassable gullies and deep woods. There is only one way in—and out. That sounds a bit ominous, doesn’t it? I don’t mean it that way; I mean it as a positive feature. I will confess, however…

The house we are buying (fingers crossed) before this blogging month ends is not the first house we have looked at. Very soon in our search, we realized the difficulties inherent in our quest: we didn’t have a lot of cash, despite excellent credit; the market here is tight with very little inventory; and the city has put restrictions (I am glad actually) on development. The rental market poses even greater challenges. This is a desirable coastal destination, so those with rentals often choose to rent to vacationers, their right absolutely, but complicating for us.

March 29th is the projected closing date on the house we got the jump on, thanks to our agent, a cheerleader for our team! When we make the turn onto the street where our little place sits, I actually point out a house two doors before it. To my credit, I quickly recoup and say, “No…that’s not it,” and as we slowly crawl a bit further, “This is it.” You know what I’m saying here, right? This is manufactured house heaven, and it’s our next stop.

Here’s the thing: we will make it our home. I admire the efforts of neighbors who clearly have house pride and have done all they could to distinguish their structure from the others. While I am a bit abashed that I was initially unable to pick my house out of the crowd, I know that soon the driveway will beckon me home. The rhododendron bush will flower and splash the street with color.

What will happen on the inside is the stuff of our future, our dreams. Doors open to possibility and the challenges inherent in that. “Growth mindset,” I whisper, “Not yet—but someday.”

2 thoughts on “Homecoming”

  1. Buying a new house is scary and exciting. Hoping things work out for you. The basic structure of a house doesn’t make it home; it is what you put of yourself into it. Looking forward to hearing about your journey of making this house into your home.

    1. It’s actually a metaphor possibility, isn’t it? Exterior, the appearance, and interior, the “home.”

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