I never told my uncle I’d bought the house.

I joked with my mom that he’d inevitably find out thanks to Facebook, but I wasn’t eager for the next conversation. On Tuesday, it came up between my mom and aunt as they chatted on the phone. And so it was that a day later my phone buzzed with a voicemail from my uncle. Oh boy. Here we go.

The message was actually somewhere between neutral and positive, and ended on a slightly mysterious note: “Maybe if you won’t take my advice, you’ll take my money.” Then the email came in: my aunt and uncle wanted the naming rights to the veranda (front porch), which I hadn’t even thought to put up for adoption. He asks and I tell him the price range for the rights on the interior rooms. “Well, I think we can do a little better than that.” I can hear his grin and am relieved.

He has some good advice about the house and we talk more about what needs to be done. “Well you’re committed now, so onward and upward,” he tells me. He throws in the word “courageous” a couple times. Man, my family is awesome.

He reminds me my cousin is an architect and I assure him I hadn’t forgotten. I have another cousin skilled in woodworking and cabinetry. I’ve had quiet hopes my future plans for the attic would bring the three of us together for more than the usual one day a year we see each other now.

My mom recalls the conversation with my aunt. “You have to understand he lives a very different life than you and I do and values different things,” my mom told her to explain what I’d done. “You really should read his blog,” she says, referring her to this site. “It’ll make a lot more sense then.” I wish I could hug her over the phone. My parents are irrationally understanding.

My uncle wants to visit any time he gets as far west as Toledo. My dad wants to start coming out on weekends to help with construction. My mom wants to visit as soon as she has enough vacation time at her new job. My sister is excited I’ll have a guest room for her to stay in and talks about finally visiting Detroit during a break.

My entire family lives on the east coast, but maybe deciding to put down roots in Detroit has pulled them all a little closer. Man, my family is awesome.