So we bought a house. Through the Lord's provision and some amazing, awe-inspiring miracles, it is done. I had my friends Josh and Amy Powers over for lunch on Sunday, and Josh asked me about the things that have surprised me about homeownership (I had already voluntarily discussed a few). So I thought perhaps I would discuss those for a bit. Et voila.
1. I like gardening. When Holly would talk about her sweet potato vine, or Mom and Charlie would take pictures of their azaleas, I was always like, yeah yeah yeah, but now. Well, get out of my way. I have planted zinnias, spread fertilizer, tilled and planted a tree ring, and potted a bell pepper plant that I think may be doomed by my inexperience at repotting vegetable plants. NONEtheless, I love it. I like dirt. I like seeds. I like looking at dirt and seeds and watching what they do from one day to the next. I am already planning for my fall vegetable garden, especially since my builder's son told me today that I might as well give up on my hopes of a truly grassy yard until the fall. Blast. Oh well. Winter squash, here we come!
2. I like being here. I have always been intentional about choosing apartments or houses that would offer the maximum amount of soul-safeness one could hope to find in a rental, but until now, I just did not know how deep that nourishment can run. For the last two years (since Olivia's birth), I have shared a room with my daughter. I did this out of choice because I just knew that I would prefer to be as close to her as possible. But here, we each have our own rooms. So at night, I don't hang out in the living room, or the kitchen, or the front porch. I hang out in my bedroom. Because I can sit in my bed, with the lights on, and watch a movie or post a blog or read a book and it's okay because my daughter is in her room with the lights off and sound machine ON. I gladly re-welcome that grown-up-ness into my life.
3. I worry about what might have been left on when I leave for work. I use 4 heating devices max each morning: stove, blow-dryer, flat iron, iron. Every morning, as I am driving down the road, I go through them all mentally. Did I turn the stove off after making our oatmeal? Did I unplug the blow-dryer? Did I turn off the flat iron? Did I even iron any clothes this morning? The sense of investment and ownership jumped off the charts literally overnight, and I definitely didn't plan on that. Yes, I have insurance, but who drives away from their house each morning thinking, 'oh, who cares, I have insurance...'?????
4. I enjoy just about everything more here. The mindset of renting vs. owning really is astonishing. I think maybe it is more pronounced in the South, especially considering the fact that folks in the North can rent the same place for 20 years and have it make perfect sense from just about every viewpoint. So I definitely think this is, at best, a regional phenomenon. But I like to cook here. I like to garden here (and I have never liked that anywhere), I like to fix things here, I like to make lists about 'here'. It's more about the sense of permanence than the sense of ownership for me, honestly. It's the fact that I asked for a place to settle.
I could write more, for sure, but it is late, and I need to get my weary bones to bed. So until I write again, come on down to the Briar patch. Sit on my porch and I'll fix you some sweet tea.