My little house on the lagoon


It started long before I made my decision: my kids started hammering me to move to a smaller house. My 30-year-old home seemed way too big. I’d been living there since 1991 and it hadn’t seemed too big to me. But falling badly last December 2015, and needing elbow surgery, overnight I felt as though a smaller house would be easier to care for. Independent of my kids’ badgering me, I was ready to move.

So I looked at several condos with Amanda, my broker. She also showed me patio homes and single family attached homes. None of them seemed right and I was discouraged. On the way back to my house, she saw a friend who was putting her house on the market soon standing in her driveway. Because we saw her, she invited us in. Serendipity! Had she not been there we probably would have driven past the house. It was MEANT to happen.

Gracious! The French have a phrase for what I felt when I walked into that home: it was a coup de foudre, love at first sight, a thunderbolt. I cast aside the major law that buyers are supposed to know: don’t let your broker know it if you love a house. I poked Amanda and said, “I want this house!” Ding! Ding Ding! Eager buyer! It is perfect for me, less than half the size of my current home, and on one level. The bathrooms and kitchen have been recently updated. A plunge pool nestles between the house and lazy lagoon.

I had to act fast: It was Friday, and Monday it would go “live,” on the internet. Two of the sellers’ friends wanted it and were coming to see it the next day. I could not have them buy “MY” house. I put in a bid.

Well! That caused pandemonium with my family. “Mom, you can’t do that! You’ve only been looking for one day! Look at a lot of places before you decide!” The three exclamation points are to indicate the tone of their voices.

“Mom, you’ve gotten your home exactly the way you want it. Why move? You’re going to hate moving.” (This, from the folks who had urged me to move.)

“Ma, you cannot imagine what a headache moving is! You go ballistic changing the water filter in the fridge.” (That’s not true.)

My bid was tweaked then accepted and the house would be mine, all mine. When I went back to see how my new home was doing, I loved it even more. I couldn’t convince my kids. They were sure their Mother was absolutely nuts. But they hadn’t seen it. Then, my son came down to take a look, and things changed. He liked it. He could see me living there.

But the hounding continued. My son reiterated his nightmarish move a year ago. His job had exploded and he was working 16 hours a day for six weeks before his home closed. He had little time to gather boxes, let alone pack. I loved packing, doing a few hours a day for a month and was ready to move a week earlier than the appointed moving day.

And then. Finally. Peace. It’s one more instance of, “Advice when not asked for is always given in vain.” I’ve abided by that rule since the kids were in their twenties. Maybe someday they will figure out that a woman of a certain age, who has made intelligent decisions most of her life, can think for herself. Note to self: don’t send this one to the kids. Note to mom in heaven: thank you for telling me not to let my kids bully me.