I admit it. I was wrong.
Apartment living isn’t for me.
But, thankfully, unlike many of my errors over the years, this is a mistake i can correct.
I have found a little cottage for my son and i. It has a lot of tangible benefits: It will keep my son in the same school. It will give us the privacy we miss. It will give us a yard again, and more space. And it will save us money. But less tangibly, it reminds me of where i grew up.
I grew up on Cape Cod. In Bourne, to be exact. And during my childhood, it was a pretty cool place to live. We spent our summer days on the beach, and our evenings playing baseball, having cookouts, going out for ice cream. As we got older, we had our fun getting into the same kinds of trouble all small-town kids do. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t idyllic: There is a lot of alcohol and drug abuse in seasonal towns. Once the tourists go home, there is a collective depression that takes hold and brings many to spend what little money they have in the off season at the bars. Or, if you’re a kid, getting drunk or stoned at whatever isolated place you could find. The sad stories of the cycle of addiction are a plague on us. Still, it doesn’t take away from the beauty of the place.
The first time i saw my new house, it immediately struck me how it would be right at home back in old Cape Cod. 100 year old homes are common in New England, but here in Chattanooga, not so much. So to find one here, and one that would be pleasant to live in… That is a real gem. And to find one like this that has new pipes and wires and mechanics, etc… That’s a gem in a gorgeous platinum setting. The thought of living in a place that i have grown to love over nearly two decades now, in a house that reminds me of the place i still call home… It seems as if it was put here for me by divine intervention.
Like the Cape Cod of my youth, the bungalow isn’t perfect. There are things i will need to change and upgrade over time. Not every other home in the neighborhood looks like a page from Better Homes and Gardens. And i am sure, like every neighborhood, there are unsavory people. There will be critters and issues and unexpected bills. But not since i was a small child have i dreamed of moving to Eden. Reality brings its own rewards.
So begins another journey for me. Maybe the home that blends both past and present will bridge the gaps in me from between those two times. Bring the me from the past into concert with me of the present. Take at least part of my life full circle. (Cue Elton John.) Become a haven of sorts. A place of positivity and harmony.
Of course, there is always a possibility that there is a family of rabid raccoons living in the shed. It could happen that the house was built on an ancient landfill of spiritually significant fish carcasses. It is even possible, as my son suggests, that the house could lay on an electro-magnetic field that will grow and draw in Earth’s gravity more and more until every bit of space junk is sucked in and lands on our roof, causing it to collapse, squashing us like ants, and turning us into aliens.
But, i suppose, like most leaps in life, you just have to cross your fingers, say a prayer, and jump.