two year house-iversary

flag lantern

Two years ago today, July 3, 2010, we moved into our house. So the Fourth of July was our first full day here. That night, we sat on our front porch watching fireflies flash on the yard, and fireworks flash above the trees in the distance. I sipped some red wine and Rob smoked a celebratory cigar: we were exhausted, sore from moving all those boxes, and probably a little shell-shocked. Mostly, we were happy. We had landed. And whatever that meant, we now knew this is where we’d be for a very long time.

The fact that it was Independence Day had a lot of meaning to me – were we now free, I wondered? We were certainly free of landlords and wondering where the heck we were going to move/live/set up shop. But in another sense, I wondered if we were the opposite of free. Sure, buying a house is touted as The American Dream, but there’s no doubt that mortgages are a trap, and owning is a ginormous, long-term responsibility. It wasn’t easy for us to buy a house, financially or psychologically, and we debated buying vs. renting for a long time before we took the plunge. For that year of indecision,ย  it was like we were playing ping pong…blindfolded…and constantly switching sides. Needless to say, we were terrified.

And, yet, we still went for it. This, we knew, was the perfect house for us from the second we spied the photos online. I had chills by the time we had stepped 10 feet into the house. I think if we could have rented it, we might have, but that wasn’t an option, and it was time for us to leave the South Bronx.

Two years later, I don’t regret the decision one iota. There have been bumps, there have been unexpected expenses (such as the recent Plumbingate), there has been a lot of work. But it has been extremely gratifying, and every time I pull into the driveway I feel a level of contentedness I could never have predicted. Rob and I did it: we weren’t sure if we should, but we have gotten through it together and had a lot of fun along the way.

On this note, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite songs, from Feist. It’s called “Mushaboom.” (I don’t have any idea what that means, but it does have a pleasing resemblance to the word mushroom, yes?) It’s a sweet song about wanting to have a house, making a home, and “collecting moments one by one.” It came out in 2004 –ย  I listened to it A LOT during my single daze, long before I met Rob, long before we got married, and ended up here. The lyrics nicely represent my own longing for the future. Now, I can’t listen to this song without welling-up. Though I didn’t think it would happen and I didn’t know how it would happen, it turns out I have exactly what I want, and more.

Here is the song and the lyrics follow. Enjoy:

“Mushaboom”

Helping the kids out of their coats
But wait the babies haven’t been born
Unpacking the bags and setting up
And planting lilacs and buttercups

But in the meantime I’ve got it hard
Second floor living without a yard
It may be years until the day
My dreams will match up with my pay

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old

I got a man to stick it out
And make a home from a rented house
And we’ll collect the moments one by one
I guess that’s how the future’s done

How many acres how much light
Tucked in the woods and out of sight
Talk to the neighbours and tip my cap
On a little road barely on the map

Old dirt road
Knee deep snow
Watching the fire as we grow old
Old dirt road
Rambling rose
Watching the fire as we grow, well, I’m sold

***

How about you: Do you think buying a house is terrifying?

More Home Improvement Month Festivities after the holiday…

21 replies

  1. This was wonderful! Oh how excited it made me to read your words, feeling the joy in each sentence. Fear and uncertainty… but mostly JOY!
    That totally sums up owning a home for me. It’s a mixed bag, but something I would do again and again. Congrats on 2 years! I’m sure it’s never been dull!
    As for the song… Feist is one of my favorites and I have forever loved this song in particular. I use to have a radio show on Saturday afternoons and would play the hell out of this. The whole album is great. Perfect for your post, your 2 year anniversary that you dreamed would someday come, and the joy of living together, making a home, and loving every minute of it. (even when you have to call a plumber or a chimney guy!)
    Enjoy your special day!

    • Thanks so much Stacey! Yes, it is certainly a mixed bag, but well worth it. We really thought we might back out for almost all 6 months of our closing (don’t tell our mortgage guy that!) We also had to tell ourselves that this was not actually a Forever decision: i.e. we could just stay 5 or 7 years or something…now, however, I think we’re both happy to be here for the long haul…:)

      I can tell that you have a lot of affection for your Goode/great house and have poured a lot of yourselves into it – quite obviously it has been a labor of love! Cheers!

  2. That song also means a lot to me (as you may recall). It’s about home as a larger concept than just a place to live.

    You didn’t just buy a home with your husband, you’ve made one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I felt more married to my husband when we signed the mortgage papers for our house than I did when we actually got married. I love being a homeowner and love the coziness of my home, but when we first moved in we knew absolutely nothing about home repair and gardening. It’s definitely a learning process, but well worth it.

    Enjoy your house-iversary ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. weird, i’m listening to feist right now!
    happy two year anniversary! that is a huge feat and accomplishment, congrats! in the short time i’ve been following you it’s been fun seeing what you’ve done to your house, and (or so it seems!) always with an optimistic attitude ๐Ÿ™‚ happy 4th!

    • ha! what a coincidence – Feist is great!

      Well, we don’t ALWAYS have a positive attitude over here, but we do try to make lemonade out of lemons whenever possible (figuratively and literally… am going to make some mint lemonade tomorrow…) Have a great 4th yourself, Scrap and Salvage! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Happy anniversary! I love home-ownership — I’d never go back. But, yes, what a pain sometimes. As you talked about in a past post, there are often those necessary renovations that aren’t a bit of fun. We have scaled back our lifestyle considerably, and are trying our darndest to have our house paid off in the next 2 years. I hope it’ll feel something like freedom.

    • Thank you!

      WOW! In two years: BRAVO! We are a long long way from that, can’t even imagine. Wow, again. We are trying to pay the loan off a little faster than 30 years, but at the rate we’re going it’ll probably work out to about 29.75 years!

      • Well, believe me, there are many days I’d long for a 30 year mortgage if it came with a house that has a basement, a garage (we have a carport) and a master bathroom (we share one with our kids)! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. OH yeah fellow Visionary from the VC, am I impressed with all that you’ve accomplished and learned at your 2 year mark. I won’t hit the ONE year mark until this Thanksgiving. We had grand ideas of hosting a big TG Dinner but of course, we were also in that shell shocked, exhausted mode. Eating mediocre food at a restaurant ended up being a god send for us. But can’t wait until this Thanksgiving! Isn’t it fun when a major holiday shares another major event? Makes it easier to remember and then each time it comes around, we can reflect on all the changes. I agree that homeownership brings with it major challenges (doubts, anxieties, WTF moments of panic), but there is nothing more fun and insane than channeling one’s creative energy into brick and mortar (and grass, mud and pipes). My partner and I are knee deep (literally, as he is digging a trench around our house) in reno projects, but in the process (like you and Rob) we are getting closer to one another. Bravo on another fun post!

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