Cue the Jeopardy Music, Please

We have each submitted our applications to the real estate office. Neither application has priority over the other. Both will be processed, and given to the owner, who will then make the final decision.

The realtor is optimistic about the possibility of getting an answer this morning.

The rational side of me is quite sceptical. We won't know until tomorrow afternoon. That's just the way things work.

But all the rest of me is waiting by the phone, burning up with impatience.

It's 10:39 already... why hasn't he called?

Nevermind the fact that they have to get through to our former landlords, and due to the time difference, they won't even be open for another half hour.

I'm scouring the multiple listings site, trying to convince myself that there are other houses out there. And there really are other houses out there. It's just that they have carpet in the dining rooms, smell like smoke, and have tiny, unattractive backyards.

It's going to be okay. Really.

But it's so hard to take all this as lightly as I want to.


Love, War, and Real Estate

The real estate office is closed over the weekend, which makes this whole thing a bit nerve racking. If we have our application tucked through their mail slot by the time they get in there Monday morning, we should be fine... as long as nobody else has an application waiting for them, too.

Andy just got back from his faculty retreat yesterday afternoon, and we went out together to drop off the application. First, though, I wanted to drive him by the house so he could take a look at the neighborhood. Just for the fun of it... it wasn't like there was any sort of decision left to make. Kid proof floors--check. Trees--check. Biking distance from school--check. Gorgeous miniature playground--where did that unfathomable blessing come from? We'll take it!

So we drove by, and saw the neighborhood... and the unique wraparound entryway... and the front yard... and the young couple standing in the front yard talking to a realtor. The man grinned and waved at us.

"It's Tony! Pull over and park!"

And so it was that I got to meet one of the other new teachers at Providence. Andy had been having lots of great dialogue with him all weekend.

We chatted a bit about what a great house it is, great neighborhood, great location, and wow, isn't it funny, this is exactly the house we're putting in an application for! Were we looking at any other houses? Well, not if we get this one!

We left them to their tour, and drove off to find Star Realty.

We looked and we looked, but we can't find them. Learned a whole lot about the Houston area freeway feeder-roads system, but we never did find 19627 I-45 North.

We're getting a little bit desperate here. If the application isn't in before they open on Monday, then we can't quite legitimately pester them all morning about it.

And everybody knows that all's fair in love, war, and real estate.



It's a strange thing, slowly to come home to a place you've never been.

After far too long on the road, too many motels and truck stops, Nathan told me that he wanted to go home.

Heart breaking for him, I asked where exactly he meant by that.

"I want to go to the new house."

It's a strange, and peculiarly desperate sort of homesickness, not to long so much for a particular place that is home, but simply to long to be home, wherever it is that we are.

Today, out of the blue, my little bug-boy announced to me, "We're almost there."

Indeed we are. We're almost home--and oh, what a home!

We've picked out a place to rent and gathered all the application paperwork. All I need to do is pick up a money order in the morning for the application fee, drop everything off, and wait for approval.

It's gorgeous, and with carpeting in the bedrooms only, it won't be terribly hard to keep it that way. Beautiful, beautiful laminate floors! I could kiss them!

And the back yard! A good sized back yard with four or so mature pines, providing both house and yard a canopy of shade. And a beautiful play set, just the right size for our kidlings, and very attractive.

Things I never would have bothered to wish for, too, like walk-in closets in every bedroom.

Even the things I wouldn't have chosen, like the forcefully floral wallpaper in the kitchen, the walls separating the kitchen from dining room and living room, and the unique overall shape of the house... all these things have distinct advantages, and may very well end up being better than "just what I wanted." After all, the wallpaper actually is very pretty, and since we really do want to get into a place of our own in the near future, it's really better to have a kitchen that is cozy and homelike as is, than one with the potential for all sorts of decorating that probably wouldn't even happen until right before it was time to move. And, well, if you can't see the rest of the house from the kitchen, that does mean that you can't see the kitchen from the rest of the house!

I'm just a little bit excited, in case you couldn't tell.

And in the mean time, we're experiencing the warm southern hospitality of my dad's cousin Lorre, and her husband Paul. They've welcomed us into their home with open arms, and while we haven't met the rest of the family yet, I've been hearing enough to get the idea that there's a lot of family, and that family means a lot. It wasn't even on my radar when we made the decision to move here, but do we have family in the area? Indeed we do.

Family, moreover, that really likes kids, and let me tell you, that is a very big deal.

Speaking of which, I can't count how many times I've been asked if twins run in the family, and it turns out I've answered them wrong every time.

Years ago, Paul and Lorre had pretty much the same sort of family as we do now, twin boys and their little sister.

And I have no idea how I'd forgotten, but off in Ohio, I have a set of second cousins who are fraternal twins. And yes, it's their mother that's my dad's cousin, not their father.... apparently twins do indeed run in the family, and not just all over the house and yard!

It's surprising what a warm and belonging feeling a discovery like that can bring. I didn't think it really mattered, but it does. Always before I thought that I was just special, the odd one out, who just has twins out of the blue. It turns out that I'm actually participating in a peculiar quality of Palmer women. We are the sort of women who bear twins, and somehow that "we" means more to me than I would have guessed.

It means something like home.




It's hot around here. Not nearly as hot as when the van broke down in the middle of the Palm Desert on our way over from California, but certainly hot enough to make a stove quite superfluous to egg-frying.

Hot enough that I was exceedingly glad that I'd let the Tercel's fuel levels get down to "E" before filling up, because the explosive burst when I opened the tank wouldn't have been much fun had there been more than a drop or two of gasoline inside.

Hot enough that the world looks a bit like a Renoir through the unulating haze.

And hot enough, that as I passed by the fire department, sweltering under the blazing sun, for a moment there I actually considered running in there and asking them to put out the fire.


Mealtime conversations

Over the past week or so, we've started having real, live, honest-to-goodness family mealtime chatter. Not just Mom and Dad trying to talk to each other between incessant interruptions, but whole-family discussions.

And it's so much fun.

This morning, over breakfast, the twins announced that they want a birthday party. With party hats. Yellow party hats. And cake. Isaiah wants a chocolate cake. A black chocolate cake. Nathan does not want the cake to be chocolate, but he does want syrup on it. A white cake with lemon sauce? Yup.

And at this two-cake party, they want to paint a train. With a caboose. And an engine.

And actually, this is sounding like a much better idea for a four-year-old birthday party than I could have come up with. I'm glad there's a little time left before January, though.

They're such fun little people, my boys.



Security Measures

You know how sometimes people will install fake security cameras, just so folks will think twice before doing anything they wouldn't want recorded?

Well, the United States Postal Service is far too honest for such things.

Far too honest.

So honest, in fact, that there are a number of signs all over the Cottonwood Post Office, making certain that everyone understands that the security cameras are NOT monitored, only recorded.