Monday, July 13, 2009

The Other House

When Roger and I bought this house it was not really the timeline we had planned on.
We were paying for our own wedding so the "plan" was to get married, pay off some debts like my car, then buy a new house a year later.
Plan Schman.
Roger would say, "We make plans and God laughs."

So as most plans go, I decided one day after work to drive by a new neighborhood being built down the street from us.
I picked up one of the flyers outside one of the inventory homes and in bright bold letters it said, "Star Home!"
I laughed.
It was a cute house.
Not exactly what I wanted but I took the flyer home to show Roger.
More for the "Star" wording than actual interest in that house.

Roger also saw the joke.
He said, "Perhaps we should go inside it this weekend. It is YOUR house."
So on that Saturday afternoon, we went in for a peek.
It was nice.
The other models were nice.
They did not scream out to me which was fine.
We had our plan anyway.
This was not the plan.
But the builder had a deal. Something about being their 50th anniversary or something.
Some really cool offer that we wanted to just look into.
Just to see.
Roger suggested we check out their website.
It was the beginning of something very outside the plan.

When we looked at the website, we saw my current neighborhood.
I loved it.
A community with everything within.
Grocery store. YMCA. Restaurants. Ice cream palors. Cafes. Phamacy. Schools.
Then I saw our floorplan.
It was everything we had been talking about.
Four official bedrooms.
A bonus room above the garage.
The garage in the back of the house.
Three car garage.
Separate master room from guest area.
We wanted to "just look" at it.
After all, we had our plan. And this was not the plan.
No harm in just looking.

We arrived on the scene the next day.
We went into the sales office and started looking at the floor plans.
As the sales lady approached us we asked to see "that floor plan" as we both pointed to it.
There was only one house left with that floor plan.
It was an inventory home.
It was the last one of that floor plan being built in Orlando.
Geez, but that is not the plan.
Of course, we had to see it.
I fell in love almost instantly.
It was perfect (and still is).
I wanted it.

But wait, there was another house.
A different house.
One we might like more.
The sales lady took us there.
It was very cool as well.
But bigger.
And people were already giving us a hard time about wanting a 4/5 bedroom house.
This other house had five official bedrooms, a loft, and a bonus room.
It was two-story.
It was huge.

But it was not our home.
Yes, it was bigger and grander.
It was not the house.
So, we bought the perfect one.
The last one in Orlando.
We bought the one that fit us.
That fit our dreams.
That fit our ultimate plan (just not the timing part of the plan).

However, that bigger house is only four houses down from my home.
I run by it during my workout.
And tonight as I ran by it, I thought as I have many times, "Wow, what if we had bought it?"
What if I was living alone in that huge thing?
What if I was living there and walking by this house?
Roger and I would walk by that house together as well.
We were both happy with our decision.
I am really happy with our decision.
But I had to smile and reflect.
Smile as some other family is enjoying it.
As some other family without me is enjoying it.

It still makes me laugh/cry/smile/frown when I think about all the plans we had.
All the plans we thought we had.
All the time we thought we had.
And how we thought we were in control.
Plans Schmans.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I hear you Star.
I don't want to use your comments section to tell the whole long story, but three years ago Elias and I made the decision for him to take a new job opportunity that required us to move farther away from the city to a smaller community - one that I had grown up in as a child and always loved (and wanted to go back to since leaving at age 9).
It wasn't in our plans. We were in the middle of house renos and we didn't know what I would do for work. Elias grew up a city boy and wasn't sure about livng in such a small town, but the more we thought about it the better it looked.
For many reasons, we decided to go for it, and it was amazing how everything fell into place. I was going to be able to keep my job, afford working less and primarily from home giving me more time with our daughter (1 1/2 at the time). We found a buyer for our house immediately - even before we listed it and before the renos were done - and the day before I came to look at houses, the very house I grew up in came on the market. I just wanted to see it again (20yrs later) so added it to the list of homes to view, and it ended up being perfect. We bought it the next day.
We made the move and never looked back. Elias loved his job and thrived at it. He also loved the community and laughed at his initial reluctance to move here. My parents live close by and my mom helped with chilcare, soon I was pregnant again, things were pretty fantastic - except for the damn cancer.
Even though he had cancer, his recent death was still much more sudden than anyone expected (his doc included), and coming home from the hospital that night was near impossible. My dad and I pulled up into the driveway and all I could think about was that it was supposed to be 'Our house'. How could I live in it without him?
It's hard, with all those dreams and plans gone. Our future together vanished. Managing the house, the yard, the girls, work, all on my own. But for now I can't imagine not living here. I feel like carrying on with what we built together is important. That said, who knows how I'll feel next year, or next week for that matter.
Thanks for your wonderful blog. Sorry for such a long comment, but I feel where you are coming from and appreciate not feeling alone in that.

Ann said...

Plan Schman - amen sister