The landlord came over to pressure wash the house for us, so that I could start painting when ready. I walk out to chit chat with her, give updates on my end on what’s been happening around the house, and see what she has planned next. We spend the best time talking about what color the house should be, investigating our options. She said, “I’ll pull a piece that’s peeling from up there if you want to color match it.”
I guess I had this hesitant look on my face. I was so grateful when she said, “Just so you know, I’m not sold on the color of this house.”
“Oh, thank God,” I moaned with joy. “I think we should do something not too grey, but not too blue. Somewhere in the middle.” She agreed, asked for me to send her some samples and we’d take it from there. But, I already have paint for the shutters and the trim, so I’m going to go ahead and get started on that tomorrow. After all, my step ladder finally came! WOO HOO!
I couldn’t help but boast, “You know, we’ve been getting quite a few reactions from the neighborhood. People walk by doing double takes and can see the house slowly coming back to life.”
Then she said the most interesting thing. “Wow….you have no idea. It’s actually become something of a bother. I get emails, phone calls, messages….at least 6 to 8 a week from people asking me if I’d sell this home. It’s not for sale. Not at all.”
Oh, no….my heart kept sinking with every syllable that thundered the air. She continued, “No, I love this place. I’ve always loved this house. I can’t let her go.”
However, she suddenly held an expression on her face I don’t think I’ve ever seen on someone else when looking at this house. She was genuinely as much in love with it as I was. Not even Phillip has that gaze. No, you have to have lived here, at just right time in your life, to truly understand the attachment to this house, why some people will leave, but come back again, thinking they are coming back home.
She started laughing, pointing at the studio, “Hell, I wanna die of old age right there in the studio!”
I don’t know what came over, but I threw my hands on my hips and blurted with an hysterically stern, “Well, so do I!!!!”
A giggle slipped from her lips as I told her how I had been, “telling the Universe I’m going to buy this house. It makes perfect sense! You were the first tenant in the studio, then you came back and bought the house. Then I was your first tenant, and now I’ve come back to buy the house.”
The poor woman couldn’t contain her laughter…..a laughter that let me know she understood the feeling, she had lived it….I could tell that my admission of a dream to one day buy this house was something she was glad to hear.
So she said, “If I ever did sell it, it wouldn’t be for 10 or 20 years at least. This house, in this market, can easily go for $350k, $400k. So, it’s only going to get better for this house.” She’s no fool, she knows this neighborhood in 10 years is going to be a really sought after zone. You can already smell it in the air.
However, Honeychurch wouldn’t be mine, not for at least another decade. “10 years, huh?” I looked at the ground, twisted my grin, shuffled my feet, then raised my eyes with a very strutted out chin and said, “I bet you’ll change your mind if I cut you a check for $400k….”
“Are you planning on winning the lottery?”
“All I have to do is write a bestseller,” I reminded her and I with a wink.
She laughed a touch more and said with an appeasement, “All offers will be considered.”
We went on about our business and that was that. Now, never for a minute did I feel the universe said, “No, you will not own this house.” The Universe said quite the contrary. “Someone else loves this house just as much as you do. She worked very hard to get this house. Let her enjoy that same bliss that you do for as long as she feels she needs to….”
I didn’t walk away from our talk feeling that I was crushed, or broken. I felt that my being here was validated by her response. The day I moved in back in May, she made a point of pulling me aside to tell me how excited she was to have me live here again.
She respected a love for Honeychurch that I was ready to admit to. My landlord has experienced that love for this house. So, let her love this house as long as she wants. I wouldn’t want to deny anyone that kind of kinship to a home. Even if she doesn’t live here, I’m sure on dark nights, lonely days, or feeling down about life in general, she closes her eyes and thinks about being “back home,” back here.
And perhaps she loves this house so much, she couldn’t tolerate having this beautiful little place fall into the wrong hands. Perhaps, she’s just waiting for the right person to sell it to….And I think I passed the first test. 🙂
Actually, I’m not going to wait until tomorrow to paint the shutters and trim. I’m going to go do it now….spend some time quietly thinking how beautiful Honeychurch must feel knowing that so many people love her. She’s going to just smile wearing her new coat…
If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate. I wouldn’t have the courage to do write without your support.