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(With Apologies To Carole King) I Feel The Earth Move Under My Feet; House Hunting Continued.

March 30, 2008

N and I are back in the Midwest after spending some time on “our out west island;” the island we’ve been looking for a house to buy for the past 18 months; the one we’re hoping to move to permanently. It’s not that there aren’t many houses available, there are, but none of them have appealed to us for many reasons:

Far too expensive
Way too large (I cannot imagine the two of us, plus greyhound, rambling around in a house that could accommodate 14 people) and far too expensive
Not a great location
Just plain ugly
Too much land
Not enough land because I could see into the neighbor’s closet and hear the cat breathing
Needing too much work
I liked it
N didn’t
And vice versa
I sort of liked it
N hated it
Neither of us loved the place (although one house came close, and “close” is the operative word which I’ll get to in a minute).

It’s been said that the best way to test a new relationship (ours is almost a couple of years old, so sort of qualifies) is to wallpaper a room together. I’m not much of a wallpaper person so wouldn’t even consider that possibility, but I think looking for a house to purchase comes pretty close.

Time is a bit of a constraint for us – okay only for N, although it’s mostly arbitrary – he feels that if we haven’t found a place by the end of July, we should give up. “Give up and move where?” is my on-going question. The island is the place where we want to be, so my feeling is that we should persist until the right house turns up, because for me it obviously hasn’t yet done so. N feels the right house might have already appeared and is trying to convince me. And my feeling about that specific house is that “The Right House” may have appeared, but how long will it be before it disappears. Remember I mentioned the word “close.” Well read on.

The house under scrutiny is an adorable little house, perfect for two people and a greyhound, with a little extra space for a couple of guests. It has a beautiful medium size yard with no grass to mow. The front of the house is filled with plants “xeriscape style” (landscaping that does not require supplemental irrigation), the back is heavily treed where no grass can grow. (It’s not that I have a total aversion to grass – I do in large amounts – but N has to have a completely weed free lawn [dandelions and others of that ilk are an assault on his senses] and I’m averse to using chemicals to obtain that “perfection.”) So no grass or low grass is the consummate solution. There’s also space for me to build a small studio; the property is secluded and has an ocean view. What’s not to love you might ask? Oh, and because it’s small, it’s affordable too. It’s the (almost) perfect place and we both (almost) love it. The only minor glitch to this is that N loves it more than me, because for me there’s a major glitch: the property is on an 80 foot, shear drop cliff. But there’s more: the whole shore-line has been declared geologically hazardous and has already had some “slippages.” And on this specific property a few feet have disappeared over the past 5 years. N is unconcerned.

So my thinking goes along these lines – and maybe I’m being overly sentimental – but isn’t one’s house supposed to be a sanctuary; a safe place; that shelter from a storm? But this one could disappear in a storm. Okay maybe not the house (yet), but certainly some “footage” of the property (which would make it, oh soooo, re-saleable). N keeps telling me that with 100 feet of land between us and the ocean we will be long gone before the cliff edge reaches the house; it’s not that close. And what about the fault line that runs through the island?

It’s puts a new spin on the term “living on the edge.”

Stay tuned.

Copyright © 2008

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