To Be Continued - Part 1 of 2
It's no new information that round about September my presence on my own blog was significantly diminished. Nothing about my winnowing efforts stopped. In fact, in some ways it kicked into high gear. The deal was that after several years (since I was pregnant with Little Big Man in 2007) we finally settled the debate over whether we needed more house or not, and if so would it come through adding on to our current dwelling or by purchasing a bigger home. We have loved our home; it's small, cozy rooms with warm colors and walls saturated with memories of life as the parents of one, then two, then three. And we have loved our neighbors. It is no small thing to have both to our right and to our left people that we have grown to love and respect and trust deeply. None of this made it easy to even consider moving, so enclosing our garage was the way we had thought we would expand. But as we talked and thought and prayed it became clear that for us a garage renovation, though helpful, would still not solve "the problem". I would catch myself thinking about enclosing the garage and liking the idea, but then I would think about when we could also expand off of the back of the house or the side, etc. It was becoming clear to both Ma Luffin' Mayun and me that perhaps it was time to consider looking at other homes instead of attempting to contort this sweet home into something we could not make it.
To tell the truth, all the time we still were making every effort to keep ourselves open to the idea that this house was where we needed to stay. It's not easy to ward off the temptation to want for the Next Big Thing, whatever it may be. How many of us know too many who have bitten off more than they could chew to have the home or the furnishings or the lifestyle that was more than they could afford? I get that, I really do. You want what you want, plain and simple. But one beautiful result of nearly fourteen years of marriage in which we have simply not made a lot of money (nor ever really expect to) is the learning - painful as it has been at times - to live within our means, and that of course means a smaller home or a used car or thrift store clothing. So I have stayed on my mission to winnow, to use it or lose it, knowing that ultimately we could decide that staying put would be best.
Now comes our proverbial fleece. In September we decided to attempt the pre-approval process for a mortgage loan, finding out what we could afford. Once that was done we decided we would then deep clean, polish this place to a shine, and put a For Sale By Owner sign along with flyers in our front yard. I also made this webpage and put it out into the ethos through email and facebook. We have known we wanted to stay in our small town, keeping the Brilliant Beauty in her school. There are a bazillion lovely and affordable homes that have fallen prey to the economic times - bad for the seller, great for the buyer. We made it through the mortgage application process, found hugely viable options for our next home, and receive nary a call on our house. Not.one.bite.
And then in November the phone rang...