Thursday, March 13, 2014

Home Sweet Home: A look through the windows of our first house.

The final walk through reflected the owner did not do all the repairs necessary for closing.
Owner didn’t show at closing.
Owner came later that day and signed the paperwork.
Legally he had to provide us with a working dryer.
He left one on the front porch. It was used and rusty and screeched with every turn of the drum, but it worked.
He was still living there at possession.
Had to kick him out.
We had a baby.

Friends and family helped repair and fix up house for two weeks before we moved in.
Moved in.
Bought a dryer.
Baby cried for three months.
Baby stopped crying.
I unpacked.
Made breakfasts.
Cooked dinners.
Bought a Jeep Cherokee.
Took 6347 pictures of the baby.

Bought our first computer.
Ripped out bushes.
Planted flowers.
Bought a lawnmower.
Went for walks.
Walked to the park.
Walked to the library.
Walked to McDonalds for pancakes.
Walked down the same sidewalks I ruled as a kid.
Walked by the house I grew up in.
Tried not to get choked up the first few times I walked through my childhood neighborhood.
Cat went crazy and we put him down.
Got a puppy.
Dennis’ mom passed away.
Baby’s first birthday.
Baby learned to crawl and walk.
Dennis got laid off.
Found out baby number two was on her way.
Bedtime stories.
Heavy financial struggle.
Locked myself out of the house…two year old to the rescue.
Potty training.
Weekend waitressing to help make ends meet.
Baby number two arrived.

Baby was jaundice.
Trips to the doctor 4 consecutive days for observation.
Trips to the zoo.
Playing in the yard.
Took 4 pictures of baby number two.
Coffee on the porch.
Painted living room.
Bathtime playtimes.

Baby learned to crawl and walk.
Puppy number two.
Puppy got sick with Parvo.
Puppy pulled through.
Got another cat.

Hand me down sofa.
Painted the kid’s rooms.

Fixed a broken water pipe in the front yard.

Nine Family Christmases.

Bought a truck.
Painted bathroom.
Second long-term lay off.
Nine Years of Birthdays.

Playdates and sleep overs.
Kids running through the sprinkler.
Got a swing set.

Sand and water table in the back yard.
Fourth of July sparklers.

Walks to the corner market.
Friendly neighbors.
Trick or Treatings.

Handing out candy.
Cribs to beds.
Updated the bathroom and kitchen.
Dog tried to chew through the front door to kill the mailman everyday.

School uniforms.
First day of kindergarten. Twice.
Field trips and field days.
Walks to school, walks home from school.

New friends.
Locked myself out of the house. Again. Neighbor helped me hoist extension ladder and broke in through second story bedroom window.
Cold winters in a drafty house.
Childhood home went up for sale and I walked through it, just to see it again.
Hot city summers.

Hopscotch and blowing bubbles.
First teeth were lost.

Wagon rides down the block.
Learning to ride without training wheels.
Riding bikes with friends.
Victims of predatory lending in re-fi to pay off enormous credit card debt.
Sunday dinners with family and friends.
Sitting on the porch in the evenings.
People watching from the porch on Saturday afternoons.
Put house up for sale.
Housing market turned upside-down.
Neighbors lost their homes.
Families moved away.
Homes stood vacant for months.
Pipes froze.
Homes were vandalized.
Rats moved into my garage.
Homes were bought by investors and turned into rental properties.
Government bought others.
Home two doors down sold for $9,000.
Then another one sold for $12,000.
Our home was worth a shadow of it’s worth merely six months prior.
There were break ins.
Homeowners beat up and robbed.
Someone was stabbed a few blocks over. He laid there on the sidewalk corner and bled to death. It was 9 o’clock on a sunny Saturday morning.
No more sunny afternoons poured in through my opened front door.
My kids were afraid of the voices they could hear outside at night.
Over one hundred showings and our house didn’t sell.
Gang fights in the street.
No more walks to the park, or walks to school.
Homeowners dogs were shot by intruders.
We watched TV at night with a loaded shotgun at arm’s reach-after the kids were safely tucked into bed.
They were sheltered from our fears.
And sheltered from what was happening out there.
I grieved the loss of the spirit of our neighborhood and our home.
I cried for what should’ve been.
Bank appraised home for less than half of what was owed.
Short sale was approved.
We escaped.
And moved back to our beloved home town.


  1. That is a shit load of stuff to have happened. Wow, I chuckled at the 6467 pictures vs. 4 but so sorry about all the other. Just unreal when you realize how much the housing implosion really impacted people. Hugs lady.

  2. We were lucky, some people didn't get out. It was so sad. We always wanted to move back to our little town, but we always envisioned selling our home for at least what we owed to a new family to raise their babies in. So much emotional ties are in a house. Life is good now :) We've been in our new house 4-1/2 years now and it is so nice.


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