I do my best thinking in the morning when I am alone with coffee. (Little milk, little sugar, no more creamer) In recent days I have been preoccupied with a million things — too much to sit down and enjoy coffee in the morning. Last night, I went to sleep when the kids did. I am a single Mom, so usually this is unheard of. Usually, I put them to bed, put my face in school books, research LSAT statistics and articles related online, do laundry, clean the house (or the milk off of my Macbook), look at houses in the area that could be in my price range, pretty much anything and everything that I cannot do while I am working or at home tending to the children. Last night was a frozen pizza, don’t judge me, for them and then an early bed time since they stayed up later the night before their Dad’s. I have phone conversations with my bank, loan people, in the car while trying to hush the children and come home only to discover that the house is dry and there isn’t any wine in the house… Sigh. So, I dragged myself upstairs and put myself to bed at 8:40PM. And that meant that I was wide awake at 3:05AM. So – here I am, with coffee, and two open issues of Popular Photography magazine (something I used to be wildly passionate about)… pouring over real estate pages and mortgage calculators.
I am looking at houses, houses to buy and turn into an investment, perhaps, if I can afford it. Each little house has its own little charm. I look around my current house and I think of how liberated I felt when I moved in here. It was my first, post-divorce, standalone home. I had a cute little townhouse before, which served its purpose and functioned nicely. However, I needed a little more space and better schools. So, when I moved into this place, I became quite attached to this little blue house – it has my memories, memories with my kids, memories with people that I have loved, and lost, and little tiny glimmers of plans to paint and renovate and little sketches of plans in notebooks in my little file-folder. I remember cursing like hell while trying to install a curtain rod in the living room because drywall was put up over plaster and the screw refused to go all the way in the wall. Finally, I said “Fuck it!” and tossed the screwdriver onto the couch and got a short little and hammered it into the wall. DONE!, I yelled, covered in drywall dust. I laugh about it now, but I was not laughing then. Or when it hailed like hell and it shattered the back screen door and I threw my hands in the air and said “WHAT NEXT?!” and slammed my dirty dishes into the sink.
Those things made this house. Those things made this place what it is… I made the living room cozy and warm and inviting. I don’t light the fireplace, too small and not vented properly, but I put a mirror and some candles in there. Put my artwork above the mantle.
Now, I am looking at these houses and getting a real taste of what I do and do not like… and if that is a place that I could possibly enjoy to make some memories and turn into a little investment. This is going to be tough…I don’t like…
- Natural wood finishes.
- Tile with unnatural colors.
- Plastic shower enclosures.
- Sliding doors on showers.
- Narrow stairwells.
- Metal railings on porches and exterior stairs.
- Houses without fences in the yard.
This list is getting long. I get frustrated and walk away from the short list of houses in my price range. Close the laptop and get involved in something else. Then real estate sites draw me back…and I start trying to get creative with how much I think I can afford and then give houses I looked at before a second look… give up, close the laptop, talk myself into “By the time I have the cash and I am ready to buy — there might be more houses. New houses. Houses that have what I like. Houses that are big enough to temporarily house Drew, two kids, and three dogs. It’s totally possible!”.
But then there is a chance that all of this is just to subsequently create a plan B. But then what is PLAN B?! … how do we devise PLAN B?!
MORE COFFEE?!… No, bad idea. No more coffee this morning. Clearly, this has gotten out of control.
I got up from the computer and did this… instead:
Japanese magnolia in my side yard… Popular Photography inspired me this morning. Sue me.