Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Year Ago Today: Our Path to a New House

If you ask me to name a specific date where I thought moving to a new and better neighborhood might be possible, I'd refer to the progressive dinner that we had a year ago today.

Do you remember progressive dinners?  I remember progressive dinners as being very popular in the '70's.  You'd go to house #1 to have appetizers, house #2 to have salad, house #3 to have the main course, and on and on until the final house where dessert would be served.  And since it was the 70's, I'm guessing lots of alcohol was served along the way.

We'd been talking about having a progressive dinner ever since several of us at work realized that we lived within a mile or two of each other.  Because we're modern people, it took us awhile to find a date that worked for 4 couples.

That was the most complicated hurdle, but diet was close behind.  We have one friend who is a complete vegetarian, one who is mostly vegetarian but who will eat certain seafoods that are raised or harvested in a sustainable way--was one of us avoiding most dairy?  Anyway, it was slightly complicated, but not impossible.

We began at our house, because we were the furthest away.  We had appetizers.  My spouse made an amazing ceviche, and we served bruschetta.  Then we got in our cars and went to another house where we had 3 kinds of salad, and then on to the main course at a different house, and then we ended with brownie sundaes.  What fun!

Along the way we commented how much better it would be if we could have travelled by golf cart or by foot.  But since we lived so far away, that wasn't possible.

I kept quipping, "Maybe we'll move closer.  Then we can do this more often!"

The other 3 couples lived in the historic district, a place where I've assumed we'd never be able to live.  But as I looked around, I thought, if they can do it, we might could too.  After all, we didn't spend the evening with doctors and lawyers.  We were with librarians and teachers and counselors.  If they could swing the financing, maybe we could too.

My spouse and I spent Sunday talking about how much fun we had.  And since it was a Sunday during football season, it was probably noisy in our old neighborhood.  We talked about moving.  We looked at our finances.  We thought about other investments that could be liquidated to come up with a down payment.

November 17, 2012 was just a few days before Thanksgiving.  We continued our housing conversation during our drive to our Thanksgiving gathering place.  We talked about the possibility of moving with our family members. 

I expected them to say, "You've got a house that's paid for--you'd be crazy to move!"  They didn't.  They said, "You should move to the better neighborhood where your friends live."

Yes, that was the week of much encouragement, from the fun of a progressive dinner, to the approval of family members.

We knew we could start the process right away.  My spouse had just had an MRI and a consult, and we were pretty sure he'd be having surgery to cure his back pain.  We wanted to get that done first, so that if it cost more than we were expecting, we'd have the funds.

I've complained a lot about health insurance, but our plan came through for us.  We paid very little.  And my spouse has had an amazing recovery.

So, as we begin to turn our sights to Thanksgiving this year, I've got a lot to be grateful for.  I'm grateful for my spouse's restored health.  I'm grateful that our finances have survived many circumstances that could have sunk us.  I'm grateful for our journey that led us to this new, historic house.  I'm grateful for good friends and supportive family members who have accompanied us.

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