After months of looking, meetings with real estate agents, and so on…we have begun the process of buying a house. We decided to buy a friend’s house without a real estate agent so Kate and I have hired a lawyer to draft up a contract and we will begin the signing and purchasing process this week. I am hoping to be making the move some time in September/October. It is very exciting to know that we will finally own the home and the land where we live and have the freedom to update it as we see fit. I feel like a potted plant that just got placed in the ground…my roots have room to grow. Of course it is important to make sure you put your plants where the soil is rich, the sun is right, and the temperatures are good for growth. That is why we are excited to be moving to Crown Heights in Wichita.
Last night we went to the annual Crown Heights block party which was an ice cream social. The streets were blocked off with pennant flags, police officers gave safety talks, kids ran barefoot in the lawns, and the fire truck came to fill the kiddie pools and cool off all the youngsters from the hot Kansas heat. Normal Rockwell would have loved to capture this scene. Our friend Amiee introduced us to all the neighbors which was greeted with a combination of sadness to see Amiee go and excitement to meet the new neighbors. Max played in the grass, Kate and I slapped on name tags, and one by one we met the people we will be calling “neighbor” later this year. It was very exciting. Stories about past neighbors, community events, and general jubilation came pouring from the lips of everyone we met. Our neighbors to one side get brownie points for having Adirondack Chairs in the front yard and explaining that they love sitting there at sunset and enjoying wine. The neighbors to other side are a lovely young couple slightly younger than Kate and I that I can’t wait to get to know better. We met kids who will potentially be sitters for Max as he grows up, other parents with kids Max’s age, and neighbors galore whom made us already feel like a part of the community. It was amazing!
Max had a meltdown (long day and it was past his bedtime) so we headed home, visions of Max growing up in that neighborhood dancing around in our heads. Upon arriving back at our duplex…it suddenly seemed older than when we had left. The quirks we had come to live with are now the issues we are excited to leave behind. The west side of the house is sinking which causes large cracks to appear in the walls of the dinning room and the downstairs bathroom…the bathroom seemed to disintegrate in the past few weeks. To cap off our desire to move ASAP, the house gave us a little motivation last night. Down in the corner of the bathroom, next to the AC vent, the baseboard has risen almost a 1/4 inch over the past month as the cracks in the wall cause the house to sag. Growing from that crack under the baseboard was a large mushroom…in the bathroom…inside…a mushroom. “There’s a fungus among us!” I yelled out, proving that I am turning into my father slowly but surely.
The image of the mushroom…growing inside…in the bathroom stuck in my head (and Kate’s) all night. A tiny fungal reminder that this duplex we rent is not where Max should grow up. I would move tomorrow if I could. So long renting. So long landlords, white walls, and no sense of ownership. So long mushrooms in bathrooms. So long lack of landscaping. So long duplex.
Hello Crown Heights.