The day started with me filled with trepidation. I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I was making a mistake. A big one. But I knew of no way to back out of it without it costing me some money. And I wouldn't have had a place to live, either.
I can't remember the exact time of the appointment, or the names of all of the characters involved. I remember Robyn and Scott, though, without whom none of this would have been possible. I don't remember which one I met first. Both, though, were very happy to help me change my entire life.
Scott. I talked to him almost daily. We became very close, so close that he actually bought me a present. Most girls probably wouldn't have appreciated what he gave me, but to me, it was perfect. He listened to what it was that I needed, and he came through even when he was down and out.
I lost track of Robyn. She changed jobs again, and I haven't been able to track her down. I so appreciate what she did, though. She made sure that the financial side of the deal ran smoothly, and was an excellent facilitator between several government entities. A wonderful woman.
Robyn was my mortgage broker, Scott was my realtor. They helped me to buy my house on May 20, 2003.
I remember that day so well. I was scared to death at what I was getting myself into. The commitment. The anchor of a house weighing me down. The realization that I would no longer be foot loose and fancy free. A house! A responsibility. Aaaaaagh!
But, when I was looking at houses, this was the perfect house. I looked at a lot, mostly in town and closer to work. I had gotten myself pre-approved on a mortgage so I knew what I could spend, and the houses in my price range were horrors. One seriously needed torn down but the owner wouldn't come down on the price at all. Greedy barstards.
I met Scott through one of his listings; a house belonging to a lady who had just passed. I ended up not looking at it because it felt haunted, but I kept Scott. He was so new. Green as a carsick puppy. Perfect for me, because he was more flexible than a more seasoned realtor. He started out showing me the company's listings, of course, but they were all a bit above my limit and I was adamant that I wasn't going over. I was tired of being broke paying for a roof for the pets.
I eventually found a web page, Realtor.com, and started searching for houses on my own. Scott was a real trooper. I would find the houses, go scout them out, then he would take me to look at the ones that passed the exterior inspection. We came to see this house when he was sick. Poor guy. We had the date set, he tried to find a replacement, but no one was available. I didn't have time to wait as my lease was running out and it was renew or move out time. So I insisted, saying I would drive. When I picked him up, I was equipped with saltines and Sprite and Kleenex. He did good.
This house had been repo'ed by HUD so it had been empty for a year. In really good shape, though. What sold me was the kitchen cabinets, solid wood and original, and the back yard. I just felt totally at home and at peace in the back yard. It was wonderful.
My back yard neighbors, Bill & Mary, actually came over while we were looking around to talk to us. They assumed that Scott and I were a couple, but weren't too upset when I said it was just me. I took it as a good sign, that the neighbors were that friendly. And they still are, so I must be a good neighbor, too.
I took the next week off from work and a friend helped me to paint and clean and get moved. I lost 10 pounds that week, too, eating twice a day and working hard to get things done. Luckily, the gas station deli had really good burgers. Mushroom swiss. And fried potato wedges. Yum.
I met Bailey that week, too. I was leaving the doors open while I was working, and he just came in one day. Very friendly little guy, always a smile. He started hanging out and coming over every day for that week or so. I sort of hurt his feelings, though, when I actually moved in. He didn't know that I would be bringing dogs with me... The first time he came bouncing up to the door, they scared him. It took a while to get him to come up to me again, and it took years before he trusted my dogs. He became Lance's best friend, though.
So here I sit, nine years later, feeling totally at home. It took a while, and I couldn't pinpoint exactly when it happened. I put it on the market twice, trying to escape, but the powers that be had other plans. Now, it is my haven. My escape from the meanness of the world. My refuge. It is me, too. Outside, looking pretty good. Not perfect. Weeds in the grass, needs trimmed around the edges. Inside, a cluttered mess. Just like me. But I am getting closer to getting the inside straightened out at I get my insides straightened out.
So, did I do the right thing nine years ago? Absolutely.
Update on Puff- don't ever give your old animal Tramadol. Puff is currently being traumatized by not knowing who she is, who I am, where she is, ... It's horrible. And all I can do is wait until it wears off. It affected Lance, too, though not to this degree. Always Google for side effects. It can make animals going into senility act completely senile. I didn't know Puff was leaning that way or she never would have gotten it. Hoping she's okay when it wears off.