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Day 77: The house hunt is officially over.

August 27, 2012

My realtor, Dan Rabourn, my mortgage guy, Jon Arnold, and the end of our little adventures together. I’m going to miss these two!

I’ve claimed this twice before, but the house hunt is absolutely, definitely, 100 percent over. Today, I scribbled my signature line after line across a blur of legal documentation.

My realtor, loan officer and the title company agent joked and laughed with each other. I, however, concentrated on calming my shaky hands. I was a nervous wreck. Stacks of papers sat in front of me solidifying that this is it. I’m about to be a homeowner. I’m moving away from Eastown. What if this is the wrong choice? What if my neighbors are mean? Five digits on the certified check stared back at me; I could almost hear the mocking laughter, just wait ‘til you add up what you’re about to dump into your new digs. And then, just like that, it was over. The last paper signed. The last words exchanged with the seller, my realtor and loan officer. Closing was done. I am a homeowner.

Weird.

Just a few years ago, I imagined the course of life as a completely different chain of events. You know, the traditional path: marriage, then house, then kids. But as it turns out, I’m two for three in the reverse order. Fine with me; I prefer to be unconventional when possible.

After leaving the title company, I got started on my to-do list: transfer gas, electric and water, make appointments with the moving company and carpet cleaners. I should have done this before, but I didn’t want to jinx the good luck I was having with this offer.

I picked up Calin from school, and we headed to the new house. I am so glad I waited for him to open the door for the first time. He hasn’t been thrilled about this new house; he loved the Ottawa Hills home. It was chock full of hiding places, a playground and a neighbor his age. Each time I mention the big move is getting closer, he looks at me with the saddest eyes.

A large part, I think, is due to leaving our neighbors. He enjoys weekly chats with Valerie and her family – from our second-story window as they work in their yard below. But each time he hollers out the window, his eyes sparkle with excitement at his unconventional means of conversation. He thinks he’s quite clever.

On the other side, he has five-year-old Susannah and her three siblings. Calin adores their family, and much more so after he spent the summer swimming and painting with her older sister Sophie (his babysitter).

We walked up to the front door of our new home. I put my key in the lock, but it wouldn’t budge. Calin wandered away while I played with the door knob. Finally, it unlatched. I went around to the back to find Calin climbing a fence! Apparently he was checking to see if a back door was unlocked. His quick thinking and capability was amusing. I don’t know where he learns this stuff. And I didn’t even know he knew how to climb a fence.

He came back around front, sincerely overjoyed as I held open the front door. “This is it, Mom. NOW, we are homeowners.” He surveyed the yard and with a big grin, announced that he’s happy, that he never wants to leave this house. “Wanna know why?” Of course. “Because this place is filled with the most beautiful plants.” Indeed, it is, my little nature lover.

My heart melted as we ran into the house, jumping up and down in the living room – together – to celebrate our new home. I’m so relieved he’s happy. Delighted by the backyard bench he found nestled between two mammoth trees and hidden behind the yard’s overgrown shrubs, he had the grand idea to eat dinner back there. So we took our greasy pizza and breadsticks and chowed down, secluded within our very own secret garden. And that’s when all my worry vanished. This was definitely the right decision.

Falling in love with our peaceful backyard

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