Why we bought another house

The Beatles are the guys who live in my other house. This afternoon I was talking to George. He was telling me how happy he is in that house.

I told him how happy I was in that house.

“If only that break-in hadn’t happened.”

“What?”

Uh-oh. George didn’t know. No choice but to tell him.

Fridays from September to December John “Scotchie” covered the high school football games for the paper. I lived near the stadium, so he would come straight over and use my computer to write and send his article.

Then we would stay up all night playing poker.

One of these Fridays, about midnight, we were playing cards in the first-floor family room when a helicopter started circling. We could see the spotlight going by in the yard.

It was going on for a while. It was so close the windows were rattling.

We looked out a bit but couldn’t conclude anything.

A couple days later it was all over the news — the Los Angeles-based news, even.

It had been a home invasion. A man held a couple at gunpoint, tied up the husband, took $300 from his wallet, and raped the wife.

It was two blocks behind us, and two blocks to the north.

The guy was never caught.

I was not cool. In fact, the light from cool took three days to reach me.

I know what you’re thinking. It’s the JonBenet thing all over again. How many times is your poor husband supposed to buy a new house because you got scared?

I know this, because my husband told me, right before he told me no.

He reminded me we were just finishing up a major remodel, the house was paid for, and we had two kids headed for college.

He had some points.

I was still afraid, but I dropped it.

By coincidence, the Realtor who sold us that house called my cell one morning when we were at our favorite breakfast diner with my parents.

She just got a listing we had to see. Fun fact: I am a licensed Realtor, and this was a coworker of mine. She was so good at matching people to houses, and so knowledgable, I used her for my three home purchases and recommended her to family and friends.

I told her we’d go see the place before we went Christmas shopping.

I forgot.

She called again when I was in a shop. “All right, all right, we’ll go see, but we’re not planning to move.”

This house was hard to find. We went to a quiet street, a block from my parents’ house, and turned onto a long tree-shaded private drive. Then we turned onto another little private road to get to it.

I got out of the car and looked at the house.

We have always lived in multi-story historic-era homes. We like character, nooks and crannies, wrap-around porches. We like the smell and sound of oak floors, and detailed banisters and woodwork.

This was a patched-together one-story with no trim and aluminum window screens. It was past ugly. It was tacky.

It was half the size of our house.

I said, “Ew.”

My husband had gotten out of the other side of the car — the side by the jasmine-covered archway to the acre and a half of orchard and raised gardens.

Before he turned around to see the house I heard, “We’ll take it.”

My son had gone through the back gate and discovered the koi pond. He yelled, “Sold!”

My daughter had made herself at home by the pool.

I got the best deal of all. I got to say, “Oh, all right.”

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7 Responses to “Why we bought another house”

  1. Rhonda Says:

    Hey, I warned him that it was an outdated gramma house, but he said he didn’t care, so I’m off the hook! 🙂

  2. T. Says:

    Your uncanny ability to know what house is right for people was in full swing.
    We love it here. It’s like being at camp.
    People who come for the first time always say, ‘It’s so you,’ or ‘This place fits you way better than the other place did.’

    You’re way off the hook.

  3. roberto Says:

    Speaking of being a scaredy cat, tell the story of how you evacuated your house because there was a fire in the foothills 12 miles away, across fields, residential and commercial areas, orange groves and the vast Santa Ana River wash.

  4. T. Says:

    ok we didn’t evacuate. we just readied to.
    we put the wedding pictures, baby books and home videos in the van, and made a list of what each person would grab if we had to evacuate.
    that’s not scaredy cat. that’s prudence.
    but i may tell another story about those wildfires. you know i have one.

  5. T. Says:

    I didn’t ignore you Rob, here’s the story you requested:
    https://storiesomine.wordpress.com/2009/09/01/the-wildfire-story/

  6. Sharon Says:

    Lotsa good memories at that house…lots more yet to be!!!

  7. The chandelier story « Stories O' Mine Says:

    […] My favorite Realtor had given us a gift certificate for sending her business. […]

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