"Life is what happens while you're making other plans."
That's one of my fall-back quotes from college days. Still true every day of my life.
This weekend, while down in Florida with the Captain, playing dominoes with my Pirate friends and having lots of good laughs, it comes up that a certain house is for sale. Deco Dave, our Jamaican/New Zealand friend is in town. Deco Dave (who I'm pretty sure is my long lost brother, we have an amazing relationship like that) has a gorgeous house in the Grove that he kept despite moving out of the country. I love the location, the house, the guest house out back, the tree HOUSE with marble flooring, everything about Davy's house (ok ok it's worth well over a million so yeah, it has some "amenities.") Mostly I love the neighborhood - walking distance to town and the marina, lovely address with lots of Pirate friends in the neighborhood. Turns out the house for sale used to be the Captain's house - before his then wife decided it wasn't a place to raise kids and made him sell it and move across the state. Sigh. A few years later, Deco Davy's brother bought it and lived there for a number of years. Pirate neighborhood indeed.
I suddenly got the craziest ideas of buying the house. Ideally, I'd buy the house in 1.5 years, when my house is being sold and I have equity and all that. But the house is for sale now and at bargain basement prices. We start scheming and doing crazy math and coming up with creative financing plans. To be neighbors with DecoDave? priceless.
Next day Captain and I went to see the house (listed by another Pirate friend who gave us the code for entrance). The yard is perfect - lots of room for Queen Bee and Stinky to run, and already fenced in. Amazingly, much of the work the Captain did on the house is still in evidence 15 years later - clearly he has a good and careful hand for such improvements. And the latest owner revamped the entire (tiny) kitchen in very good taste. The windows have the original lead panes of 100 years ago. It already survived Hurricane Andrew back in '92, so we know it's hardy. Hardwood floors throughout. Nifty pass-throughs from the bedroom to the kitchen where the Captain's kids used to peek out and say, "We'd like cheeseburgers fries and a coke" while the Captain and his wife were making dinner 15 years ago. Much charm. My corner hutch would fit nicely in the dining room, as would the buffet and dining room table....
But as I walked around the house, it didn't feel like my next house. I have been toying with moving to Florida in 1.5 years. Where? I don't know - probably east coast, probably miami-ish. On the water? In a house? In a condo? I don't know.
At least now I know where I won't live. I realized this 100 year old house, while full of charm and in a great neighborhood, isn't me. I don't have the skills of the Captain to fix the many things that are likely to go wrong. [and NO the Captain and I won't be living together] I don't have the time or energy to "take back" much of the overgrown vines and plants in the way I would want to to make it My yard. I don't have the energy to revamp the bathrooms that haven't been redone since probably the 50's.
And so the Dream is redefined or maybe just given some definition.
At least now I know that I think it will be a house - I can't imagine not having at least a small yard. And it will be newer with a master bathroom and walk in closet like I've always wanted. And a decent sized kitchen. And a garage. And the charm of the neighborhood in the Grove where the Pirates live.
Where? I still don't know. But where not, well, I guess knowing that is some progress?