Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Greener isn't possible without more green

As soon as the For Sale sign went up, so did our hopes. Even though our motives for moving were strictly aligned with convenience of being closer together each day, and spending less money each month, easy times have made those motives less pressing.

Instead, fleeting thoughts of all the hard times we've had in this house dashed before our minds and the possibility of leaving it all behind, finally, for something brighter, safer, more civilized grew like weeds before us.

Our new house will have cleaner neighbors, more quiet neighbors who don't curse so much, less drug addicts, less trash-filled sidewalks, a more family-friendly environment, etc.

The fantasies spiraled out of control.

Until we started actually looking at other neighborhoods -- in our price range.

What we've learned, quickly, is that our neighborhood is not that bad, after all. We knew the house was outstanding, but we know it more now. Each house we've looked at -- all entirely too small for a family of four with a big dog -- barely stand out as potential, let alone promising. Except one or two.

Each has one property within sight that is unsightly. Each has some kind of a loud noise to interrupt the sweet moments -- a fire station siren, traffic from the Interstate, construction. Even friggin' airplanes taking off from a local airport.

How will this work?

Unlike this house, most of these houses need something substantial, like a finished basement, a deck, or a fenced yard, to make them functional for our family. For the right house, we're willing to put in the effort, if there is any cash left, which is doubtful.

The truth is, despite what our families might feel inside and never actually say, the neighborhood that we're in now offers everything we're looking for in our new house. It's got charm, walkable destinations galore, character -- lots of characters, too. Half the people who walk by our front stoop appears to be mentally ill, poor, uneducated, homeless, on-the-verge of homeless. These are the kind of people many Americans only read about in newspapers.

But, they are real people and I love smiling at them, and wishing them a good day. I love capturing a gleam from them as they realize they are waving to twins.

And, we've got color here -- not just at the farmer's markets, either. It's not drastically white like these other neighborhoods, where we're more likely to hear country music instead of Latin and R&B. And, wake up one morning and smell what our neighbors are cooking and your mouth will drool. It takes everything within me not to go barging in asking for a bite.

This is what I want our daughters to grow up with.

What we're realizing, now that the house is actually for sale, and despite the once-a-year dramatic hardships, this house is our home, and it's going to take four really special walls to replace it.

If anything can.


Anonymous said...

Now your options are truly open.

Mama Zen said...

So, just take your time and look at them.

bella said...

Attachment sneaks up on you, doesn’t it?
And yet, once you become aware, that’s where the freedom is. To know what the fantasies were/are and the expectations and the love for your current home and then to just sit with all of it, this is so liberating, even if painful in spots.
It feels like part of letting go, of change, of opening fully to all that is possible.
Thinking of you much these days.

Candace & Anna said...

I feel a pang whenever I think about the looming day when we put our house on the market. This was our first real home the only one Anna has ever known. I wonder if anything will make me as happy as this one. We just have to remember that the house is just the cherry, the people inside the house are the real treat! Like Mama Zen said take your time and really examine what you want and just go with it. You will know what to do when the time comes.