home is where...


house buying is stressful! truth be told stijn and i have been through the ringer throughout this process. because stijn is a foreigner, and therefore has no credit score here, the process of securing a loan has proven to be quite difficult. unfortunately, because i am not currently working and therefore have no steady income, my credit does not count. we understood that this was going to be the case and were prepared to have to jump through more hoops in order to purchase a home but we had no idea that it would be this frustratingly disorganized. the bank and underwriter seem to be flying blind, not able to anticipate what is needed, and therefore asking for the same document 10 times. you may recall that this is nothing new for us. we are well versed in difficulties with communication. (see story of our marriage) it just feels like we are wasting time and as our close date draws nearer it becomes painstakingly clear that we are not going to make this deadline.

in an effort to remain positive and to keep my level of enthusiasm high i now engage in daily drive-by's of our house. yesterday on our way to dinner while stijn was venting about a telephone conversation he had just had with the loan officer my car steered itself in the direction of that historic brick home with it's trees blossoming and it's tulips opening. just a reminder that it is all going to be worth it.

this house means more to me than i thought it would. i have realized that i have not had a home in years. the last time i felt at home was early in 2007, in my loft in over the rhine. in the spring of that year i packed everything and moved to hawaii to work on a coffee farm. when i came back and moved into my partner at the time's home i never unpacked. i never fully moved in. there just didn't seem to be room for me there. when that relationship ended i moved into a house once owned by my great grandparents. i had big plans for that little house but my reconnection with stijn and all the travel that went with a very long distance relationship kept me from fully committing to a home there. soon i was moving again, this time overseas, and again into someone else's home. stijn and i tried to make that apartment ours but knowing that it was only temporary made it hard to want to invest and settle. i do not see home as a place that houses possessions and i know that home is where we are and can be anywhere we make it but there are a few things that always make me feel like a place is mine, the most important of which, is my books. i am a book hoarder. i'm not a borrower of books nor a lender because my personal library is one of the things that i take great pride in. i love seeing all the stories that have marked my life lined up on a shelf. i love occasionally looking through them and remembering where i was when i was engulfed in a particular book. reading has always been a big part of my life and i wish for it to be the same for my children. i look forward to the day when eleanor looks through her parents book collection and picks one up to read. my books have been packed away in boxes for 5 years and soon they will be freed from their cardboard cages and lovingly placed on shelves to be admired and remembered again.

these are the thoughts i cling to as we struggle through the administrative process of home buying. soon we will have a home. a yard for eleanor to roll around in the grass, squirrels for kenya to chase, a porch for us to enjoy coffee on, a kitchen fully stocked with everything for me to test new recipes, bookshelves for us to unpack and arrange our books on... these are the things that keep me going through the difficulties. envisioning our life there in that house on 12th street. and what a beautiful life it is.