The Hunt

It’s easy to look back on life and imagine we’ve been searching for one thing or another all the way through. Early on, and sometimes along the way, we search our souls for what, or who to be. Then we search for that perfect mate (sometimes more than once), the perfect job, pet, and house.

If it weren’t for growing old, you’d have the search criteria all figured out by retirement age. Things change, however, and what worked out fine 10-20 years ago is now hardly acceptable at all.

There was a time we were willing to walk all four dogs on a leash around the city block, or having half an acre of manicured lawn was no big deal. We never gave a second thought to houses spread out across four floors, and it never seemed to matter how many toilets there were to clean.

Now we talk about how many stairs we’re willing to traverse, and whether we really want to pay HOA dues for the rest of our lives. I think the rest of my life would be quite nice without one square inch of ivy, maybe not even grass. My husband likes grand, but within a modestly small footprint. I want romantic, elegant. Then there’s that one additional field that completes the MLS listing in these parts: elevation. There can’t be too much, or too little – it’s imperative you get this part just right.

Julie, our trusted realtor, gave us a checklist of the reasons folks our age find themselves ready to begin the hunt for their ‘forever’ home – it seems to be the “Too Much” checklist: their home is suddenly too big, there’s too much acreage or yard work, it’s not convenient to town (too much elevation. . . year round access being very important), too many stairs, and too many maintenance costs.

Obviously, we are prime candidates for the ‘forever’ hunt.

Thinking outside the box, Julie has summoned a list of fascinating options. There have been churches with spectacular sanctuary windows, an old school, B&Bs from 1925, 1908, and 1902. Grand old houses in town, nestled high in the mountains, just off the beaten path, or on a lake. Simple ranch houses with fabulous views, or none at all.

This classic 1918 Arts and Crafts on the lake promised to be a potential forever house, but the poison oak had taken over the porch, and the whole house was sadly falling apart.

Some people like move-in ready, although my husband and I have never met a house of this type. My sister-in-law, who was visiting this week, would step inside the front door of some homes, and tell us she would write a check on the spot. I might have written a check when we came to the romantic stone house, but my husband threw the checkbook out the window when we pulled up the drive. Three days of searching, and we have not found ‘forever.’

It was this 1920 stone house that captured my heart.

The truth be known (and this obviously will not surprise some of you), I find it difficult to imagine living in one house ‘forever,’ no matter when forever begins. But, I have promised my husband I will try my very best to spend a little time in forever, which seems the least I can do for my forever partner.

The hunt continues. . .

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