Closing on our house yesterday was pure fun. Johnny and I met the previous owners who were actually very kind and as we chatted, it was evident the reason the house is in such good condition is that they loved their home very much. They picked out that lot and location for specific reasons before the neighborhood popped up. They have one son and one cat.
They told us secrets of the house such as: the vibrant red tree in front of the kitchen is a bottle brush tree. The blooms do not last long, but while they do, your eyes feast on crimson. We will also have Easter lilies! And there is a hook for a bird feeder they left in place since hummingbirds and other birds are prone to frequent the house around breakfast time. The wife left all of the appliance manuals in a kitchen drawer as well as the lawn and termite guys' business cards. We found out they moved 30 minutes away to be close to the engineer husband's employment and the wife is a retired librarian. Seeing the wife talk about her old home so fondly instilled in us a desire to continue their handiwork around the house - they have set a great example.
Johnny and I signed literally 20 papers or so and I was told to even sign my middle name. I laughed each time I signed my name dramatically in hopes it would look more official. I scrawled quickly and left my hand in the air for a moment. See, my cursive sucks. I either type, or print when I write. In fact, when I do sign my name on a check or something, it is the same abstract signature I used when I was single because it does not look like anything, yet at the same time, you could not copy it if you tried. My initials remained the same anyway. The J and S are somewhat legible, and yesterday I at least tried to fit in an L for Leanne. After all the demonstrative signatures, the nice couple gave us their keys. The wife looked a little forlorn, but she smiled. Our friend/realtor made "Our Address Has Changed" cards for us! After everything she has done (making us laugh all the while), it was a sweet gesture and we are grateful not only for our new home, but for our friend to be the one to help us find our first house.
Once in the car, I jingled the keys like I was 3 years old again. We laughed like kids! We drove to the house for no other reason than to walk around and thank God. I opened all the big windows in the kitchen and adjacent dining room to admire the natural light. We discovered a fallen tree limb (Houston had major storms last weekend) in the back yard and Johnny made plans to buy a saw and a large trash can (which he did) and transform to Mr. Handy. I want to learn how to do some handy tasks, too.
We concluded the celebration with dinner at Johnny Carino's - bread dipped in olive oil and roasted garlic, Italian margaritas, small salads; and cedar plank salmon/sauteed spinach for me. We clinked our glasses in honor to God Who provides and Johnny's late father for his generosity and love for his son. I wish he were here so we could thank him over and over, but maybe he knows. The name of our house is Casa John Leroy. We will remind you of that when you visit and tell our future kids repeatedly about their Grandfather.
Today I tackled the tedious process of changing our address with our bank, cell phone company, and all those magazine subscriptions. And I smiled, I did. We may seem too giddy, but after all of our collective apartment years, our house is a mansion. I realized how lovely it will be to bring a baby home to the house and not an apartment. This complex has been safe and tolerable, but we are ready to leave these very thin walls. Specifically, the guy behind our bedroom who snores LOUDLY and his heavy metal music alarm clock prompt at 5:00 am every morning; and the mom who yells at her children too harshly somewhere above our bathroom. It is time for this unconventional couple to invade conventional suburbia. Our neighbors may not know what to think of us, but we will play nice. And Johnny will teach their kids to play nice on the drums.
Posted by jenni at 8:37 PM