Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Curve On The Highway Of Life

I've mentioned of my plans to leave California and begin life (almost) a new in another land. As it turned out, Fort Smith, Arkansas was to be my destination.
I found a suitable property to purchase (just across the stateline in Oklahoma) and contacted my agent, making plans to jet off one weekend to finalize the deal.
Within months, or less, I would be no longer 'here', and was looking forward as I've never looked forward to anything else in my life ('cept the birth of my first-born).

As I've said before, The Blonde and I separated four years ago, maintaining the marriage from separate quarters. (It works. Judge me not).
She was to join me in Arkansas after I got settled in, say, in a few months or so.
Two days before the weekend I was to leave to finalize the sale, we got word her step-mom was ill with cancer, and wouldn't likley be with us long. As a result, her dad would need her help, as he is also too old/sick to live alone. This also wasn't expected to last too long.

Together, we decided to wait a while longer to make this move. Figuring, maybe a couple of years. We decided to look for a home together, and wait out the remaining years, her helping me to 'keep my eye on the prize'.

We set out house hunting, trying to find the right place to rent, not knowing when/if her Dad would be moving in/or not. Too many questions unresolved made it difficult to find a place that would cover any contingency.

The months rolled along. Still hadn't found a place.
In May, I was hit with the tragedy of my sister's death.
I should be in Fort Smith by now, starting the next phase of my life. Fishing. Hunting. Hiking. Relaxing. Breakfasts at the Waffle House. And deciding if I was with The Sooners or The Razorbacks (this matters over there).
Instead, my sister's death has left me as the only sibling able (or willing) to look after my mom.
And believe me, Mom needs (demands) looking after.
(And is a big reason why my brother decided to re-enlist, and stay a continent away)

Mom is seventy-two, in good physcal health.
And I'm stuck here.
Maybe forever.

The Blonde and I decided maybe we should try to buy a home,instead. The real estate collapse has left tremendous bargains for those in the right place at the right time.

For cheaper than rent, we can buy a house bigger and nicer than what we were looking to pay for rent.
Last week, we submitted an offer on a fabulous house and crossed our fingers:
Five bedroom. Large loft. Three full baths. Three car garage. 3200 square feet. Built in 2006. Still like new.
More house than I had ever dreamed I could possibly own.
And still cheaper than rent.

Last night, I signed the bank's counter offer and handed them an earnest check.
It looks like we'll be moving in on or before August 25th.

Life is changing. Not the way I had planned. But for now, I'll roll with flow, and still keep my eye on the prize.

Besides, it ain't a bad house.


RW said...

3200 sq. ft. in California used to cost like seventy gazillion at one time didn't it? Wow!

tully said...

So it's close enough to attend to both of your parents, but small enough that they won't be moving in?

Palm boy said...

So I assume this means you and wife are moving in together?

Strolling Amok said...

Congratulations on the new house. You've had a lot of changes in you life recently and it's good to see that some of them are positive. Good luck with everything in this new phase of life.

Uncle Ben said...

It looks nice. Funny how things work, eh?

Jade said...

Maybe there's no Waffle House, but you can still go hunting and fishing and whatnot from your new base camp. :)

Congrats on the house!

Gino said...

RW:this thing will cost me about $220/mo more(in real dollars after tax deduction) than i'm paying for my 2br apt. funny, aint it?

tully: it does have a guest room, w/bath, just in case

palm boy: well... yeah!

SA: thanks.

ben: they're nearly givin this stuff away here. its great.

jade: was thinking maybe i could convert the third garage into a waffle house.

tully said...

Come to think of it, the house is very "Gino" from what I can tell. Three car garage and rectangular build for maximum practicality and storage of substance. Small lawn making it no-nonsense and low-maintenance. Windows wide and honest like eyes through which to peer into the soul. Plenty of room in its heart for family, but what's that green thing growing on the bottom right hand corner of the roof?


*~*Cece*~* said...

I'm a big believer in Things happen for a reason. Congrats! I'm here in LA so I KNOW you got a great deal on that house.

Gino said...

tully: that pretty close. really.

cece: they're damn near giving shit away out there.
look into it.

Still Stacy said...

Gino, I'm so sorry about your sister. My lack of trolling has made me miss out on some important stuff.

This is all meant to be. I firmly believe that what happens is what is supposed to happen.

Kalifornia may not be your first choice, but just remember that we need to "bloom where we are planted".

Brian said...

What's the old joke about how to make god laugh..."make a plan"?

The SoCal market is in a dip, for sure, but with the combination of population and limited space, it's bound to climb back up eventually. I wish I was in a position to buy in right now. And I'd be willing to bet "eventually" isn't even more than a few years off. You can probably turn this place around in a few years and buy a castle in Arkansas (or just about anywhere else in the US) when the timing is more in your favor.

Best of luck!

Gino said...

stacy: yeah, maybe so. but i'd rather be replanted so i can bloom in arkansas.

brian: the last SoCal housing dip lasted 8yrs, but that was because of the 90's recession, followed by complete and total shut down of the defense industry. i bought my fisrt home then, in 91, for about 70% of the original asking price.

sonditions are different, and unemployment is still low, so this will rebound quickly,i'm sure.
its also the reason i bought so large: larger increase in net $ when the time comes. this a lot of repo for the $. others at this price are 4-500 s/f smaller.

Bike Bubba said...

Congrats on the house, and I'm glad to hear that you & the Blonde are going to try and make things work in the same home. I've been praying for that one. (and others for ya, too)

I posted a great recipe for waffles and fruit sauces on my blog a couples of years back, too. Yes, you can have your own waffle house without too much effort.

Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

I really like that house.

I swear, I need to get a modeling assignment in your neck of the woods. Vas wants to say hi.