Last April, my mom and I went to an open house that was somewhat uninspiring. I liked the price and location of the house and the street was planted end-to-end with the most spectacular trees but, the house itself was in dire need of updates. Having recently moved from a handyman's special, I had no interest in becoming a servant to another dysfunctional dwelling.
I said something politely non-committal to the seller's agent and headed for the car. As we drove out of the neighborhood, I pointed to another house that sat immediately behind the one we had just toured. It was essentially the same building and floorplan but looked somehow more inviting. “I wish that one were for sale.”
Flash forward to August 26, 2009.
Rather than spend the second anniversary of R's death slumped in front of my computer, filling my cubicle with kleenex and misery, I took a sick day. Aside from our visit to R's playground, we didn't really have a plan for the day--planning and focusing are two things in short supply with the mommicked family anymore. We just loaded C in the car and drove around town...to the neighborhood we hoped to relocate to...down a street planted end-to-end with the most spectacular trees.
I think you know where this is going.
The house. My house. For Sale! Jesus Christ on a Triscuit! Fates, stars, and planets aligned!
So we bought it.
I won't bore you with the details. I think I've already mentioned some of my opinions on real estate dealings and I seem to have misplaced my soap box and my copy of Marx's manifesto (just kidding--I'm not now, nor have I ever been, a communist). The bottom line is that I'm sitting in my very own dining room typing away as Snowmageddon 2010 rages outside.
The dog is a little out of sorts and the couch we ordered is still in parts-unknown but, it seems that we are finally settled.
The spectacular trees are sycamores. In the mid-twentieth century, disease wiped out most American Elm trees and left many urban and suburban areas completely devoid of canopy cover. The sycamore, prized for its heartiness, was a favored choice for replanting. They aren't the most graceful of trees...certainly no match for a lovely, vase-shaped elm. But, they are tough. More importantly they grow fast. They grow so fast, in fact, that their bark peels off in great chunks, unable to stretch to accommodate the rapid expansion of the trunk beneath. They are literally bursting out of their skin with life.
Outside of our new home, the branches of 'my' sycamores stretch to reach each other, forming a cathedral-like peak over the street. Beautiful and resilient, they shelter us and welcome us home.