April 1st 2020 was one of the best April Fool’s Days I think we will ever have. This was the day that we closed on our new farm in Ewing, Kentucky. In the middle of a global pandemic, we bought a 4 acre property that sits in between a rushing creek and an old railroad track!
At the time that we were notified that we were actually moving forward, it was soon after I injured my hamstring and we were freshly going into this new normal of “social distancing”. I have to admit that, initially, I was not too excited for the news. We had been in the process of buying the property since Christmas, and we had basically resigned to the fact that it was never going to happen. There was so much back and forth about the value of the home versus the loan being approved and we did not even know if we would be given a loan.
Perriee and I have a great way of altering our long term plans, based on the current goings-on of life. We already had about 3 different ideas of what to do if we did NOT get the house and we were getting excited about it. We then we got the call, a week after working from home full-time due to a pandemic, that we were about to buy a second home. Everything was so uncertain. We both felt like our jobs were secure, but I just could not imagine a bank being willing to move forward with a loan for a second home. But they were ready, so we leaned in.
We both took the day off once we confirmed that we would not be doing the closing remotely. I sent a quick email prior to the day, just to make sure that we would at least be doing the social distance thing. Our mortgage lender was already on it. The seller was scheduled to get there after us, in order to stagger our exposure to one another, which really made me feel better since he is in the “mature” stage of life. When we got there, we called from the parking lot so we could be let into the bank. The lobby had already been closed to foot traffic. Our lender’s office had a folding table set up at the end of her desk to increase the space between us and her. It was super creative! We brought our own pens, but she had some throwaways ready for us. We brought masks with us, but we ended up not wearing them. It was April 1st and we did not want to be the weirdos, even though I wanted to wear it. The last thing I wanted was for us to potentially be the ones to bring coronavirus to Flemingsburg, Kentucky.
After signing our paperwork, Marcus, the seller, arrived and was set up in a totally different office than us to sign his paperwork for the sale. I chatted with our realtor for a few minutes when she stopped in for some last minute signatures and it was hard to not hug her for sticking with us through the process! When Marcus was done, he gave us a key to the house. He told me that this day was hard for him- it was the day he sold his childhood home as a final chapter to his parents’ lives. It was special to be the ones to be on the receiving end of that day, since Perriee and I have the best intentions to do that property justice in its rejuvenation. We tried to communicate that to him on more than one occasion. As we were leaving, he told us he wanted to show us something about the water over at the house that was just repaired, so he met us over there to give us the rest of the keys.
Marcus was our first guest at the house. He stopped over from his brother’s house (from across the tracks) when he saw us pull up the driveway, gave us the rest of the keys, and kindly showed us where the water meter was (which happens to be on the other side of the creek). He did not need to do that, but he did. He also shared that he was happy that we were the ones who bought the house, as opposed to another family from out of town. That was super special to hear as our initial “welcome to the neighborhood”.
The grass was freshly mowed, and we took a quick tour of the house, before heading back home. We totally had a jumping up and down and hollering moment, then Marcus came back to ask about the electric bill (I had already set it up to be transferred). I wonder if he heard us celebrating! I hope if he did, he found it comforting.
It has been a little more than a month since we closed and we are so excited to be sharing this next chapter of life with all of you. Each time we go we love it more and more and have already interacted with such wonderful people. The feelings we get there are already so warm a fuzzy.
Homework: Be Flexible
I have heard that our perceptions of difficult situations is really what allows us to be happy in life. We can’t wait for perfection because I am afraid it will never come. Lean in to whatever is happening at the moment and find the way to make it the best. We love getting excited about things, and during this process we got excited about getting this house, then excited about not getting it, only to be stoked to be cleaning it up and getting ready for the first renovation projects after we got the keys. I know I am preaching to the choir, but nothing in life is predictable; go with the flow, and learn to love the free fall (credit to Karen Kilgariff’s therapist for a similar explanation of life).