One year ago, we made our third and final trip from Tacoma to Clarkston and Lewiston, needing only to find a house to make our aspiration of moving here a reality. We had been out only one weekend earlier to look at two houses, both losers, but we laid eyes on our present house. We asked to see it, but the realtor we were with would not show it to us because it was listed with a low-fee seller’s agent. It was frustrating, but we had no remedy but to thank him, dump him, return home on schedule, and make arrangements to see the house through another agent.
We returned to Clarkston the following weekend, July 31-August 1, and viewed our house. Our pastor and his wife and his dad who was visiting joined us for the showing. It was an incredibly beautiful evening, and all I wanted out of life was to see that sky, from that deck, forever. The cunning sellers left so they would not be in the way — a custom I still wish they had repeated eight weeks later when we were trying to move in.
Air freshener, open windows, and ceiling fans blowing at full bore conspired with the sellers to subdue the overpowering olfactory evidence of their three dogs and two indoor bunnies.
It wouldn’t have mattered. We wanted it. All four of the houses we have owned in the last 18 years have been discovered to have the same sorts of creaturely residues.
We requested a second showing after church the following day, Sunday, August 1, during which my husband inspected the heating/air conditioning system and pronounced it competent, and we made an offer. We would have preferred not to do this on a Sunday, but we had to be on the road that evening to return home.
We closed on September 24.
We have gutted and overhauled the entire house. We had a pole-barn shop built. The zucchini my husband planted in the spring has been sufficient for our dinner needs for a month so far. We learned a disappointing lesson about turnip maggots, and now know the precautions necessary to ensure that we beat the maggots to the crop next year. The plants need to be covered with screen as soon as the globes begin to form. Butternut squash is growing and looks promising for a fall harvest. We planted fruit trees that are weathering the heat and that should bear in the next two years. My husband just completed the exterior painting, and the only major projects still outstanding are bringing power to the shop, which involves a little over 100 feet of trench digging for the conduit — and installation of new windows, as the existing ones are completely worn out. The windows are not that old, but they hearken to the cutting edge of low-e technology, and the coatings have all failed and are streaked to the point of resembling meteor showers. Even if I would put up with that, the windows are stupid because I cannot open or close them, so we are getting sliders instead of single-hung windows. At some point in life, one simply requires intelligent windows, and so little is required of window intelligence beyond opening and closing, and providing for seeing through walls.
It’s been a good year. It’s been a good house. It’s been a good move.