It was no secret to our close friends back in Texas that we wanted to relocate to Colorado. My closest friends had been hoping and praying and cheering us on. I think somehow we knew the day would come, but we didn't speak of it for fear the goodbye tears would start flowing, and before we knew it, we'd be experiencing the Ugly Cry. You know the one. Red, drippy nose, watery eyes, tears falling, face all contorted. Nobody wants to Ugly Cry, not even in front of their closest friends. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just can't be helped.
I was in the midst of such a cry saying goodbye to my Bestie the night before we left Texas when she said, "I couldn't be happier for you. But I have to be honest. If I have any concern at all it is that this might be your Xanadu. I would hate for you to think that everything will all be perfect only to be disappointed after you've settled there." I totally understood. John and I had ourselves talked about this very thing. We wanted to have a realistic view of our new life, not a dreamed up fantasy full of unreal expectations. Life is life no matter where you live. Good, bad, and ugly. I assured my friend that we had thought of this many times.
Of course, the excitement of the mountains, the anticipation of snow and the new town was off the charts. I have spent the last three and a half months reminded over and over again why I fell in love with Colorado on every ski vacation. Why I love mountains. How I can't get enough of the deer, the foxes, the chipmunks, and the bears. But, yes, of course, there have been reality checks along the way.
Perhaps nothing gives such frequent opportunities for these reality checks as purchasing a home. (Well, other than getting married. And having babies.) It all starts when you walk through and view the home for the first time. "I would have built that differently." "Hmm...that's not what I had in mind." "That's interesting." "What were they thinking?!" Of course, you don't say those things out loud.
But it really is so exciting to buy a house, and you start imagining yourself living there and your belongs all put in place. And you like it. Then comes the inspection. You hope for a clean bill of health. Reality check. The inspection uncovers a few hidden things. Can you live with them? Repair them? We said, "yes."
Moving in. So exciting! Unpacking. Not so much. But you are home!
Then you get your first big rainfall. Reality check.
You get your first cold snap. Reality check.
You run a second radon detection test after the house failed the first one during inspection. Reality check.
You have a lovely garden tub in the master bathroom. Reality check.
The master bathroom has a nice stand alone shower. Reality check.
It appears there was some kind of leak that the previous owner did not mention in his disclosure papers that someone tried unsuccessfully to repair, but really we all can see that it was just a band-aid. This means more work.
You have three full bathrooms. Reality check.
You have a beautiful front and back yard with aspen trees and sarvis berry bushes along your property line. Reality check.
Voles. You have voles. No wonder the neighborhood cats like to come and visit. And thank goodness they don't come indoors. They stay outside. "Exterminate!" (If you are a Whovian, read it like a Dalek.)
The exterior of the home is log siding. Reality check.
There is a wonderful wooden deck outside of the kitchen for an outdoor BBQ/eating area. Reality check.
And most bizarre of all: The deluge that we have experienced in the last two weeks has kept the threat of forest fires next to nil. Reality check.
The excessive moisture has given rise to a crop of some species of Monster Mushrooms that break through the surface of your asphalt driveway (!) leaving you feeling like you have entered a real-life version of Super Mario Bros. that has gone horribly wrong. Yes, another expense. (Seriously. Who ever heard of a mushroom that could break through a driveway?! Mario and Luigi., I'm telling you.)
But you know what?...I. love. this. house. We all do. And we would never have bought it if we hadn't believed with all of our hearts that we were supposed to. No regrets. Just lots and lots of time and energy, and yes, more money than we wished for repairs.
We have been swamped. Long gone are those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. They have been replaced with nonstop, busy, work days of preparing a house for winter, or better said, preparing a house for snow. No time at the present for sewing and knitting. Instead we repair and we maintain and we primp and we fuss and we fix up. I have this crazy, quirky thing of giving inanimate objects human feelings. I can't count how many times I have said to John upon completing a house project, "She's so happy we live here!" And I really believe she is. We are making her into a home. Our home. I think she's wonderful.
Reminds me of something I heard once about living with your spouse. Most people have rose-colored glasses on when they look at their partner before they get married. Then after the wedding they take the glasses off, and they see every little thing about their spouse that drives them crazy. It would be far better to take a long, hard look at your partner before you get married, then after the wedding put the rose-colored glasses on. Grace.
So with my rose-colored glasses on, I have seen a benefit to having an overgrown yard full of dandelions and tall grasses.