Home, Sleet Home

I woke up this morning, rolled over, and tapped Tara on the shoulder.

“Hey,” I said. “Wanna buy a house today?”

Turns out she was game. Two hours later, we were chatting with Justin the Realtor in our about-to-be-new-home for the final walk-through. Just one month and two days after our offer was accepted. It’s amazing how smoothly this whole process went. There was nary a hiccup.

Save for some chick named Olive. As in, Winter Storm Olive. She came rolling in during our walkthrough with sleet. And lots of it. I’m used to snow. I’ve dealt with freezing rain before. But sleet is pretty new to me. Turns out, it doesn’t take much to turn the roads into a veritable skating rink. And we still had to drive to the title company in Jefferson, one town over, for the closing. We took the back roads and I drove slowly. I’m happy to report that we made it in one piece.

Another thing about sleet: it hurts! Those little ice pellets pack a sting when they pelt you in the face. I found that rude. Go bother somebody else, Olive!

The title company is in a converted church with an extensively remodeled interior straight out of the Frank Lloyd Wright playbook. Be still my Mid-Century Modern heart!

JTR followed us over, and we met up with the lender and her assistant. The next 30 minutes were spent signing our lives away. It all felt a little surreal. Best of all, once that was done, we were led into another conference room and introduced to the sellers. We were so happy to get a chance to meet Dick and his wife, Carol! That’s something we never got to do with Doris. Though, in all fairness, she was…you know…deceased. Kinda hard to chat up a corpse.

Dick and Carol are very gracious and sweet. We spent about half an hour talking with them and learned some new things about our house. Like the fact that there are blueberries and raspberries, and – are you sitting down, mom? – a peach tree (!) and an apple tree. A Japanese maple. Stunning fall colors. There are goldfish in the ponds, and deer and raccoons and even the occasional mink roam the property. Carol gave us some helpful information about contractors they’ve worked with and Dick offered to stop by sometime, walk us around the property, and point out some interesting things. I would love to take him up on that! They are both very old (in their 90s) and lived in the house for 45 years. It’s gotta be hard leaving behind something you love so much, but I think our passion for the house won them over.

Finally, we wrapped things up, and JTR met us at our car.

“Giving gifts is my favorite part of the job,” he said, and proceeded to gift his heart out. In addition to a card and a bottle of champagne, and a welcome basket that included things like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, and hangover medicine (sure to come in handy once we settle in and can really celebrate), he generously bestowed upon us two Neil Young albums for our vinyl collection. We’d bonded over music early on, and we all have a shared appreciation for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. His generosity brought a few tears to Tara’s eyes. Not only is JTR an excellent realtor, he’s just a downright great guy. Just because our business with him is complete doesn’t mean he’s disappearing from our lives now. We’re friends with his sister Jess, which means by extension we’re friends with him. We’re already planning a summer BBQ at our place.

Giddy over the fact that we were now officially Wisconsin homeowners, we made a quick stop by our apartment to load some stuff into our vehicles and drove over to our new house. Sliding the key into the lock and opening the front door for the first time was a real rush.

Tara had to work this afternoon, but I took the whole day off with the expectation that I’d make several trips back and forth moving things to the new place. With the sleet continuing nonstop and the roads becoming increasingly treacherous, I decided to cut my losses and make just one more trip over. As tempting as it is to spend every single second in our new house, we’ve got plenty of time to get moved in.

Lots of emotions these past few days, from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Thank you all for your kind words regarding Sydney. And for your support throughout this whole move; not once did any of you call us crazy. You may have been thinking it – hell, the first few weeks out here, I struggled with the idea that we might have lost our minds giving up all that we did to do this thing – but at least you had the decency to keep those thoughts to yourselves.

Driving home, Tara marveled over the fact that everything had gone so smoothly and turned out exactly as we’d hoped, as impossible as that felt six months ago.

“The biggest risks lead to the biggest rewards,” I replied. “We worked hard for everything we’ve ever gotten, and now it’s time to enjoy it.”

I believe that wholeheartedly. You can’t win a jackpot without playing the lottery, and if you want something bigger and better, even if you’re otherwise mostly content, you’ve gotta roll the dice. I’ve been doling out that advice for years.

Is Winter Storm Olive raining (or sleeting or snowing) on your parade? What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in life? What’s the best advice you’ve ever given or received?

