After the silent resurrection of 2010-2011 (with the birth of our daughter and my re-discovery of the path of Scrum) 2012 was a pivotal year. 2013 subsequently was pretty explosive in growth and global expansion of our views and lives. The first half of it, 2014 was turning out what we were hoping for, a year to harvest, a year to reap some fruits of those preceding years. But in June things changed. Unexpectedly.
A couple of years ago my wife had clearly hinted at spending our yearly holidays in the US in 2014. It had something to do with her reaching an unspeakable age in 2014. Part of the preparation for that trip was ordering a wheel chair for our son, who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, to help us move faster through New York City.
The wheel chair made us realize that our house in the future would require more adaptations than we had already made for our son. We didn’t like that. What manifested suddenly was a partial elucidation on our overall feeling of being locked in. It explained how we made many considerations over the past years on our house, plans that were never made real. That was only re-inforced by looking beyond today and beyond tomorrow, into the future where both our sons, one with DMD and the other with Down Syndrome, might just stay at home always given their disabilities.
So, suddenly we found ourselves in a position that we were looking for a new house, something that we had never before even considered or were aware of. It was unexpected. Not unpleasant. We felt the urgency.
And then urgency was followed by opportunity. A rare combination, and we moved fast.
We discovered a beautiful house, built in 1975, having the amount of ground floor we were looking for (thinking of our son’s immobility), the space we were looking for (thinking of the long-term future). It had character and style, a rural look that we immediately fell in love with. It was not too far from where we lived. But… way beyond our budget. Or so we assumed. We went to visit the house, discovered it was more of a project than a house, but our minds were stuck on it. We discovered that rate of interests are historically low (a ‘positive’ effect of the banking crisis), and that the sellers of the house were willing to give in on their asking price. The smell of opportunity.
We decided to jump. The day before we took off for the States we signed all papers at the bank and the contract was finalized! We had a wonderful holiday in the US, and our fall was spent dreaming of our new house, and obtaining the keys on October 7th.
We subsequently set a goal, i.e. to spend Christmas in our new house. It was not a realistic goal, looking back. It required some miracles, like removing old carpets, scraping off old wall paper, getting craftsmen in to sandblast and clean old wooden stairs and floors, to check the plumbing, to order and get a new stone floor laid, to assure some base electrical installations, to pack and arrange the moving, to start selling our old house, and much more. But we made it. On Monday December 22nd we moved over all large furniture and spent our first night in our new, little cottage.
During the first week we only lost power 3 times and some other minor outages, problems that were all fixed at the root and would not have been discovered so quickly if we hadn’t just moved in like we did.
Now, the rest of our years can be spent on further renovating, redecorating, refurbishing, expanding, and restoring all sorts of facilities, hopes and dreams. It’s good to be fully aware of the fact that nothing ever is complete. It explains our restlessness. I am glad that it got restated in all of its beauty in our hearts and minds by getting a house that 6 months ago we didn’t know we wanted.
4 thoughts on “The house we didn’t know we wanted (the surprise that 2014 brought)”
This post is one of the most heart-touching and personal articles I’ve ever read.
I hope all the happiness in the world to you and your family in your brand new home.
Gunther, I wish you all the happiness with your family and joy in your house. The house, which is by the way a proof of the agile concept of early delivery (the value it brings now to you and since you discovered and solved problems so quickly).
Your new place looks terrific, Gunther! Have fun with all the fine tuning now. Glad you were able to move on your deadline.
Thank you, Deborah.