Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Tamarack Estate

Each day brought me closer to the one year mark.  In January, I began the walk in my head of all that Rick had gone through.  Valentine's Day arrived with nothing from my Valentine but my Dad and Mom sent me a package and my brother and sister in-law sent me flowers to ease the pain.  They were very sweet gestures.

Valentine's Day had always been a day for the girls in our family.  With a household full of boys, it was the one day that my dad made a big deal out of my mom, Patty and me.  My mom got the giant candy heart with so many piece of chocolate.  Patty and I got the medium sized heart with a silk flower on it filled with chocolates and all the boys got a small plain red heart with candy.  When I got married my dad no longer sent the valentine to me.  On this Valentine's Day, it meant a lot to me.  I was still his valentine.

Rick was always one to look either forward or backward and say, "What were we doing a year ago today?  I wonder what we will be doing five years from now?"  I found myself asking those questions often to no one in particular, just me.

By April, I had called Anne Johnson, the real estate agent to take a look at the house so that I could follow her recommendations.  I wanted to move over the summer when I was off from school so I wanted to start looking in May for our new house.  Anne had her eyes on the market for anything in the neighborhood we wanted that might pop up.

One day, Karen called me to tell me that a woman down the street had put her house on the market and was selling the property herself.  Karen said to grab the local paper to see the listing that was in there.  I called Anne and told her I was going to go look at it.  It was scheduled for Sunday and I wanted to go alone.

It was pouring rain the afternoon of the open house.  I walked up the drive to the front door and there was Kathy Monteclavo; I knew her from going to neighborhood Pamper Chef parties.  She looked as bewildered as I felt.  As she opened the door we greeted each other and I said , "Kathy, I'm not positive I'm buying yet."  She laughed and said, "That's good because I'm not sure I'm selling."  Our laughter broke the ice; she encouarged me to take a look around and I did.

My criteria for the house was that it had to be in good shape.  As a widow, I wouldn't want to be doing major repair jobs.  They had a fire the year before in their dishwasher that cause quite a bit of damage.  The kitchen was brand new with new appliances.  Her decorating left a lot to be desired but the house was growing on me the more I looked.  I thanked her and told her that I would be in touch.

I went home and called Anne and told her that I wanted her to see it and give me her opinion.  We made an appointment to go the next day after school.  Anne liked everything about it but encouraged me to insist on the home inspection which I got.  We went to her office and signed the contract and then she told me she would call Kathy and just to hold tight.  Everything was finalized the following day but was contingent on the home inspection.  The ball was rolling,  The whole nine yards and all the way around...

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