The phone call from my realtor, Dotty Sayer, this morning was unexpected, especially when she told me our dream home had just come available. I grew a little excited, but not much, having had similar calls over the last two years in search of the perfect home.
“No, Obert, this is your home—it hits everything on your wish list.”
Listening, I nodded as she went through some of the salient features: three bedrooms; two full baths; a sun porch; a kitchen nook leading to a deck; central air; nice yard; low taxes.
“Sounds too good to be true,” I said, calling my wife Alandra over, putting the call on speaker so we could both hear. “What’s the catch?”
“No catch. You can look at it—well, now; there’s no wait. Early worm gets the apple.”
We drove together across town to 2411 Wistable Terrace, still in sweatpants and t-shirts after our morning workout, with cold brew coffee in to-go mugs in tow. Alandra tried to bring up photos of the listing on her cellphone, unsuccessfully. We grew worried, but then got a text from Dotty saying she was already there and waiting for us, allowing us to write it off as being too new. With twenty minutes to go, we allowed ourselves to dream some.
“We can put our workout room in the sunroom …” began Alandra, smiling, sketching where things might go on the back of an old receipt.
“… and with three bedrooms, one can be just for your crafts … maybe it will overlook a pretty view for inspiration.”
“Oh, a whole room—I won’t have to box everything up every time I make a new wreath!”
Even though we dreamed, we took a moment to appreciate our twenty-year-old home that had been really good to us. We said things like, we got lucky, or it’s not that we need more or better, it would just be nice to have less, something small so we could nestle into retirement like two old birds in five years, with less visibility of neighbors and stores, less noise, and more simplicity and quiet.
“Should we name it, our possible new house?” Alandra asked, jotting down a few ideas.
“It’s tradition!” I reminded. “The house is on Wistable Terrace, which sounds like a cozy neighborhood that’s always sleeping … how about, Sleepy Wishing Well Home?”
She gave a small peep of appreciation. “Or how about Obertlandra Wishes Come True Homestead.”
“Not bad,” I said, adding, “I like where you’re going with it.” We laugh and keep dreaming what it might be like to actually sleep in a new place, with new views, and possibly all the things we wanted in a house.
My wife gave a sigh. “I just want to one day be able to say, ‘the search is over,’ and we’re home.”
“Me too, babe. Me too.” I take her hand and we start reminiscing about the dreadful houses we’d been led to, by several realtors, before signing with Dotty a few weeks ago—like the Mold House, that was green on the outside—and inside … the radiators had blown, spraying the ceiling and walls and then left sealed up, turning it a nice turquoise blue everywhere. “I gotta guy,” the realtor at the time had said. “He can fix this for a couple-o-hundred bucks, no problem.” Try thousands. Next, please!
“Or the dungeon house …” She mimicked the next congenial agent. “… and here, in the basement, your very own dungeon to hide a corpse!” She recapped the details of the two-by-ten stone room behind a rugged, locked door with metal hooks, hidden in the corner of the basement.
“Brrr … gives me a chill and the shivers.”
“Oh! Remember the one with the pet cemetery on the front lawn?”
I laughed. “That was something else! I didn’t know they made headstones so small.”