Well, Now I Have Been to New York CityBetty Blogger
Have You Heard of a Bonsai House?
I LIVE in one!
-Candace Cavanaugh Buehner
Ten years ago, I fell in love. And surprisingly, my husband was all for it, since he realized as soon as I did that he loved her, too.
She, you see, is our House, and we knew that she was meant to be “ours” from the minute we walked through the door with our realtor. We had been searching for several weeks, having cobbled together a down payment with what amounted to a loaves-and-fishes miracle courtesy of a well-timed AOL investment on my husband’s part. It wasn’t a fortune by any means, but it was enough to convince the bank that two people with hefty law school loans (and a bit of a penchant for store credit cards, particularly if they offered a 15-percent discount and a cute tote bag) could be a risk worth taking. Plus, I had paid my dues, having lived for the first two years of my marriage in my husband’s bachelor apartment – a manse complete with brown shag carpeting, a balcony that shook in a scary “I remember that some cousin’s brother died in a faulty porch crash!” kind of way, and a downstairs neighbor who, in his unabashed adoration of Celine Dion, was known to play “My Heart Will Go On” for hours on end (which, I imagine, is not unlike being subjected to waterboarding. Not that I know.).
Ready to move, we embarked on our search with a pre-approved gleam in our eyes, only to see that the houses in our price range in the town we wanted to live in were either kitty corner to a gas station or, as the ads cheerfully read, “needed some TLC”. TLC, we learned, were Realtor Code Words for “Truly Lousy Condition”, i.e., a nonfunctioning bathroom and/or a kitchen that was decorated during the unfortunate couple of months in 1972 that mustard yellow and poo brown were apparently the “must have” colors.
Each outing, we returned to the Bachelor Pad feeling defeated. But then, we got the call: there was a house that had just been put on the market, and it appeared to be a) underpriced for the neighborhood; b) not even close to being condemned; and c) something we could STILL afford. We scrambled over to take a look at it, walked in the front door, saw the woodwork and the coved ceilings in the first room, and said right then and there, “This is it. This is Our House.”
That night, the nice then-owners miraculously chose our offer over another, and we drove home, slightly giddy with the realization that in a few short weeks, we were going to bid adieu to Celine. That 1930 bungalow with the asbestos siding, linoleum floors, radiator heat and 1,316 square feet of blissful space was going to be OURS.