Monday, May 10, 2010

When You Get So Much More Than You Pay For

I have had a new job this last month, and yes, I'm paying for the privilege.

It's called Buying a House, something I never expected to do again. This week we should close. I'm starting to pack. Arranged the electric today. Have to nail down the house insurance.

It's been so long since I was an owner, I qualify for firsttime buyer bonus.

It's a little house, perfect for one or two, although I am sure a whole family could be fitted in comfortably should someone wish. Hardwood floors. A large, screened front porch. A big deck, which faces west and won't get much use until fall, when I hope I have a table and chairs for outdoor eating after summer heat gets below 90 degrees--around October.

A large backyard. Small front yard with some nice plantings and trees. The neighbor who is selling it has promised to continue mowing.

I asked my son for a gate in the backyard fence, because that fence separates his larger home from my new home. The gate will facilitate passage back and forth for all of us.

I do not have a big fortune, but I have some savings. I also haven't had a credit card in seven years and haven't had a time payment in more than ten. And yes, I have had to work hard for this. I have considered this my job. What the banker has wanted, I dropped everything else and got it. Twice, I was sure I wouldn't get it. Each time the glitch resolved. And they were big glitches. Actually, they were problems I couldn't do anything about but pray. So I did. Each time I was at peace with whatever the outcome would be. And we have gone forward.

I'm nervous about talking now, before we close, but you know, I'm going to (or as we say here in Texas, "I'm fixing to") be really really busy, and when I move, I'm going to be offline a week or more while I change service.

I look at the future and I see so much I'm going to have to do. And I'm joyous.

My paternal grandmother was really mean to my mother, so much so that Mother told me once to make sure I lived across town from my inlaws. And yet, when my mother was a widow and slipping into illness herself, she went over every evening to pick up my grandmother and brought her home for the night when my grandmother became afraid to stay alone at night. My grandmother looked at me with wonder when I came home from college to visit. She told me how kind my mother had been, when she had been so mean to her. She asked God, and my mother, to forgive her, and she cried a little. She was at peace.

I was thinking about that yesterday. Wasn't I lucky? Maybe my mother's legacy has made me someone who my daughter-in-law actually wants to live next door. I am very honored. My son is delighted. My granddaughters already refer to it as "grandma's house." My younger son anticipates the happiness with which my granddog will explore the fenced lawn.

I know it is doable to grow up without security and support and become an adult who can be kind and supportive to others. It is easier if one has grown up with a good role model, or two, or three. But I have friends who grew up with the bad example and turned away from it to find a more satisfying, happier way to live.

Multi generations are important. While not the majority, many families choose to live together with three or even four generations together. I know a good half dozen with side by side homes like we will have, many others with a suite or outbuilding on property for the grandparents. I knew a family where the woman had her adult daughter and granddaughter living with her and her husband, and also her mother, who was quite active. The toddler was taught to call the oldest family member GiGi, or really, GG for Great Grandmother. I thought that was charming.

The grandparents died off early for my sons, and I always thought they missed out. My granddaughters have three grandmothers, a grandfather, three uncles and an aunt. Whew. They have a richness of love and connections.

Soon, one of those will live next door. I promise to do my best in the years to come to contribute as much as possible to the happiness we all feel today.

I can't wait to find out what comes next.


clairz said...

Congratulations--this must be such an exciting time for you. Enjoy each step of the way, and let us all know how it is going for you!

Deb said...

Congrats to you on your new home! I live just a few houses away from my daughter and son in law (and three kiddos), and I love it. Just happened onto your blog this evening...nice read! Thanks!

charlotte g said...

Thanks, Clair. Closing put off till Monday. Painter has an emergency job, so am looking for another (no, I don't do walls). This is a small move. the glitches, chaos and scrambling is as expected. As long as I eat timely, I don't get cranky. And I have a good supply of chocolate.