Involving the economy of contentment

I will attempt to comment upon current events.

Now that my hearing and other senses are returning, after nearly two weeks of being more or less under weather and beneath covers, I pick up from morning news shows a snippet about home sales.

"If people don't buy houses," the anchor person intones, "you'd think it's only a problem for the sellers, right? But this hurts the whole economy, because..."

(OK, I don't remember the reasons; my brain fogged out again.)

Sipping hot orange juice I recall days when restlessness struck me each time I passed a for sale sign stuck into the lawn of an intriguing house. It was years ago, the kids were young, and life, though interesting, sometimes begged for a hint of romance, adventure. A different house and neighborhood might fit the bill, I thought.

Then Tim's TV station built and transferred to a new building. I convinced myself, for my husband's sake, we ought to move. He likes riding his bike to work, after all, and the new station's miles farther away. We ought to live closer (in one of the well-to-do surrounding neighborhoods).

It had been one thing to desire a new residence after we'd moved a couple hundred miles and while we were living in a too-tiny second floor apartment with ceiling heat and no air flow. Back then after much effort we'd found our own home to buy, and with the joy of a prisoner released I'd asked God to keep us settled for a good long while.

Five years later I passed those beckoning for sale signs, in front of houses that were, well, if not the most fabulous, at least a step up from our 1950s-style 'hood, and, besides, they looked so...different. I wanted different. I longed for change.

We made one offer. Rather a long shot. The next day people from California offered cash for the seller's price. Oh, well. I sighed. I drove over to that street a few times afterward, and sighed again.

Today I'm glad. Thank you, Californians. We might have done that different thing, but as it turned out we can now glimpse the end of the mortgage tunnel on this house. It's still a ways ahead, but in that other house the debt journey would loom long still. Or would I have tired quickly in that place and traded up again in a few years? No progress, because we'd progressed.

I wonder this morning. Might this housing crunch, as it's called, cause other families to breathe thanks a few years into the future? Maybe staying put rather than selling one place to snatch up another can relieve a lot of us. I've come to appreciate my neighborhood more than I could've realized. Might others focus energy closer to the four walls in which they must stay put? Reach out to neighbors, build a corner grocery, a park? Or even simply wash windows, coat walls with fresh paint. Not for buyers or in order to move on. For this little same old place.

Tim still rides his bike whenever possible to work. He's buff.


Angela said…
"he's buff."
heh. love it.

i get the same itch whenever i pass a house for sale - probably also because i don't yet own a house, but also because i always long for the easy adventure instead of the everyday one.
Cherie said…
As a transplanted Californian let me say, you're welcome. hehehe

I guess Tom's buff, too, then for he rides his bike to work in the summer. Nice place we live huh, bike friendly and all. Tom doesn't wear tight little bike pants, though. Does Tim? ;)

I used to look at homes in the finer neighborhoods but when it was apparent that we'd be paying higher and longer it became easier to understand the adage a bird in the hand and all that. We just added on. Cheaper. My dad told us when we bought our tiny house that it might not be our dream house but we could make it so. That's what we've been doing and, as you know, there is a contented satisfaction in 'doing it yourself'.

Nice post.
Mike S said…
When I was much younger and still working, I spent as much time riding my bike touring as I could get. Loved every minute of it. Too dangerous for most folks here to ride to work. All twisty, narrow backroads with big vehicles toting logs runnin' down them. Sadly, I doubt I'll ever see 'buff' again. hehehe

We bought this place when I retired and watched the value change ever since. It was almost double at one time and now is back to a few thousand over what we paid. Staying put has its good points.

A place I owned a short time in CA that I sold LONG AGO for $32K(ten acres land too)is now subdivided into 1/4 acre lots except the big lot with my old house on it. The current resident sold the lots to a developer for enough $$$ to retire for good at 50 yrs old. I hate to imagine the cost there for a place in that development today.
Deanna said…
Angela, I know. The easy adventure is how it sounds to my mind, but actually doing it takes a lot of work, too. A house can spark the imagination like a character, though, yes?

Cherie, yep, I shoulda known I had you and Tom to thank. And no, no little bike shorts for Tim. He explained when I mentioned this that he rides at a moderate speed, so he can wear his work clothes and not get sweaty. Leave it to men to think that through ahead.

Mike, I don't blame you a bit for staying off bikes on those roads. Log trucks have snuffed out bike riders here, and I feel for the drivers as much as the lost person. Stay safe, where you're happy and loved. We're as buff as we feel, right?
Sandy's Notes said…
I rode my bike to work too. Not around here though, not bike friendly, we New Englanders show no mercy behind the wheel of any vehicle.

I'm one of those gypsies I guess. Buying and selling houses. I needed to settle down though once the kids reached middleschool. I'm still in the same place 10 years later. It's the longest I've lived anywhere. I'm glad we stayed put through the housing catastrophe though. Even if our house almost tripled in value, it'll come down to a more reasonable value and we'll still probably make a few dollars. That's okay with me. Who needs to be rich anyway, right?!
Cherie said…
Oh no no no, Deanna. Do not thank Tom for any Californicating of Oregon. NO no. He'll hunt you down. He's a fifth generation Oregonian and proud of it. His ancestors helped settle this valley. No, you can thank my peeps for higher prices of real estate. We are the Californians.

Hey, Mike, my folks bought their house in California in 1948 for something like eleven thousand dollars - in Los Gatos, no less, now a very posh, expensive city. They made a killing on it when we moved 21 years later and now that place is worth well over a million! Whoo-eee! Pretty ridiculous actually.
Cherie said…
Oh, and I forgot to say that Tom wears regular shorts or jeans and a tee shirt, rides hard for the cardio both to and fro. He showers and changes into his work clothes at work. He brags that he passes everyone on the trail, "Even the young guys in the spandex!" Sometimes they even try to race him and he - and they - find it great sport. He's only crashed once and that's when a guy had his dog on one of those long, retractable leashes. The dog was on side of the path, the man on the other, and Tom and two other people were clotheslined by it, crashing and getting some scrapes. Stupid guy. Another time a raccoon scuttled across the path at night, only his eyes shining made him visible, but Tom avoided him handily. LOTS of stories!
Cecily said…
I love those moments of total revelation... that I'm in the right place right now. They feed the soul and grow contentment.

And wouldn't the world be a better place if we were all a bit more content!
Deanna said…
Hi, Sandy. I like picturing gypsy you buying and selling houses; I'm sure they ended up better after you owned them. I'd love to do something like that, but like you I saw the need to settle, and I'm glad for it at this point.

Cherie, ok, oops! Yeah, Tim would be upset, too, if anyone confused him with transplanted Californicators. ;o) I guess Tim and Tom have their differing exercise regimens (and times when they feel competitive), but they likely both have great stories from the bike path.

Cecily, I hear you.