What the heck has been going on between now and my last post nine months ago???Sheesh…..real life gets in the way some times. Makes me wonder who is running the show around here!
The big event that threw us off track was moving house last July. Ok, I say “threw us off track,” but truly it led to a chain of events that brought us a moment of clarity so brilliant that we got thrown right back on track. I’m still stunned by how perfectly things have worked out for us. Let me digress.
We had been living in a little 1920s bungalow on the beach. Uh, yeah, that’s right. ON the beach, like walk out the door and we’re 30 yards from the water. Heaven. Absolute heaven. We were living in a place most people only dream about and paying stupidly low rent to do it…$1200 a month. You read that right. No typos. $1200 a month to live in a house ON the beach. So why the hell would we leave that, you ask? Well, the commute sucked and was getting worse. There was only one way to get from our jobs in Tampa to our house ON the beach and the traffic on that ONE road was getting progressively worse. What had been a 30 minute commute, had turned into a 45 minute commute and was continuing to get worse. Then there was the fact that the only thing at the beach was, well, the beach. To do anything else, we had to get in the car and drive. After having lived in Midtown Atlanta for five years, we really enjoyed being able to walk or catch the train to do stuff. That kind of life style had really become part of our lives. Add to that, gas prices. Ugh. I was spending $100 a week just to go back and forth to work. So bye-bye beach.
We now live in a quirky old 1920s apartment building in Hyde Park, the neighborhood where I grew up. We both have work commutes under 15 minutes and everything we want or need is within walking or biking distance – heck, I could ride my bike to work if I wanted! And, one of the best parts is we are two blocks from Bayshore Boulevard, home of the longest continuous sidewalk in the world – 4.5 miles! Perfect for all our biking, running, walking needs! All the way around, the location is perfect for us.
Moving away from the beach and into Hyde Park was THE event that lead to our MOMENT OF CLARITY. We’ve always loved Hyde Park. It’s a picturesque old neighborhood with tree-lined brick-paved streets. We have always dreamed of owning one of these old places….and then it happened.
Monday, January 21st. A beautiful day. Sunny. Mid 70s. Perfect day to be outside. The Man suggests we go for a bike ride. He picks the course. There we are riding around enjoying the weather, admiring the beautiful old houses, chatting as we leisurely pedal along. “Hey, that house has a lock box on it,” says The Man as he turns his bike around. I turn my bike around as well and pull up next to him. There she is. An adorable bungalow, emphasis on adorable. Love at first sight is very real. We were experiencing it at that very moment. Head over heels. Done. We walk around her, checking her out, looking in windows. I can see us sitting on the tiny front porch of an evening enjoying a glass of wine after work. Peeking in the windows, we’re already arranging our furniture. It was a night in Vegas and we were running head long into the Elvis Wedding Chapel of Love! Long story short, four days later we made an offer to purchase and the seller accepted. WOO HOO! We are about to accomplish something we’ve spent 29 years fantasizing about. We are going to OWN a house in Hyde Park. That was a really cool idea………for about 72 hours. I started having second thoughts. As much as I love, love, love this house, how am I going to feel about it when it starts to interfere with our dream of living in Italy. Oh sure, we can swing the mortgage payment. It’s a great investment and it would be a cinch to rent when we move from Tampa. But these old ladies of Hyde Park require some serious maintenance. How is putting on a new roof in the middle of our Italian dream going to affect our fun time, boys and girls? Yeah, that adorable bungalow is going to turn into Helga The Fun Nazi at perfectly the wrong time. So The Man and I talked it out and in the end decided that as much as we loved the old gal and the idea of being home owners again, we just weren’t in love enough to jeopardize The Dream. We withdrew our offer to buy the house. It was an easy decision. One that we are both totally at peace with. We feel like the experience has really brought us closer to our dream of living in Italy. The process revealed to us a level of dedication to The Dream that I don’t think we actually realized we had. We discovered just how much of a team we really are and that’s the coolest part. The train is back on track and ought to be pulling into the station right on time! So….Go Team G!. Go Italy!