Monthly Archives: October 2015


This past Saturday was ‘downtown trick or treat’ for the kids in our town. It always strikes me as strange that they don’t do this on the actual day of Halloween, which is also a Saturday. Our city trick or treat hours are a stingy 6 to 7:30 pm (everywhere I’ve lived previously has usually had a minimum of 3 hours for trick or treat, sometimes more if it falls on a Saturday or Sunday). The kids could go downtown in the early afternoon and then regular trick or treat in the evening, you know? But whatever, I don’t plan these things and I’m sure the kids are happy to get candy no matter what the day.

We got exactly ZERO kids here last year on Halloween, which was really a bummer. I know there are little kids on our street (two right next door!) and the houses aren’t terribly far apart. I was sure we’d get at least 5 or 6 kids, maybe more. In light of that, though, I figured maybe we would go downtown on the 24th and watch the kids there, so I could see their costumes and feel like we participated in Halloween at least a little bit.

When the time rolled around though, I was comfy on the couch and not inclined to go out. The more I thought about it, the weirder it seemed. “I don’t know if we’ll go downtown,” I told Dave. “It might look weird since we don’t have kids with us – just a couple old farts, standing around on the sidewalks.” He laughed and agreed, then tried to make me feel better. “We can go with Storm next year, if we’re still in this area.” (Storm is the name Paige and Michael have chosen for their baby boy, due on December 15th.)

(Actually, now I can see a benefit to having trick or treat events a week from the actual holiday. Since they live about an hour away, it would be nice to be able to have them come up for something like this and not have it interrupt their actual Halloween in their hometown.)

I’m not sure we’ll be in a new house at this time next year, although we’d like to be. We’re going to talk to a finance person and see if there’s any options for us. Our lease goes through June, so if it looks like we could swing a purchase of our own home, we’d like to really be looking by very early 2016.

Compared to my previous house, and to what most of my friends and family are used to, we are looking in a VERY low price range. I’m talking a price range that makes my mother nervously suggest that we get an inspection (of course) to make sure that the house has, say, plumbing and electricity and drywall. One reason the prices are low is because we’re looking at little rural towns. We prefer the little towns, but we don’t want to have to drive TOO far to get to a grocery store or whatever.

We’ve started driving out to look at houses Dave finds online; not look inside, mind you, just drive by to check out the town, the neighborhood, that kind of thing. Sometimes all it takes is one look to go “NOPE” and to realize why it’s priced so low. Other times we just marvel at the realtor’s ability to frame the photo so that a house situated in between two that are basically falling down manages to look like it’s alone in the middle of a beautiful orchard.

One house, though. One house kind of has our hearts, even though we haven’t been inside. The photos online show a house that is in desperate need of updating (we’re talking serious wallpaper indignities) but that also has a lot of charm. We drove over to see it from the outside, and it’s on a charming street outside of a town with a name that’s hard to pronounce and even harder to spell. There’s a split rail fence, a large peaceful yard; the house itself looks stately and strong. It was one of those times where you stand there looking at the house and everything just feels right, even though it is obviously a house in need of tender loving care.

But we don’t even know if we can qualify to buy a house yet (this is not a land contract, unfortunately) and we can’t afford both rent and a mortgage through June. It’s possible we could get inside and just cringe; maybe the pictures paint a rosier picture than the actual reality.

It’s still fun to dream, though. Maybe it will still be available in four months. I can picture Storm running through the rooms, playing on a tire swing outside, baking cookies with Nana in the kitchen.

Maybe, maybe, someday. In the meantime, I’m still buying candy for possible trick-or-treaters at our current house. Old habits die hard!

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