Dear person who drove up my driveway yesterday
I don’t know who you are, but I don’t mind that you drove up to see my house for sale, since you can’t see the house from the street, and you were driving a nice BMW, so I figured you were probably not a robber or serial killer, although why can’t a serial killer drive a BMW if he wants to, it’s a free country!
Anyway, you seemed to like what you saw -- even if you haven’t made an appointment to see it yet, not that I’m pushing -- because I could see someone smiling in the car, although if you’re riding around in a BMW why wouldn’t you smile, right? So, I wanted to tell you a little about it.
I built the house seven years ago in the hopes that my children would come and bring the grandchildren for long weekend visits through the years -- one daughter living in Charlotte, one son in Wilmington. I worked many long hours for many long years to be able to build a house of my own, and I made sure to have enough bedrooms for everyone, including a nursery with a crib. Good planning, right?
Wrong. My daughter has three little children now, and although she and her family have come on occasion, I can count those visits on two hands and a foot and still have a couple digits left over.
“Mom, it’s just SO much easier if you come here,” she moans dramatically. “I have to pack three kids -- and a husband, because he’ll pack like four pairs of pants, one shirt, two mismatching socks, and no underwear much less a toothbrush -- and two dogs. Then, there’s the allergy medicine, and Georgie’s taking an antibiotic right now (at any given moment, on any given day, someone in that house is on antibiotics). And, it’s two hours with a toddler who can’t get out of her car seat, plus the DVD player in the car isn’t working!”
“Dear God,” I reply. “The DVD player isn’t working? Well, forget it, obviously. A trip with three kids who won’t be technologically entertained for two whole hours! The HORROR!”
So, our visit ratio is about 10-to-1 me visiting their house, where I sleep in a sweet little bedroom on a daybed that doesn’t bother my 100-year-old back spasms at ALL. (And, it’s right next door to 3-year-old Gracie’s room, so I might awaken two or three times a night to the adorable pitter-pat of little feet running around the room -- you know, on those nights when she just can’t get that worry about Ukraine out of her head.)
Then, there’s my son, who hasn’t brought his family to see me because he’s STILL NOT MARRIED! “I haven’t found just the right one yet”, he says, although he’s definitely enjoying the search. I tell him Mommy’s “getting up there” and who knows how long I’ll have, to interview and train a daughter-in-law, much less wait for the four or five grandchildren he promised me when he was 8, but hey, no pressure, I want him to “find just the right one” ... (cough cough).
Anyway, the house has bamboo floors, which I got because the floor guy said they were “sustainable.” I thought that meant they were self-cleaning, like the oven.
There are built-in bookcases in the living room and the study (which display among other things my priceless set of Funk and Wagnalls Encyclopedias, which were part of a grocery store deal in 1983) because I adore books and will always, always, always buy real books before techno-books FOREVER! If you don’t like books, I can’t sell you my house.
I also have three fireplaces that burn real wood, which I happen to have a lot of out here in the ... uh ... woods, but each one also has a gas-starter pipe, so you can get the wood burning faster, then you turn it off and just keeping adding logs. (Great for roasting marshmallows with the grandchildren ... who never come.)
Finally, I have lots of windows across the back and sides of the house, which let in beautiful, tree-filtered sunlight, and I’ve chosen not to cover most of them. If you buy the house, you will look out from your glassed-in shower stall some mornings and a deer family will be looking right back at you. This is startling the first few times, and not without some embarrassment ... especially if they’re rolling with laughter ... but soon you’ll be used to it and will enjoy your morning commune with nature.
(You may not enjoy nature as much when there’s a snake in your bathroom at 2 a.m., but-- ... um ... not that that’s ever happened to me, of course.)
Sooo ... call me?
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at email@example.com, or by visiting her website at www.vickiwentz.com.