Since moving to Indiana, Jeremy and I have spent most of our Saturdays either touring the insides of houses to buy, or driving around aimlessly, searching for land to build a house on. When our original six month lease on our apartment expired we did a LOT of praying. What in the world are we supposed to do, God? We looked for nice houses to rent, but none met our standards. Eventually, we signed another six month lease, not because we wanted to, but because we had no idea what else to do and time to make a decision had run out.

With the immediate rental decision made, we went back to focusing on permanent arrangements for our family. Buy or build? Build or buy? We finally settled on a small plot of land and a floorplan that we both are happy with, but still we hesitated to make the final decision to build. Something held us back. Something that neither of us could define. Just a lack of...something. (I actually tried to put a definite word into that sentence, but nothing I came up with was correct.)

Two Saturdays ago, on our way home from The Place With All The Meat, we took a wrong turn and ended up driving along a country road with beautiful homes dotted here and there. It wasn't unusual for the bright yellow FOR SALE sign by the side of the road to catch my attention, because whenever we drive our eyes remain trained to the front edge of yards searching for those signs that could indicate Home! Your Home Is Here. But what was unusual was my lack of interest. I didn't even point the sign out to Jeremy. The almost-decision to build combined with the lack of believing that Our House could really be out there had caused me to remain silent. We've looked at too many houses that did not like us or that we did not like. Houses and I speak the same language. We bond. Even the most deplorable of homes could sing and dance if given the appropriate love and attention, and I've been disheartened by all the housely rejection we have been going through. I stayed silent.

Jeremy spoke up. "See that sign?"

I nodded and followed the nearby driveway with my eyes, trying to glimpse the advertised house. The gravel extended more than a few hundred feet and divided the yards of two different homes. The brown house sat confidently in full view of the road, but only a corner of the yellow house showed itself from behind the trees.

"I wonder which house is for sale," Jeremy mused, "Wanna drive back and see?"

"Eh," I shrugged, intrigued more by the potential for adventure than by any hopefulness of finding Our House.

Jeremy checked his rear view mirror, then put Wynni in reverse and approached the driveway. All the way up the long drive we scanned the houses for clues that might show us which was on the market. We parked in the driveway of the brown house since it was first in line, and from the safety of our van we examined the yard, windows, front porch. Nothing told us that the home might be for sale, and I recommended that we leave before the owners came out to kick us off their property. As we turned around, Jeremy asked, "You want to check out the other house?"

"No, let's just go," I answered. The brown house had not inspired a feeling of home to me; I didn't expect anything more from the still hidden yellow house. We slowly headed back down the gravel drive, still wondering which home might be for sale.

Jeremy and I noticed the neighbor walking rapidly towards us at the same time. "Let's ask him," I suggested. Jeremy eyed the posture of the young man's advance and hesitated. "He doesn't look so happy to see us. Maybe we shouldn't stop to talk." He hesitated, his curiosity got the better of him, and he said, "Well, only if you do the asking. You're cuter." He winked at me.

Jeremy rolled his driver's side window down, and I leaned toward it and said in my nicest, politest voice, "Do you know which of these two homes is for sale?" at the same time that Mr. Neighbor puffed out his chest and said in a deep voice, "I'm a Marine. How can I help you?"

A tiny pause lingered while our words crossed each other in the air. Then the young Marine smiled and his chest became friendly-looking. "The yellow house is for sale. It's empty. You can go look in the windows if you'd like. I'm sorry for my big tough turkey act. The house you were just looking at is my dad's house, and he's been in the hospital for the past three weeks due to lung cancer. He had his lung removed this morning, so I've just come from the hospital. It startled me to see someone staring at his house." He smiled again.

Jeremy and I asked a few intelligent questions about the history of the yellow house and about the neighborhood. Our Marine eagerly gave us a lot of helpful information, and told us the Story of the House, and believe me, it is a Story. Just the way I like it with love and tragedy, heroes and villains and a bitter-sweet ending. Without even seeing the house, my heart began leaning towards it.

After a long conversation, our Marine returned to his own home near to his father's, and Jeremy and I turned Wynni around, pointing her towards the corner of the yellow house. We proceeded along the gravel way, passed the corner of the house and entered the circle driveway in front. Triple archways on the front porch drew our eyes upward and highlighted the dome-shaped window above the double front doors. A chandelier inside the house sparkled in the light. Jeremy gasped. "This is our house. Look, Missy! Look! It's our house!"

I understood his enthusiasm because in all of our dreaming, he had described this entryway right down to the visible chandelier many times in the past. I understood his enthusiasm, but I didn't share it, not completely anyway. His grand entryway is not necessarily my ideal. But, I noticed, with a few tweaks here and there... Yes, the entryway was acceptable, even desirable, or could be easily. After the tweaks, I could readily see the two of us sitting on the front porch, watching our girls playing in the yard. And speaking of the yard, I shifted my gaze to the surrounding land. Mature trees of various kinds pushed their way skyward here and there around the yard. A double-line of possibly fifteen-to-twenty-year-old trees marched along the northern edge of the property, the same trees that had blocked our view from the road. While Jeremy was tall enough to peek into all the windows, I was not, so I contented myself with walking around the perimeter and admiring the view in all directions. The yard felt like home. What a wonderful feeling!

Since our two girls had stayed buckled in the van, I returned quickly from my sojourn around the house. Jeremy took longer, peering into every window on the main level and into the basement. He came back energized. "Missy!" he practically shouted, "This is It. This is Our House!" His boyish, happy grin that I have missed for almost a year exploded from his face. "This is it!"

All the way home, and late into the night, he described what he had seen from the windows. He tried to get me to comprehend the layout, the wall colors, the kitchen cabinets. I loved his happiness; I loved his excitement; I loved the switch in our roles. Normally, I am the happy, dreaming, excited one, and he is the cautious, wisdom-filled, (dare I say it) GRUMPY one. (He would call it realistic.)

For some reason, I could not get my heart to hope. Yes, the yard caused me yearning, but I kept a purposeful clamp on it. The inside of the house would probably not tell me it was my home. We made an appointment to see it the following weekend.

(To Be Continued...)
4 Responses
  1. Debbie F. Says:

    I feel just exactly like I've just read the first of a trilogy...and I DON'T OWN THE SECOND BOOK. *pout*


  2. Beth Says:

    Oh for heaven's sakes.......TO BE CONTINUED????
    ERRRRRRRRGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. lissa2019 Says:

    Keep me posted it sounds like a perfect house...


  4. Suanna Says:

    how fun! I want to find a house like that.


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