61 thoughts on “Home, Sleet Home

    1. You’re right: nothing beats that feeling! And I just realized this is the 4TH house I have purchased. Never thought about it before, but that seems like a lot. My parents have only ever purchased two homes in their lives, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I reside just outside of Gladstone. I work in Gladstone, my husband in Milwaukie and my son goes to school in Oregon City. We’re hoping for around this area but so is everyone else apparently!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We chose Vancouver because the WA side was so much cheaper back in the day, but by the time Tara and I were ready to buy a house, we were priced out of that market, too. Then we set our sights on Stevenson out in the gorge. Loved the area, but there were very few houses available in town. We even briefly considered buying an empty lot, but in the end, that never panned out. It was honestly easier just to pack up and move to the Midwest.


  1. My heart is positively bursting with joy for both of you. Berries, peaches, autumn color and backyard wildlife? It couldn’t be more perfect. Unless there was a gift basket of toilet paper of course.
    Exciting days ahead. I will of course expect you to share every minute of them here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wait, JTR gave you vinyl Neil Young?!? I caught all the practical goodness here and then slid to a stop at the Neil Young records. Which are they? Are they clean; do they skip? How soon will you set up your turntable in the new house and spin those Neil songs? People not excited about sleet want to know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The albums are “Silver and Gold” (Justin’s favorite) and “Young Shakespeare” (a live album). We’re unfamiliar with both but will be giving them a spin this weekend. They’re brand new and still in their original packaging even!


  3. Huge congratulations to you both! I’m looking forward to the transformations ahead as you two turn this into a forever home…or not… given your history, but at least a for now home! Take care in the horrid weather and try not to make any major decisions as you drink your way through the coming celebrations. You may end up with a gothic revival or french colonial style home if you’re not careful 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations! I have only bought one house in my lifetime, with my ex….and I got the house when we got divorced. 3 more years and it will be officially MINE! After that I need to decide what I want to do with the rest of my life…it’s exciting to think about!

    I believe Olive is headed our way, since we are expecting 8-12” of snow in the next 36 hours or so. Fun times! Love the idea of vinyl…I showed a pic of the set up I want for my upcoming birthday…turntable, CD player and cassette (!) player included! I may possibly have a drawerful of cassettes kicking around, plus I have a ton of vinyl the ex left behind. The house AND vinyl…win-win for me! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One house in a lifetime is impressive! Even though I talk about not being afraid of change, I do envy those who don’t move around all the damn time. Sounds like you definitely made out following the divorce!

      Good luck with Olive. Hope you aren’t snowbound over the weekend.


      1. So far so good…first round only dropped about 4 inches of snow on us…round 2 tonight. That one may be Olive. Majorly hyped up by the media here, quite amusing really, the number of businesses that closed—for 4 inches of snow. We live in MAINE, for heaven’s sake. It SNOWS here. Ha.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Congrats on getting that key! It’s been 10 years since we bought this house and I still remember the thrill of it. God bless Dick and Carol for living in that house till their 90’s. Are they related to Jimmy Carter? I’m impressed with that kind of aging.

    It sleeted here today and yes, it stings the face. Biggest risk for me was marrying at age 23, but it’s paid off and now I feel like a young grandparent, so there’s that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the thrill of every key I’ve ever been handed. They always represent exciting new chapters, and this one is certainly no different.

      Even if they aren’t related to Jimmy Carter, I still want what they’re having. Here’s hoping I don’t walk away from this house until I’m Dick’s age.


  6. What a very nice realtor! (and friend) I don’t like sleet or anything remotely resembling ice; I’m glad you didn’t have too many issues with it. Snowing here in Western WA and I am quite unhappy about that. Congrats on the new home!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your post made me remember our move 12 years back. But we made the closing on a bright sunny June day 😊 with two children. Wow time flies fast. All the best in your new home. Hope you make wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s two posts in a row where you have just grabbed my emotions. First, dear Sydney, of course. And now the excitement of closing and then getting a key to a house you just bought. Oh, awesome! I love that you got to meet and talk with the former owners. What a gift!

