2/13/11

The first step is sometimes the hardest. (Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and jump.)


I knew he wouldn’t leave.


He informed me many times over that he had no intention of leaving the “starter” house we had purchased what seems like a thousand years ago.

I knew in my heart that he wouldn’t. He wanted that house, and I never did.


I grabbed the overdue water bill off the counter and took a drive along the back way, through some farmland and down a lonely stretch of road. I hadn’t traveled this route recently, but was searching for some quiet time to collect my thoughts.


That’s when I spotted it.


It was nestled among some glorious pine trees, standing tall supported by its incredible stonework and lovely front porch. There was a “For Sale” sign in front of the house, and I was drawn to it.

It was next door to the water authority and after I paid the bill I turned the car around and drove by it again. I turned around at the end of the road, and went by it AGAIN. It was magnificent. But it was for sale, not for rent.

And so I went about the next two weeks looking at townhouses, condos, and various houses for rent. I was hopeful, but all the while that house was a nagging thought in my heart. It woke me up at night, and distracted me during the day.

I went to my computer one day and emailed the real estate agent who was being so patient. I mentioned the house, and asked if he would check with the owners to see if they would be interested in renting to me. For a certain price; perhaps allowing me to move asap.

He called me the next day and said, “Yes! They said they would definitely rent! They would, however, like to meet you this weekend. Can you make it Saturday? And perhaps we should actually take a look INSIDE the house, just to be sure.”

I laughed, and arranged to meet him at the house the next afternoon.

I arrived a bit early (not a surprise for anyone who remotely knows me) and sat on the wooden swing hanging on the front porch. My heart was all aquiver. I glanced across the street to the horses whinnying and prancing around their small enclosed pasture.

Jack arrived, opened the door and we entered the home.

I am not sure how to adequately explain the feelings I experienced as we walked from room to room in this quaint, old-fashioned home. The living room walls were expertly decorated with lovely wallpaper that reminded me of the mother’s talent for that same thing. I smiled as I noticed the tall pipes in the corner lined with the same wallpaper so expertly that if you weren’t looking closely you would never have known there were pipes there. My mother had done the exact same thing.

The radiators in each room clanked in an old familiar rhythm, and tears sprung to my eyes.

I felt as if I had come home; and I started to cry.

I have to give Jack credit for he laughed and smiled as I apologized profusely for blubbering like an idiot. And I’m not sure that I have yet to convince him that I’m not.

We walked room to room, and I fell in love. I had to live in this house. We parted ways, planning on a time and place to meet with the owners, and I returned home.

He called me that same night. “The owners spoke to someone who knows you very well. You received a glowing recommendation, and they don’t even need to meet you. They would like to know if you would consider a “rent to own” situation, and said you can move in at this end of this month. What do you think?”


And the nagging feeling in my heart telling me that this was the house for me suddenly turned into a glimmer, a pebble, a seed of hope.


And so I begin this journey toward self-respect, toward healing a broken heart, toward helping a family find it’s way through a sea of uncertainty. But I begin it in a home that has wrapped its arms around my heart.


82 comments:

Maggie May said...

Oh I am SO happy for you!!!!!!!!

Suzy said...

Is this a Doily Free home?

Merideth in Wyoming said...

It was a match that was MEANT to be!!! I love this house and you absolutely have to post some photos of the interior. It sounds just like some of the old farmhouses from my childhood. And if you like this kind of house, "Modern" leaves you cold. Congratulations!!!!

Rima said...

It is perfect. I am so glad you found it (or that it found you.)

Joanie said...

Sometimes, you just know. Welcome home.

It's Always Something Around Here said...

So happy for you! Enjoy your new home!

Malisa said...

The house is a beauty! It was meant to be! Could you ask for anything better than "rent to own"? That is what we did. The owners allowed us to use several years of rent for our down payment! It was a God send! I think your new home may be too!

Malisa

Sara J. Henry said...

Rock on, you. So proud that you took the risk of calling the agent just in case the owners would consider renting ... great things don't happen sometimes unless we ASK.

tamilyn said...

Sometimes asking for what we need gives us the answer we want.

You had me at 'wooden swing on the front porch'

I have always wanted one :)

citymouse said...

Very cool. Someone once told me that believing is action. great job!

MiMi said...

So sweet! But I'm gonna answer Suzy's question...I'm sorta thinking there could be a doily or 2 there.

Vodka Mom said...

I removed EVERY doily after Suzy asked if I was ONE HUNDRED YEARS OLD.

RottenMom said...

You are so strong.

I am so very excited for you. You deserve to be happy.

kelley715 said...

