Hello there! First of all, my dear friend Chris over at Just a Girl is hosting a bunch of bloggers to share their “must” lists – and mine was power tools (surprised??).
You can see my list here:
Go ahead and check it out. I’ll wait. ;)
Drums fingers. Checks watch.
Tonight I’m talking about our home…your homes. How long do you plan on staying in yours? Are you in your forever home? Did you plan on it being your the one you would stay in?
When we decided to build years ago, we made decisions thinking we would be here for a long time…we didn't know how long, but we knew for sure it wasn’t going to be five years or less.
We were one of the first in our neighborhood and hand picked our lot because of these:
It’s not forest or anything, but they are TREES, glorious trees. We have a small backyard, and it slopes like mad, but we still loved this spot because of those trees and the land beyond.
From our understanding, there used to be a horse farm back there (the fence is still up). Now it’s overgrown and there are hundreds of trees sprouting up. It’s lovely and green and full of life.
There’s a bit of wooded area back there, and in the fall especially, I sit at a window upstairs, look out and get lost in it.
Because it’s an odd bit of land – it’s a flood plain and not very large – we were told when we built that custom homes would go in back there, if anything. We were fine with that. We didn’t have much of a choice. ;)
(We’re ready for the hummingbirds. Are they even out yet?)
But over the years, nothing has gone in. And over the years, we’ve fallen more and more in love with that land. We listen to the coyotes howling and playing at night (it’s freaky). Kids ride their four wheelers back there and the noise is awful but I’ve grown to love it. We’ve had deer in our backyard and my squeals of joy send them running. :) The bunnies are a daily event.
We love it. It’s our little dose of nature in the middle of suburbia.
But since last year we’ve been preparing to lose this view, and a whole lot more. It’s a long, boring story, but a developer wanted to come in and build luxury apartments on the land.
The problem was, they were three story apartments, lots of them (more than allowed), lining the edge of the lots, with balconies overlooking our houses and backyards.
Now. I’ve lived in apartments more years then I’ve lived in houses in my adult life. I have nothing against apartments or those that live in them. It’s just the looming quality and the closeness that we were concerned about. Not to mention the tanking of the house values. (They already suck. I mean, really.)
I’m all for development, when it’s done right. (This land isn’t zoned for apartments, only single family houses.) And not a few yards from my back door.
As a neighborhood we met with the developer and with each meeting I wanted to cry a little more. The details just made it worse.
(Anyone know what this plant is? They grow like mad back there.
Watch it be poison sumac or something.)
So we toyed with what we would do…what if they went through? What would we do? What would you do?
My first thought was to MOVE. Immediately. Put the house on the market and get out of dodge.
But dang. We love our house. I mean, adore it. We don’t want more house, we don’t want a different house, and we’re making this one into exactly what we want. Every year, the more time goes on, the more it becomes our forever home.
We would go back and forth, and usually between meetings or new info, we’d plan to stay. But on the way home from hearing the developer talk about the plans, or when a new email would come with bad news, we would talk about moving.
And that talk made me so, so sad.
Finally…we decided we weren’t leaving, no matter what. We’d see what happened and then decide our plan from there. But the plan was staying put, at least for awhile.
We (the people in the neighborhood) worked hard – did tons of research, got petitions signed, 100 of us showed up for the planning meeting and thankfully the planning commission decided the idea of apartments in that spot were just a bad idea. (For a number of reasons.)
The developer completely pulled out last month, and I think that day was one of the happiest of my life. :) I know something will go back there eventually, and I don’t expect to have our lovely view forever, but we have it for now. And in the process we fell in love with our house all over again. The thought of leaving was so depressing. It’s not perfect, but we are smitten with our house. Our small yard. The bunnies. :)
It’s made the past month even more fun – for the past few months we would walk out on our new patio and feel…trepidation? All we could think of was what we would see every time we walked out if we had new neighbors. ;)
Now we are feeling especially blessed every time we go in the backyard. I do not take that line of trees or the land or the deer for granted and I am so grateful for our home. A home we truly love. We are so lucky.
I don’t know if it will be our forever home, as in for the rest of our lives. But it will be our home for a very, very long time. I look forward to my son growing up in this house – and what a gift that is. I had been in at least six homes by the time I was ten, and I love that we are grounded. This is the longest I’ve lived anywhere, by a long shot. I think that’s why I’m so content to stay.
So you’ll be seeing the same rooms and walls for a long time…I hope that’s OK with you, cause it sure is with me. ;)
Are you in your forever home? Do you dream about what yours would look like? Did you grow up in one house or move a lot like me? My husband lived in one house for all but a few years of his childhood. I LOVE that and would be perfectly happy with the same for our kiddo.