    JTR and the vinyl – what a cool guy. Congratulations, Team MarTar! Biggest risks reap the best rewards! You’ve earned this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We had sleet yesterday. In general crap weather…advice….hmmm…taste your food as you cook….that’s not the best but I actually can’t think of best advice. Risk? Having a child.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Biggest risk? Like LA, it’s The Child. I cannot think of a single good piece of advice, so either it’s all been lousy or I simply don’t listen. I’m excited to see your place in the spring and fall! So happy for you and thanks for taking us on your journey.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The info about contractors is priceless. We moved into a house once and the previous owner had left a list of everyone she recommended. Plus a bottle of wine in the fridge. There are some great people out there. Happy House!

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  12. I’m thrilled for you both; this went so smoothly, and I never once thought you were crazy! I admire risk-takers!
    I love that you met the previous owners; she spent most of their life in that house. I can’t imagine being able to walk away.
    Our biggest gamble was this extra large ranch/farm we just purchased. Like, what is the end goal? I still don’t know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for having faith in us! You’re the only one to say that so far, ha. I will return the favor and let you know that I believe in you. I’d love to own so much land. You’ll figure out a great use for it, I’m sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This made me cry (happy tears!). The previous owners sound lovely, and I can’t wait to read about and see all of your blossoms and blooms in your new backyard. And that lovely, personalized gift from your realtor? Oh man, that’s the good stuff.

    I truly believe that good breeds good. In fact, I know this to be true. Your experiences have happened because you and Tara are lovely people, as I am learning from reading about your journey. I am grateful for discovering this blog through my other lovely human blogging friends.

    I’m sending you both lots of love and congratulations on your next leg of the journey. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Love this. Meeting the 90-something owners. Learning about the fruit bushes and trees and aminals (intentional typo, which is an oxymoron)… that’s all so awesome! The gift basket of supplies is incredibly thoughtful. The vinyl is over the top amazing. Sorry about the sleet, but I guess there had to be SOME thing. You do love weather, though, so maybe that new experience was also sort of a gift?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Winter Storm Olive for us is sunny and 70F. It is supposed to go down to 25F tomorrow night. I have no words to describe the continued insanity of our Philly “winter.” The house is a done deal – yay! Closing time is an awesome feeling. Wisconsin is better for having you guys as homeowners. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was reading about the record highs in the mid-Atlantic states. And then there’s Portland, Oregon, which experienced its second-snowiest day of all time. Hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the same storm can bring such drastically different weather!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. That’s so funny because every time we wake up on the morning of a trip I roll over and say to the husband, “Oh my God! I have a great idea! How ’bout we go to Jamaica/France/Laos/Colorado/Fill-In-The-Destination today?!”

    Love the picture of the key – it’s a welcome break from the tired ol’ “ice cream cone in front of blurred out European tableau background” photo.

    I’m back to school today after two e-learning days courtesy of Olive. Thank you, Olive!! 🙂

    Congrats on the closing of your house. We love our house so much that, if/when we ever move (hopefully in our 90s a la Dick and Carol), I want our home to go to someone as enthusiastic about our home/yard/garden as you guys are about yours. In fact, I want to screen potential buyers, but I think that’s against the law… 😦 Still, who’s gonna bust a little old lady in her 90s?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t help but laugh over your ice cream cone/blurred European tableau comment. Spot-on observation there. I’ve seen plenty of those photos myself and never even realized they were a “thing” until just now!

      Justin the Realtor was telling us how he’s worked with clients who poured their heart, soul, and checkbooks into creating a beautiful backyard they love, only to be dismayed when the buyers turned around and ripped it all out for a fresh start. I, too, would want my home’s next owners to love everything we did so much they couldn’t bear changing a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Congratulations! Happy new home to you both.

    Sleet is a utter swine, but I’d like to put in a vote for the huge lumps of hail I used to experience when I worked at a local University. I’ve no idea what it was that caused this phenomena (it didn’t hail in the surrounding area) but because I’m foolish about carrying an umbrella, the walk to the car park was always a painful experience especially because I left at school pick-up time, so could wait for it to pass.


  18. Congratulations on the new home!🥳 We missed out on Olive (no big surprise). However, sleet is one of the main reasons Southern states close down when it snows. We invariably get a lovely layer of sleet over the snow turning all roads into an ice rink. (We also don’t have road clearing machinery.)


  19. A list of dependable home repair contractors used by the sellers is a blessing to have when you move to a new place. I hope I never have to move again. I’ll be 74 in June. All I have is a son here in Greensboro and a daughter in Florida. I think planning the Normandy invasion would be easier.


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