Falling Back In Love With Our ‘Hood

Maybe it was the burst of pink from all the azalea bushes in the park near our house. Maybe it was the thought of Sand Gnats baseball games starting up again. Maybe it was warmer weather beckoning us out to stroll along the sidewalks and explore. Or maybe St. Joseph was working his mojo. But whatever the catalyst, we’ve decided to stay put, and to fall in love with our house and our neighborhood again.
We’ve been wrestling with the decision for a while, not sure if we should renew the contract with our realtor when it expired a couple of weeks ago. Having the house on the market for 8 months has been a royal pain, and we’re tired of spending our Saturdays scrambling to get the house show-ready, then driving around town with the dog in the back while Camille naps in her carseat. And it feels like we’ve been in limbo forever, putting off decisions on so many things because our living situation seemed so tenuous. I need to feel settled and stable again.
We extended the contract for a couple of weeks, because we had a potential buyer interested in the house. But like every other potential buyer before, things didn’t pan out and we were disappointed. The contract was set to expire this week, and we finally decided to tell the realtor we’re done. She took it well. The sign is still in the yard, but she’s planning to come by and get it and the lock box soon.
And I’m ok with it. No, our house isn’t perfect, but few houses are. Our backyard needs a LOT of work to be the kind of yard we all could enjoy, but we’ll just have to start budgeting for some improvements. We were feeling cramped when we put it on the market, but Lee has since moved his work stuff into his downtown office, and that has really helped. And the house does have a lot going for it – we still like the style, we have a brand new kitchen we designed ourselves, and we’ve already done a lot of cosmetic work to put our stamp on the place.
And then there’s the neighborhood. No, it still doesn’t feel like the kind of neighborhood where you let the kids run around and ride their bikes up and down the streets. But we still have a few years before that’s an issue, and we can always re-evaluate then when the market may be better. In the meantime, I’m beginning to see that it is actually a great place for a toddler. We’re less than a block from two parks – one being fabulous Daffin Park with it’s two playgrounds, pond, greenspace, Sand Gnats stadium, and lots of local festivals. And we have a ton of other, smaller parks scattered throughout our neighborhood. Tonight, we hung out in this park, just a half block from our house in the other direction.
Camille loves being outside, and will often ask, “Grass? Grass?” and run to the door hoping we’ll go play in the grass. Tonight she enjoyed running through the grass and stopping to smell the flowers (don’t tell her they’re weeds, she still likes them very much).
And she had a good time playing with her chalk on the sidewalk, watching two older neighborhood girls chasing each other around the park.
All the things that attracted us to this house and this neighborhood are still here. True, our lives are a bit different now and our priorities have changed, but there are plenty of reasons to love Ardsley Park and our place in it for now.