Home may be a state of mind, but it's also a physical space. A place to be surrounded by what you love and be with who you love.
And what I've discovered over the last few months is looking for a new space is challenging. (Sometimes beyond challenging.) The space I temporarily picked is less than optimal and lacks a garden. Clearly, this won't do for a long-term option. I have a list of what a space MUST have, none of which I ever thought to be difficult:
- A yard for the puppy*, my garden bits, and the garden bunnies to frolic in
- A space for my books
- A kitchen to cook in
It doesn't seem like a difficult list. But throw in a few more practical requirements (safe neighborhood, affordable, washer/dryer [or hook-ups], pet-friendly, decent commute to work) and the search for home becomes an arduous task, especially if you are on a ticking countdown. The gap between what you want, what is available, and what you can afford makes it a time-consuming, soul-sucking, exhausting task - and the winter weather didn't help the search. (Who wants to drive around looking for a house in a blizzard?)
The ideal space looks a little different for each person. Urban oasis, country sanctuary or castle.
For me, it's somewhere in between. Urban enough for quick Chinese take-out or pizza delivery, but with green space for my garden things - without the dreaded iron fist of a suburban home owner's association. Ideally, without a lot of neighbors but that's not really something my budget supports.
It's been an arduous process for the last 4 months. Every few days call or e-mail approximately 3 places; receive a single solitary response (if I'm lucky); reply with timing to see the place - and discover it's already been taken. And that doesn't even touch on the process of finding places to call or a-mail about! Despite the advent of digital services like Zillow, Trulia, and Craigslist, the process is just challenging. There is no MLS listing of rentals. (And that's what is needed, a rental, for now while I figure things out.) Friends and family checked for spaces, too. Briefly, I even had a friend's lake house as an option before construction caused a significant delay in livability. I also checked out a barn converted into an apartment. Those were my standing two favorites - and then disappointments when they didn't work out. Most of the others were "interesting". (Most interesting may have been the one the tree fell on. A whole tree - causing water damage and live electrical wires - on the day I went to see it. They forgot to cancel my appointment and I almost stepped on a live wire hidden by snow. Awesome.)
The good news - a space for the denizens of Bunny Haven Manor has been found! (With a yard, a space for books, and a decent kitchen.) We will be moving slightly north. Bonus - I should be able to move in time to enjoy a bit of spring in the new space and put in a few bits of garden. The challenging news - it's at the top end of my budget, plus I've got to go through the expense and process of moving for the second time in less than 5 months.
Whether this space will be "home" or even become Bunny Haven Manor North remains to be seen. But it will certainly be a welcome sanctuary for the Herd and me. In the end, isn't that what home is - a sanctuary?
Take-away - All things you want, including change, come with a price; what are you willing to pay?
*The human male has kindly agreed that Rusty would do better with his sisters and that when I have the rental house, Rusty can come back to us. Coco will be delighted to see him. He will have to get re-used to the naughtiness that is Lulu.
All photos via Unsplash.com