Mazel Tov

My niece Jessie and her boyfriend Rob announced Monday that they had closed on the purchase of a new home. About two years ago, Jessika Kristine (yes, my namesake, and if I knew how to insert the humble emoji, I would do so) and Rob moved to Denver from AZ. Rob, got a new job, and Jessie loves him enough to follow him to the Mile High City. Up until now, they have rented a cute house in Littleton. However, with Denver area house prices rising faster than a cheetah with its butt on fire, and with the threat of rising interest rates looming, they decided to make the Big Move.

They are happy that they were able to find a house near where they currently live, because they love that area. It’s no wonder, since it’s a beautiful part of the metro area, close to lakes on which to kayak, trails on which to hike, and open space in which to camp.

As it happens, by the way, none of those things would draw me in the least to an area to live. I’m more the close-to-grocery-stores-and-interstates kind of gal. But that’s why Denver neighborhoods run the gamut from the mountains to the plains (with many grocery stores and several interstate highways in between).

Her excitement made me recall the way I felt when I bought my first house. To tell you the truth, it wasn’t my first house, but my second, that made me very happy. My first house was a condominium that I purchased with my first husband. Frankly, though we, too, were excited to buy that property, the bad memories in that house outweigh the good.

But the house that I purchased after our divorce (and, to be fair, couldn’t have done without my ex-husband’s assistance) is the house that I loved. It’s the house that holds nothing but good memories. It was in that house where I learned to set aside my sadness about the divorce and learn to be independent. The little brick house (and it really was little, just under 1,200 square feet) had two bedrooms and one bath, just the perfect size for my son and me. There was a big kitchen and a big living/dining room combination. Our bedrooms had hardwood floors, which I didn’t even realize were a thing at that point.

Court’s school and our church were a mere half-block away, so he could walk to school every morning and walk home in the afternoon. Our one-car garage was all we needed for my second independent purchase — a new Chevy 4-door sedan. With a stick shift because it was cheaper. We shoveled our own sidewalk, I took care of the lawn (which didn’t have a sprinkler system, I put up lights at Christmastime by myself.

When I sold that house following my marriage to Bill, I literally cried at the closing. Sobbing, with real tears running down my cheeks and snot coming out of my nose. While I love both of my current houses, and have such good memories in them as well, I don’t think I will cry in the same way, because these houses don’t represent the same thing that our little house repesented.

To Jessie and Rob: MAZEL TOV. Though I’m not Jewish, there is not a better way to express my happiness for them.