(I might have mentioned that before, but you're all probably used to my repeating things by now.) Last Saturday was our last day in our old house. We haven't found a new house yet, so I (and all three girls) have been staying with WP since then. DH has been staying at his parents because the commute to his bed job is way to far from WP's place.
Do I like this? Not a bit. Can I deal with this? Just barely, but not for much longer. Don't get me wrong, WP is an awesome host, even though he has a one bedroom apartment that is not really arranged well for four extra people. He has even managed to cook, keep the kids on top of tidying up their own mess, and even keep up with their own laundry. I am flabbergasted to say the least. We moved out of our house with one load of dirty laundry and after a week, we don't have any more than that.
Bedtime is the most interesting time of day. There is one air mattress that has a slow leak and one futon that has a very thin mattress. On one, I go to bed comfy and wake up with my butt on the floor. On the other I go to bed with bars pressing into my butt and I wake up, well... you get the idea.
Besides that, getting all three children to calm down and go to sleep in the same room before 10:00 at night is on the near edge of impossible. Sure, we're on vacation and all, but seriously? 10:00! SOME of us like to have a few minutes of peace and quiet without short people all over the place, looking over my shoulder, and eavesdropping on my
Yesterday was a change of pace. I took the house hunting to the next level. We all piled into my little car and headed out to "The Country." There were a handful of houses that seemed like good leads and it was finally time to track them down. After a full day of hunting in the first of the small towns we decided on I was slightly let down. House one was extremely dark, very small, and not at all what I was expecting. House two was a little better, but not in great shape. Enough rooms, but still pretty small. House three was by far the most interesting house I have ever seen - ever. It was advertised as three bedroom, two bath, two living area, with a fireplace, and a large lot perfect for kids and pets. This was the most imaginative listing I have ever seen.
The driveway was a dirt path between trees off a major road. The entire property was covered with large trees, overgrown bushes, and trash and debris. The front door was apparently not original to the layout because as you walked in to a small living area, a door leading to the back yard is directly in front of you (bad Fung Shuei, if nothing else.) The interior was painted mostly bright yellow. To one side was a very large living area, and two bedrooms were off of there. That was when things started to get weird. Besides the fact that there was a lot of furniture still in the house, there was a lot of cleaning supplies laying around as well. That really didn't bother me much. What was awfully disconcerting was the owners idea of "two bathrooms." One bedroom had a full bathroom attached. The other had a closet with a toilet and sink in it. In order to sit on the toilet, you had to leave the door open. Then, further down the wall, was another closet with a shower in it. I am not trying to exaggerate the size by calling it a closet. It was literally a closet that had been converted into a shower and then they put a closet door in front of it to hide it. It opened directly into the bedroom.
After walking around a while, I realized that what they called a "third bedroom" was really an extra room on the other end of the house (apparently added on much more recently) that had a closet, a fireplace, and no door. In the original part of the house was the "eat in" kitchen which appeared to have a built in china cabinet. That was when I noticed that behind the dining table (that belonged to the owners) was a hook up for the washer and dryer - right against the wall. What they called a "breakfast nook" was actually the utility room without doors. Oh, and there wasn't a VENT for the dryer, either. Very odd, indeed.
Even though the house was within our budget, I decided to keep looking.
Today, I went hunting in a different small town (somewhat) in the area. There were (again) three different houses I was looking at. The first two were (again) very small and in a neighborhood I wasn't too pleased with. The third, was one that I had fallen in love with online. I looked at this house and the interior pictures so many times I had dreams about walking through it, myself. It was a gigantic Victorian house in the historic part of town and I was extremely excited when found out that it was not just for sale, but also for rent, and it was within our budget, AND it was large enough for all of us. But, of course, there was a catch - it looked like one of those haunted houses out of a horror movie.
Now, to understand why this is simply "a catch" and not "a deal breaker" you have to understand that I LOVE old, creaky, wood frame houses that have seen decades if not hundreds of years. I spent most of my childhood in one of these old wooden monsters and there is just something about them that says "home" to me. When other people see a house that is dilapidated, I see a valuable piece of history with parts of the original wall paper still attached and wood that is full of character from hundreds of hands and lives passing through. Walking through the door, my heart pounded as I could see my dreams of a full renovation project coming true. My kids walked behind me, shivering, and jumping at every creak and groan, convinced that it was haunted.
After much deliberation, I decided that this, too, was not a good option. Besides the fortune that it would cost just to make it safe to live in, the house was only for lease as long as no one wanted to buy it. This meant that the house would still be listed and on the market while we were living there and as soon as a contract was put down, we would have 30 days to move. In spite of my Victorian fantasies, I have no desire to unpack all my things and fall in love with someplace only to have to pack up and leave again.
So, all my leads had come to nothing, but I couldn't give up just yet. I pulled out a map of the town, figured out which areas were nicer than the others (mostly by getting lost while looking for the other three houses) and started driving up and down the streets to see if there were any houses with For Rent signs in the yard. This is when I had my heart broken for the second time today. I came across a beautiful ranch style house in a great neighborhood. Five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, three living areas, and a gorgeous yard in front and back. One of the living areas was an office with built in shelves and one of the bedrooms had a private entrance. The kitchen was huge and every square foot of the place was more perfect for us.
Of course, it was twice our budget. I knew this before I ever stepped foot in the house, but I called the number from the sign while I was sitting outside the house, and the owner was home at the time and I really couldn't turn down a walk through without being rude. The owner was so very nice. It killed me that we couldn't just move right in.
So, I drove home even more disappointed than I had yesterday. It's been a week and we still don't have a place to live that is our own. I have no idea what we are going to do.
Actually, I do have a small idea. Tomorrow we are going to drive to yet, another small town and look at the last house that I have on my list of possibilities. It seems too good to be true. A house on the lake, on a school bus route, with enough rooms for everyone, and even a price I can afford? The owner called me this evening, but I don't actually remember leaving a message for him. It is quite possible I did, I just don't recall. Who knows? What I DO know is that I had better find something spectacular tomorrow or I might just jump off a very tall curb.