Yesterday morning we gathered our crew into the car and drove over to my parent's house. We dropped Cordelia and Bumblebee off for a visit while we headed to the bank. When we arrived most everyone was assembled. We waited for a few minutes until the sellers (some people who are very dear to us) arrived. I looked around the bank conference room with a giddiness in my heart. There were a dozen pens laid out on the table and a pile of papers that didn't seem all that large (we'd been told that we would sign a gajillion papers).
Finally the sellers (family friends) arrived. I knew this was kind of a sad day for them, the end of a long and very happy chapter of their lives. A family home was passing on to a new family. We tried to keep our joyful exuberance down to a respectful level.
Signing of contracts began...and magically that pile of papers that had initially seemed small began to multiply into a giant beast of papers. Hands cramped, beads of sweat formed, the moon rose in the sky. Oh, well that may be a major overstatement, but it did take a while to get through all of the signatures. The whole time I kept looking at the house keys across the table, just little pieces of metal, but they mean so much to us. They mean the end of one long journey and the beginning of a new one. They mean that Cordelia will have a childhood home, that we have a family home, that we are growing up.
When the paperwork was done I am not quite sure what I expected: confetti to fall from the ceiling, a round of applause and an impromptu musical number perhaps. Instead there was the exchange of cashier's checks, the exchange of gifts between most everyone there (which was so sweet, what a wonderful way to start). We trailed as a big group out into the parking lot, hugs followed. Eric and I turned to leave and I squeezed his hand tightly, he squeezed back. We got into the car and just hugged. We are homeowners.
I began to sob like a baby as we pulled out of the parking lot. Years of rental frustration and feeling like I have no home came to an end. More than that I was completely overwhelmed by the kindnesses of others that helped us to get into this place. We truly couldn't have found this house at this time without a veritable army of good will. I have a tremendous debt of gratitude.
The tears subsided as we steered the car home. We pulled into the driveway and entered the front door. Our home. At last. We wandered around the house, looking into cupboards and closets. Still feeling as though we were in someone's house, not quite ours. We sat on the floor in the living room and hugged, taking it all in for a quiet moment. Soon we were joined by my mother, brother Sam and Cordelia.
A few hours later we were busy painting, making this our home. By the end of the day that is exactly how it was beginning to feel, not because of the fresh paint, but because we were making it ours. Also, there is something about watching the light change in a house throughout the day, listening to the wind blow over it, learning the sounds of the fridge and the heater--it makes it all feel more real, more familiar.
Today is another day of painting in our home. I can't wait to get back over to our home!
I will soon have some before and after photos to post!
How have you been?