We have a new house.
(Sorry, no pic with the kids, but more to come.)
It's not the brand-new, LEED-certified home I blogged about months ago. Instead, it's a new old house, with bones from 1910 but delicious, recently added modern amenities. It has four bedrooms and three bathrooms (SO POSH) and a freestanding garage and a castle playground in the backyard (why did I not mention that first?) and best of all, even though we've only been there a week, it feels like home.
I obviously didn't blog about the buying process, and I only minimally mentioned it on Facebook. (I never mentioned it on Twitter because I still can't figure out why I should want to be tweeting.) The short explanation for my silence is that I was overwhelmed by writing about it. I could not figure out how to start, so I never did. And now it's done.
It's not that there wasn't anything to blog about during the process of buying the house. I don't think any home purchase is without some drama. There was elevated radon and contaminated soil and shenanigans with mortgage lenders and city permits that had not been closed. Then my landlord went off the deep end and I had to have some heated negotiations with her around renters' rights. As I am awaiting the return of (some? all? none?) of my deposit, those negotiations may not be over yet. Dealing with my landlord was the most frustrating of any of this ordeal because I think she and I both felt hurt and hoodwinked, and each of us felt in the right. So icky. But mostly over.
So, yeah, the stress of the whole process played into my silence as well. But I also felt, for the first time in a long time, like keeping this one close to the vest. This was a huge thing for me, buying this house. It was an emotional sea change to want to own, a huge financial step, and a logistical mountain. I've never felt so much like a legitimate grown-up as I did when I signed those papers, got those keys, and walked in the front door for the first time. I did this myself, for my little nuclear family, and while I certainly talked about it quite a bit with my nearest and dearest, I wanted to make this decision and see it through on my own, for me and Maddie and Riley. As I write about it, it sounds selfish or fearful or something; I just don't know how to explain it. I was so fully present it getting it all to happen, and so focused on how it was going to change our life that I wasn't able to write about it and evidently I'm still struggling.
Nothing I have done since John's death, even including moving back to Oregon, feels so much like the start of a new life as buying this home does. Nothing made me feel so trapped as owning my condo in Boston, and it's shocking to me that buying this house has given me the opposite feeling. Well, no, not the opposite exactly; I don't feel free. But I do feel grounded. Settled. It's a choice rather than an ensnarement. It's happiness.