Monday, July 11, 2011

What's the Catch?

You guys, I found us a place to live! Well, no. A friend of mine found us a place to live. Walking through her neighborhood last week, she happened to notice a "for rent" sign stuck in the yard of a house just a block from her. She texted me a picture of the sign with the phone number for inquiries & the rest is history.

After the discouragement of going to an open house for a far less fabulous house last Saturday that was attended by at least 4 other families (in just the 30 minute span of time we were there), the open house for this place was attended Well, me and one other woman who walked through the house quickly, said "we'll be in touch," and took off (whatever, crazy lady! This place is GOLD! GOLD, I TELL YOU!!!). The landlord, heretofore referred to as, "Mr No Nonsense," didn't bother with that pesky Craigslist or the paper. He just stuck his sign in the front yard and if someone saw it, it must be meant to be. Thank you, Mr. No Nonsense. And thank you to my fantastic friend who lived in the neighborhood and saw the sign.

Within an hour of walking through the house (and forgetting to ask about air conditioning, washer/dryer) and marveling at the FOUR bedrooms and THREE bathrooms and the backyard LINED WITH TOMATO PLANTS and gorgeous flowering climbing vines, he called me and told me "the other people who said they would be here aren't here. They said they wanted it, but they didn't come to see it. So I've made my decision. I got a feeling about you when we were talking; I feel like you will take good care of the house. You'll be happy here. Your family gets the house." (yes, he was that dramatic; I love him already, people).

I texted Husband (who was 6000 miles away in Dublin), and sent him a bazillion poorly lit iPhone pictures of each room of the house and I'm pretty sure he could hear me "SQUEEEEEEE'ing" across the miles.

The best part? We are within a couple of blocks of some of our best friends, and closer than we were to some of our others. The house is within walking distance (ambitious walking distance, but still...) to Ethan's kindergarten. AND, if we're there for more than a year, a couple of blocks from his elementary school. As opposed to the 20 minute drive we've been doing almost daily for the past 2 years. A block!!! That means I can actually go home while Ethan's in school without feeling guilty about my gas-sucking car polluting up the atmosphere & draining our bank account.

So there's that.

Also? On Saturday, I am going to start selling my photography. My Susan G Komen team is hosting a concert/auction/art sale & I mounted about 80 photos to contribute to the sale, the proceeds of which will be going to our fundraising efforts. I have no idea if anyone will actually buy any of my pictures (I hope they do because the $$ is for a great & important cause), but the idea that after Saturday, someone somewhere might have one of my little photographs stuck up on a wall or tacked onto a cork board or under a magnet on their fridge somewhere in their home kind of blows my mind in the most humbling and thrilling way I've ever felt.

I am feeling particularly lucky & grateful (and honestly a tiny bit afraid that something is going to transpire to make this whole thread of fabulousness unravel, because it just seems too good). Its hard to trust the universe sometimes, even when it seems to be handing you exactly what you want (or maybe because of that). But for now I'm going to try my best to believe that good things can happen with no catch, no strings attached, and be happy with that.


Friday, July 08, 2011

All You Need is Love....right?

So, summer kind of sucks this year. Its hot as the devil's backside outside (which is weird for this time of year in Northern California--its usually not 100 degrees until September; you know, autumn. When its supposed to be cooling off). I am spending all my time either looking for a place for our family to move to that doesn't cost a large fortune (I'm even willing to consider a small fortune at this point) or getting up at the crack of dawn to get in a 10-mile training walk before the day begins. The walking is great and I LOVE doing it, especially for a cause, but it takes up hours of time that I would otherwise be spending, oh, I don't know, sleeping. Or blogging. Or organizing my house for a move to G-d knows where.

Luckily, there's this:

to distract me from the heat and the frustration and the no-time-to-get-anything-done-ness of this summer.

There will be a lot of down-sizing in our lives, a lot of "since there won't be any more kids, I guess we don't need a 3-bedroom"-ing and yard sale-ing (as in the selling side of it, not the buying part of it). The housing market is picking up out here for sellers (as is evidenced by our landlords booting us to sell their house), so renters are running back to apartments and condos. And apartments and condos are taking full advantage, charging obscene amounts (not like Manhattan amounts, but we are talking the suburbs here--$3700 for a 3-bedroom apartment in suburbia? INSANE).

In the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley, this move is forcing us to stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and focus on the essentials--all we really need is each other. Husband, Ethan and me.* And the tickle-fights & laughter. And the bedtime stories & cuddles. In reality, 3 people don't take up a lot of space. Or need a lot of things. I'm not a girl who has ever really liked a lot of change, but in the past 3 years, I've come to reluctantly embrace it, searching for the positive in the curve balls life throws us, in the sense of not being entirely in control of where we're going or what we're doing. The thing that stays consistent--our family--is what matters, not how many square feet we occupy (although more than 1000 sq ft would be nice, thanks very much). So yeah, I'm all enlightened on that and everything. But I'm still going to cry when I have to donate 100 books to the library.

*(and probably a self-storage rental for all our crap that won't fit into a tiny apartment).