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photo by Sheri Dixon

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

I love our house.

It's old and filled with character. From its raising in Tyler's Azalea District, to its migration out to Brownsboro, to its sad intermission of neglect and decay, to my purchase of it while I was still a single woman in between husbands, it's sheltered and protected me for over 15 years- longer than I've ever lived anywhere my entire life.

My husband was my beau when I purchased the house and he walked through it with me before I bought it- not with a realtor or in the company of the owners, just by dint of there being no annoying obstructions like doors or walls standing in the way of walking through it. Always a man of few words yet deep thought, his only comment was "Lotta work". And it has been a lotta work- and it's not even "finished" yet- all the finish work remains to be done. Ward's never lived in a Fixer Upper before, but he loves this house too- and the 15 years he's lived here have been longer than he's ever lived anywhere in his entire life.

Our son was born here. Not as in "we brought him home from the hospital to this house" but as in "he was born HERE- right here in our bed with the aid of midwives- like...on purpose". Obviously, Alec's never lived anywhere longer in his entire life.

About ten years ago we started looking for larger parcels of land with the intention of moving this house somewhere else- hey, it's done it before...but all the many hundreds of parcels we drove past and the dozens we actually walked were not nearly as pretty as the mere three acres we've got here.

Five years ago we found what we were looking for only three miles from here. Smaller in size than what we thought we wanted- we'd thought we wanted something with at least twenty acres and what we bought is only twelve- it's nevertheless got so many more features and micro-eco-systems that it "lives bigger".

One thing only casts a sad shadow on this otherwise perfect piece of land- the trees arch across the tiny county road and meet in the middle- the road Home is a living tunnel across two wooden bridges.

Moving the house would necessitate cutting those trees back to get the house through.

Ain't happening.

So the house stays, and the quest for the perfect stewards for our beloved homestead started. We've been close a few times- three to be exact- but it never quite happened. And most of the last few years that's been okay because we've been in Houston so much dealing with that pesky cancer and the aftermath thereof.

We've just come reeling back after a particularly nasty stretch and just like magic we have not one, but TWO possibly perfect families for our home and the chances are good that this time it will really happen- we'll be handing over keys to the front door to someone and pulling out of our yard for the last time within months (I can't say "weeks" as that gives me a panic attack. Those who've seen our STUFF understand).

So what's the problem?

The new place is GREAT- there's a hill rising 150ft. in the back right corner from the low point in the front left corner- the wetlands filled with springs. There's not one, but TWO live creeks that never go dry even in the worst drought years anyone can remember, but that also never jump their banks when everything else is flash-flooding. There are huge trees and dogwoods and wildlife to beat the band. Meadows and shady glades and an old slatted hay barn and...and...and...

Hey. Where's the house? Where's the animal barn and fences?? Where's the WELL???

*Exactly*.

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