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Bl. Edmund Ignatius Rice

Lately one of the hot topics of conversation when my family gets together has been real estate. The Duchess and 007 have been looking for just the right fixer upper for a few months now, ever since the live-in caregiver job that brought them back to Dayton came to an end. It’s been a hard time for them, checking out possibilities, finding one that seems perfect, and then things falling through. But they persevered, and finally just after Easter, their bid on a house was accepted. God willing, they’ll close next week, and start getting it ready to move in.

It’s a lovely house, roomy with I think three or four bedrooms and gorgeous construction details from a time when they knew how to build things right. There are hardwood floors, built in shelves and cabinets, a window seat on the stair landing. Best of all, it’s a little over a block from the Family Homestead, less than half a block from the row of townhouses where Mariah, Rosie, AP, and I all live. It’s going to be a wonderful home for them.

The not so great part is that the house is going to need a lot of work. It’s been empty for a while, which in our neighborhood means that some of the pipes are now missing. The roof has some problems. When 007 went to check it out, he discovered that the house originally had a slate roof, but at some point a previous owner decided to put asphalt shingles over it, which they fastened down by nailing through the slate. (Pardon me while I go have a small spell of the vapors – oh where did I put my smelling salts! ) Thankfully 007 is a very handy sort of man to have around the house, and I have no doubt that between him and The Duchess they’ll have it a showplace in no time.

The other couple talking real estate are Annipotts and Cuthbert.  They are getting married soon, and have been trying to figure out what their living arrangements after the wedding will be. For a while it looked like Annipotts might be taking a job a bit north of here, so it was on hold. However, now it looks like she’ll still be teaching at her current school next year. It would be an easy thing to find an apartment, except Cuthbert comes with one daughter who lives with him full time, and another who is with him part time (My family’s reaction: “We will have ALL the nieces!”). So they need room for themselves, Cuthbert’s daughters, and, since every one of my married  siblings has got pregnant in the first two months, room for a baby.  (It’s not so much the kid as the kid’s toys…)

They had also been looking at houses near the Homestead, especially since there are some really beautiful ones currently for sale. However, one that was on a short sell publicly was for sale but privately promised to someone, and another seemed indefinitely caught in foreclosure limbo. So they reluctantly started looking elsewhere. They even put in a bid on one, but were secretly relieved when their bid was rejected.

Then, on Divine Mercy Sunday, I got on facebook for the first time in quite a while, and happened to see a post from The Virginian’s mother (she lives across the street from me). The house that had seemed stuck in foreclosure limbo, the one Annipotts and Cuthbert had really wanted, but had given up on, was suddenly coming on the market for one week only. Plus, it was at a ridiculously low price.

I shared this with Annipotts and Cuthbert. They  went to look at the house as soon as they could.  And it’s perfect. It’s huge- six to eight bedrooms, depending on how you set things up, living room, family room, and play room right off the big kitchen. Even a dog run already built in the back yard (Cuthbert’s daughter has a dog).  The cherry on top is that it’s so nearby, a few houses down from the townhouses where a bunch of us live, half a block from where The Duchess and 007 will be, on the other side of the block from Mom & Dad. Perfect.

The catch is that the way the sale is set up, it’s essentially an auction.  Any interested parties can submit a sealed bid during the week that the house is open.  At the end of the bidding period, they’ll open all the envelopes, and whoever made the best bid gets the house. Annipotts and Cuthbert have put in their bid, but we won’t know for a while yet if they’ve won it. So we’re all praying very hard.

All of this house buying makes me want to win the lottery so I can buy the really, really beautiful house down the hill. It has a dovecote over the garage, and is big enough that I could realize a long-time dream of having a dining room big enough to fit my entire family at once. Unfortunately, the owners have priced it far too ambitiously, and even if they were being reasonable, I still would have to win the lottery. Le sigh.

On another topic, it has come to my attention that when a few of my sweet readers saw me refer to the unpleasant drug I’m currently taking as “chemo”, they became quite distressed, convinced that I must have cancer and just wasn’t telling anyone. I had four separate people approach me with much anxiety to discover whether I was in fact dying. It was very sweet. And frustrating. And evidence of how much they love me. It made me want to both give them big hugs, and also bang my head against the wall.

If you are one of the people who has been very worried, I am terribly sorry to have scared you like that. I would like to state for the record that I do not have cancer. I have a quite large fibroid in my abdomen. I am taking a chemotherapy drug to shrink the fibroid before I have surgery to remove it. I am not dying, at least no more than any other mortal. I’m hoping to keep it that way. Just so you know.

23 days til surgery. Sigh.