We bought our new home sight unseen via the internet. What? Is that not the normal way of things? I mean, we do have that Amazon Prime membership and they were offering free shipping after all! I even scored a free set of knives with the deal! No?
Okay, so for those of you who are not familiar with military life, I know this may seem a bit bizarre…maybe even crazy to buy a house located on the opposite side of the country sight unseen. For us military folks though, it’s pretty much a normal occurrence. House hunting leave, although a possibility, is by no means a guarantee. We have scores of military friends who all rent, buy, and sell homes over the internet on a regular basis. There’s even a website or two that specialize in our craziness! So, we didn’t think what we were doing was all that “out there” despite what our civilian friends and our families faces looked like when we explained what we were doing (although secretly I suspect that scoring that free set of knives had something to do with their reactions as well… Top that Mr. Trump. BOOM!)
So there we were in Washington state closing on a new construction house in Maryland during Christmas while planning a cross-country move that would occur four days after the new year which was coincidentally just one day after our scheduled closing that would be occurring over Skype with our realtor and builder in Maryland and our lender in Texas. Conveniently we were all in different time zones as well… ahhh, such a relaxing experience. I wish I could do it ten more times! How we managed it all still confuses me, but in the end keys were put in our hands, and after much reassurance that this was all perfectly legal, we were the proud owners of a home we had never seen, in a town we had never heard of, in a state we had never visited! Pop the bubbly Mr. Ö, we’re homeowners!
Eight days later… after being chased across the map by a snow storm named “Gandolf” (really?)…we arrived at our new home. We were so excited to start the unpacking process and settle in to this home that we had never even seen before but had been talking about for months, if not years! We set about doing a small amount of painting and waited for our household goods to arrive. We blew up our air mattresses and had a cozy family campout in our new basement and waited for our household goods to arrive. We lay on the floor in front of our gas fireplace, staring up at the ceiling and waited for our household goods to arrive. We ate pizza for the 100th time that move and waited for the household goods to arrive. We stared out the window in desperation and waited for our household goods to arrive. We walked aimlessly in circles in a post-apocalyptic trance, grunting at one another and waited for our household goods to arrive.
Finally, sixteen excruciating days later we woke early to the phone call telling us that our driver was just fifteen minutes away! We eagerly scrambled to the window, looked out, and saw… five inches of freshly fallen snow where none had been the night before. Our children danced with glee around us as they envisioned snowball fights that would never happen and snowmen that would never be built because we had NO snow gear with us. We looked at one another and thought, well, I’m sure I don’t have to go into details on what it is that we were both thinking in that moment, but with no snow shovel (hello! A snow shovel is most definitely a “household good”) we had no choice but to go knocking on our new neighbors doors, and explain that in fact we were not squatters as they had feared, and might we borrow your snow shovel…RIGHT NOW!?!?
In the end we managed to shovel our new, lovely…long…driveway free of snow before the truck arrived and after a long day of boxes, furniture, moving men tracking slush on my new carpet and floors we closed the door and listened to the truck pull away. Mr. Ö and I looked at one another, nervous tics twitching our facial muscles in interesting new ways and finally exhaled slowly.
Honey, we’re home.
View from our basement window the morning of the moving van arriving.