Well, it was an ordeal, but Lincoln closed on the house yesterday.
Today, we began our new life by heading over to clean up some trash and secure the premises.
We pulled up to the house and got out of the car; within seconds a bubbly older lady peeked her head out of the house across the street, and with great hope in her voice, asked, “Did you buy that house?”
When Lincoln said, “Yes”, she screamed and bounded out of her house, arms raised in jubilation, ran across the street and threw her arms around him. Mind you, this is a total stranger.
“Welcome to the neighborhood!” she bubbled. She turned and threw her arms around me.
“Hello. Thanks!” I managed, even as she squeezed the air out of my lungs.
She introduced herself as “the neighborhood’s grandmother”, told us about her family, her dogs, her cats, the neighborhood, the neighbors, and kept telling us how lovely everyone was and what a great neighborhood we chose. She is a transplant from Oregon.
After exchanging phone numbers and details, we went in to start. As Lincoln opened the doors and we stepped in, we both just stood in the foyer, a bit overwhelmed. What felt like “the hard part” just one day ago now seemed trivially ancient. The hard part hadn’t even begun.
We moved some of the major detritus out of the front three rooms, secured the back door, started cleaning off the patio, and re-installed the basement window (and iron grate that went over it). It was a beautiful, terribly unseasonably warm day, and I stood on the front porch basking in the sun, taking a break.
I absorbed the sounds of the neighborhood; I watched squirrels scamper about. I watched people walking back and forth, to and fro. I waved to joggers. I looked at other people’s homes.
Suddenly the feeling that this was home began to sink in. It’s going to take a lot of getting used to, but it’s already begun.