Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Deep Thoughts, Indecision, and Time With My Mommy

Well, thank goodness for the time with Mom and an afternoon at the Wild Animal Park, otherwise this post would be full of me revisiting the ups and downs of the housing market and our recurring where are we going to live? woes. Recently it was suggested that 'we must be in heaven' over the housing market situation, and I have to say: No. No, we are not enjoying the economic downturn, the government's meddling, the waiting for the real bottom of this housing bust. And most of all we are not in heaven, as we have been renting and biding our time in purgatory. Ahem, yes, this is a touchy subject...

Alright, I will admit this much: We are looking. Well, Geoff never stopped looking; he has been taking the pulse of the housing market everyday for 4 years, a pastime I have found excruciating. But as of 2 days ago he has me looking too. It is still excruciating. Why? It is painful to look at home listings because:

1. We do not know where we are going to live... Hawaii, California (Southern or Central Coast), Oregon and Wisconsin are the main contenders.
2. The market has not hit bottom... not even close. We will not wait for bottom, which I predict is about 2 years out. Initial starter rates on adjustable mortgages will be expiring at a peak rate in in 2010, and a lot more homeowners will be faced with increases in monthly payments.
3. I am scared. Being responsible and prudent has me over-thinking and I cannot see our best course, just worse case scenarios and what ifs.
4. I am scared. Oh, wait, I already said that. I am confused. The part of me that knows that this is more akin to a curse of blessings cannot reason with the part of me that wants to choose the ideal place, buy at the ideal time and never, ever have to move again, ever.
5. I am confused. Heh, already said that.

Sigh. It's time for a therapist, I know. I need to stretch out on a firm couch and purge my quandaries, fears, frustrations, regrets, and other bile, acrimony and vitriol. I wonder what pearls of wisdom or affirmations there are for me. I wonder what the cure for my slumped morale might be.

My Mom and I were orchid shutter bugs, yesterday at the Wild Animal Park. At first I thought I would take one picture of a favorite, but then on closer inspection, I realized I had more than 1 favorite. Gee, it's like trying to decide between living in Hawaii vs. living in Wisconsin, between the coast and the country. Good grief.

Delia, my Mommy. She's been away from her Oregon home for a month. I am so glad for the time she spent with us. It was a quiet, relaxed visit, a reminder of how much I miss having casual time with family. Casual time is when there are no formalities, no urgent demands or expectations. We cooked and cleaned, we watched Television. We chatted and laughed and pondered the intricacies of the universe. The children had time to share their interests and talents, and less than flattering aspects of their development... like Maria's crying jags.

There is a lot of walking at the Wild Animal Park, and it was hot. Not too hot, but a gentle reminder of those inland temperatures that can get pretty intense. Max looks like he could use a lemonade.

Make that 2 lemonades. Maria was starting to wilt too.

We came specifically to see the lions. I think every Wild Animal Park post I ever make includes either lions or sledding. The lions are awesome. The sledding?... I don't think the children will ever think much of the 100 square foot patch of ice we used to sled on, now that they have been in real snow!

Until we make an African safari, visiting these lions will not be a disappointment.


Jennifer said...

Although my motives are pure, I have a nagging feeling that this really won't help. I want to help, but is it possible to help?

Anyway. Not to decide is to decide. It's just true. "Perfect" is not something you find or discover, "perfect" is what you decide is good enough and then good enough really is perfect. The market, schmarket. As long as you don't get in crazy over your head, your home will always be a commodity if you need it to be.

If I were you, I would put each place down on an index card, and on one side I would write all the reasons I would want to live there, and on the other side I would write the real, hard, honest reasons why I would NOT want to live there. The side with the most writing on it goes face-up on the table, and then I'd sort it down to the one or two real contenders. Then I'd pick one and do everything in my power to make it happen quickly.

Happiness is where you decide it is. Go there and be happy.

(It didn't help, did it?)

nikkipolani said...

I feel for your housing quandary, Natalie. It's a big commitment. But on the plus side, those orchid shots are beautiful. Best of all, however, is the portrait of your darling mother.

village mama said...

Your photographs are breathtaking. Your mother is gorgeous.

I understand and know your house fear(s) well. Yet, buying/investing in our house has been one of the top five joys of my life.

Tami @ Lemon Tree Tales said...

Good luck with choosing your place to live. I'm sure that your family will thrive and be happy any place that you and Geoff choose. Great photos! Did you notice how the middle skinny orchid looks like it's clapping hands high over head? Beautiful!

Helen said...

i think you don't review your own blog...if you did you would realize that you have answered your own question about where you should live. as i recall...with fond memories...the big island is also referred to as the "orchid island"..ya???? and where does mom live??? oregon? ya??? so there you go your 2 favorite choices..right in there in your blog without you knowing
love to all

Julie said...

I can't even image house hunting in California. Our market is a little soft which makes it a perfect time for us to buy a bigger house but then we'd have to sell this house first. Better just to wait for the time being. My dh is the one who has a hard time waiting.

Sara said...

Hello Natalie...thank you for introducing yourself over Much Ado About Something. I am so glad you I've found another interesting blog to peruse. It's obvious from what I've read so far that we live in the same part of the same state, etc. Yes, I know what you mean about the housing market! We want to move, but can't really afford a nicer place in this area on our retired salaries...we looked near Seattle, that's just as expensive...out of state is better, but do we want to leave church and friends and the SoCal weather? we still are in our little old house where we've been for 24 years.

It's been years since I went to the Wild Animal Park...I loved your photos...and those lions were amazing. And your house cats with the potted plant...great!

I shall be back.