Yay! A home for heart healing and vodka drinking. Your mice are going to miss you. LOL. Bright blessing for you and yours.

CarrieAnn said...

This house was waiting for you...

kristi said...

Fantastic news!

absees123s said...

I don't think I've ever commented on your blog, but look forward each time you post something new....especially about "Frank"! I'm so excited for this new venture in your life! The house is precious..one that I would pick in a heartbeat as well! Leave the past behind and look forward to your future with excitement and joy!

Rene/ Not The Rockefellers said...

When I saw the picture of the house...with that porch of dreams and the "thinking roof"

I just knew you were home :)

Christy said...

I am so happy for you! The last house we owned we sold to a couple who rented to own it first. A small percentage of the rent they paid to us every month went toward a lump sum down payment. They did get a loan from a bank -- so I think that is your first step -- find financing. Give your realtor a call - he should be able to help you through the whole process! GOOD LUCK!!!

kmcaffee said...

Beautiful....

duffylou said...

A porch swing looking across at frolicking horses? Be still my heart.

Brian Miller said...

big smiles.

Everyday Goddess said...

excellent, you are tuned in, tapped in and turned on otherwise you would not have been open to finding it.

brava, my love!

Irish Gumbo said...

Idiot? No. You are a just a lovely human being with a vibrant heart.

When home calls, you listen.

Welcome home.

feefioto said...

Apparently it's not quite so hard to jump in when what you're jumping into is made of the feelings generated by fragrant gingerbread, humming radiators and warm memories. Maybe you and this house are destined to be together.

Michele said...

I saw this quote and immediately thought of you. 'Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.'- Mark Twain.

ChiTown Girl said...

This post made my heart smile. I'm so very happy for you!!!

Casey Freeland said...

It's a lovely home. Great story. Is that a recent occurrence or something that happened a long time ago?

Cheers,

Casey

Jessica said...

I couldn't be more thrilled that you found such a place in oregon to call your own.

noexcuses said...

You also had me at "front porch swing!" I am thrilled for you as you begin this new adventure!

Dawn said...

This read like an excerpt out of a novel... you can hear the true joy and love in your voice.
Welcome home!

Jeanne said...

Oooh! I love that house! The stone face is gorgeous, and it looks like it gets lots of light.

This is the house you're meant to have.

Cheryl Lage said...

It's beautiful, as was your response to it.

When we met our dog for the first time in the pound "meet-and-greet" area, I stared bawling like a baby.

That's how love is. Know you will love being in this house.
:)

Happy Valentine's Day---you have a new love!

Sue said...

I've had a brutal three days working with my "public"! They can be brutal. To come home, glance through my favorite blogs, and then to find your blog and it's message. I don't exactly know how to put this into words, but I strongly believe in "never" giving up, no matter how bad it seems! and to always keep "hope" alive in your heart! And look what it did for you. My heart is smiling for you tonight!!

Take care my friend,
Sue

Paige said...

Im so proud of you and happy for you. You are handling this like such a big girl. Im impressed

Enjoy your new home

Anne said...

There are a number of websites with 'official' seeming contracts for rent to own. My friends sold their house that way. They started together with a loan officer and who was able to punch numbers and figure out how long it would take. In the end, they sold their house to a divorced mom who had been through bankruptcy TWICE. It took three years ~ but she is now a happy homeowner.

Jane said...

Wow, that was lovely. Thank you for sharing, and all the best as you embark on this new adventure.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

good for you!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Who cares what the inside looks lie.... It has a swing on the front porch :-)
YEAH for YOU. xo jj

Vodka Logic said...

Awww I was tearing a bit with you. It sounds lovely and I bet kittie will be happy too. The fact you were channeling your mother is the icing on the cake...can't wait to see the inside.

WeaselMomma said...

I love you and am thrilled to see a glimmer of hope in your heart.

Scope said...

That must have been VERY difficult to finally write. You have guts and courage.

Sara J. Henry said...

VodkaMom won't point this out, but I will - see that little PayPal button over to the right, folks? Let's help VodkaMom get together a down payment for her little house! If everyone threw in a tiny amount - what we would spend to go to a movie or out to lunch - it would mount up fast. Me, I can certainly skip a meal or two out to help out!

Lynn MacDonald said...

Wow Sarah!!, youre awesome...I'm so glad you shared this journey you've been on. I know you love that house and you belong with each other.

Lots of love...I mean it,

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I love your little house. Sometimes I think the one who moves out has the easier time of it with the "fresh start" - they actually have a new home to help. Either way - it's darling and so special in its reminders of your childhood.

PLUS - rent to own? That's a dream come true!

Formerly known as Frau said...

