Patrick and I bought a house in Sylvan Park in July. Buying a house seems so easy when your renting an apartment. And when we walked in the little white house with a red door last July, it was a gut reaction to simply say, “well, let’s put in an offer!”
We both knew right away that this was the house we wanted. We’d seen enough at that point to realize that it was just enough space, in just the right neighborhood, and it was priced to sell. I couldn’t wait to be sitting on the back porch drinking wine and watching our dog run around the beautiful back yard, which thanks to the previous owner, was gushing with flowers, herbs, and trees galore. We closed on the home on the 30th of June, which allowed us to skip the first mortgage payment. Too bad we didn’t think about the fact that many of our friends would be out of town that weekend for the fourth of July. We’d have to make due with a U-haul truck, and just a few saintly friends of Patrick’s.
As an Army kid, I had moved close to 10 times before my 15th birthday. Moving was stressful yes, but actually boxing up your belongings to put in the truck? That was always efficient, orderly, and simple. Easy, even. My job on moving day was always to sit in the front yard of the new residence, marking off the boxes as they arrived. See, they were all numbered with a tag. And each box’s number was written on my clipboard, with its contents listed. Ultimately, a few days later when we are unpacking and my mom is looking for the potato peeler… we can look and see, “Oh! It’s in box 132, which is in the garage!” See? Easy.
Well, Patrick isn’t in the army, we weren’t moving out of state, and we didn’t even have boxes. In fact, a few days before the move, I simply had to go down to the nearest liquor store and try to steal as many leftover boxes as possible. We began stuffing our belongings willy-nilly in the former home of some Maker’s Mark. Wishing we had some. When we ran out of liquor boxes, we began using those large plastic tubs, hoping we could find a matching top. And, when we ran out of plastic tubs… we began to use trash bags. Big black ones that all look the same. And look like trash.
When we got to our new home, three things became clear very quickly. 1) Our friends were going to help us move, but not help us unpack. 2) We were not very organized in how we packed our boxes, tubs, and trashbags. 3) I couldn’t find the potato peeler.
And thus began the process of owning a home.