I;m over the moon happy for you! You deserve happiness!

FRANNIE said...

It was meant to be. :)

Sara J. Henry said...

Just in case I'm not the ONLY one who read an earlier comment wrong - it took me a while to work it out - it's VodkaMom and the HOUSE that belong together - not VodkaMom and me! Although I do think she is phenomenal, and I fully expect that my novel will have a place of honor somewhere in her house! (I think is what you call a mutual admiration society.)

Assistant ZooKeeper said...

My heart is full for you. I'm so glad your home found you. Sounds like your Precious Mother is at work again! Welcome home to you and your violets! Cheers!

Julie said...

That is wonderful, I am so happy for you. Can't wait to see new pics!

Magpie said...

It sounds perfect.

(My mother did the same thing, wallpapering the water pipes...)

Amy said...

Welcome home!! An amazing journey you are on. And you are doing it well, my friend.!

Homschlr4ever said...

That's exactly how we came to be in our house. I walked in saw the owner had the same trunk that my mother had (she died that year) and I knew this house was for me, not matter how old or how much work, I belonged to it and it belonged to me.
I'm so glad that you found the house and the house found you. Somehow just stepping inside each evening will bring you hope. Congratulations.

Susan www.swimbeauswim.blogspot.com

The Empress said...

BIG smile here. I wish I could come over with a basket of goodies for you and your new home.

Lady Jennie said...

Oh wow no way! Owning is always better, and you can rent to own? I think someone is lookin out for you.

SkylersDad said...

Sorry I am late to the party for congratulating you, but I am sending you big hugs from over here!!

jessica said...

crying now. so yeah, eff you for that.

J.J. in L.A. said...

I know the feeling. I had it 26 years ago when we saw this house. We felt like it was where we were supposed to be (after looking at about 15 houses).

When you know, you know.

Congratulations, hon!

prettylittlereckless said...

um. would you like a roommate? because I think I love that house just as much as you do. So gorgeous! congrats!

Anonymous said...

Congrats! I love your blog and Frank, he kills me and reminds me why I don't have kids.
I knew this was "home" when I walked in and never looked back. It took me longer to buy a car then a home. Enjoy.

Trish@Show and Tell said...

Sometimes you just "know".
Wishing you lots of happy memories in your new home.

Trish
xx

slow panic said...

congratulations!

Kimberly said...

Yeah for you! Nothing quite like carving our your own space.

only a movie said...

Congratulations. This is exactly the perfect way for a home to find you.

xoxoxo

Pastor Sharon said...

Lovely home! I love what Sara has done, involving your bloggy friends to help participate in making your dream come true.

We are on board with this at our house!

Oh, and that you have began to write about this adventure, is beautiful!

This house was built just for you, sister! Sounds like your Mother is loving you too! Love that she decorated like the person who loved this home before you.

Yvonne said...

New beginnings ! Lovely house!

The Good Cook said...

I understand.

Gayle said...

Probably one of the most beautifully written pieces you've done. When you are settled you should use your writing skills to make yourself rich...you deserve it!!

Catch the Kids said...

My heart soared for you Vodkamum! I just love your writing. Hope your new home brings you joy and contentment.

Mom24 said...

I love your home. It looks like my dream home. Congratulations on starting the journey of your happily ever after.

Ann Imig said...

I am so proud of you. You followed your heart and trusted your path and took the road less traveled and all that shit.

;)

So much love to you.

Neil said...

How wonderful! But how did you know? Did you just feel the house was special? Surely there are other houses around? It sounded as if it was calling at you!

the mama bird diaries said...

How wonderful. :)

Angie Ledbetter said...

So very happy for you. How can there be a better beginning than peace, serenity, comfort and sanctuary welcoming you home? xxo

slouchy said...

Yay! But I'm a little miffed. I have yet to receive my invitation to the beautiful, just right house.

anymommy said...

I am a little bit breathless with happiness for you - and from reading your gorgeous writing - and from the joy of being your friend while you put yourself first. xoxo.

San Diego Momma said...

This is so beautiful, and all of it -- this new step, the house, you in this phase, feels just right.

Love you.

All Adither said...

I love this. I hope you find a lot of peace in your new home.

Liss said...

Here's what I think:
I think your Mum found this house for you. I think she's pushing and supporting you the only way a Mum can.

Go YOU!! xxx

Lara said...

What an amazing post. I can so relate... and I clearly need to read through your blog to catch up with all I've missed in the months and months that I was away from blogging.

It's amazing how falling in love with a house can bring you home to yourself.

Queen Bee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laggin said...

I missed this one...it's as though your mother is able to wrap you in her arms once again... <3