friends, real estate, and the pleasures of walking
This weekend was absolutely lovely, as it seems most weekends are. :-)
On Saturday Susan picked me up and we drove about an hour to meet up with Becky, Katherine, and Becky’s mom. This was Susan’s first time meeting them, and my second time. Katherine was only 2 weeks old when I last saw her; now she is 7 months and the cutest little thing! I got to hold her for a long time and I’m proud to say I didn’t drop her! (It helped that I was sitting at a table at the time. ;-) BUT I have to say that Becky didn’t watch me like a hawk when I had Katherine on my lap! Which meant she trusted me!)
I had SUCH an enjoyable time. Why does it seem like all the coolest people are on the Internet and not in Atlanta?? (Okay Susan, I know you live here… I just wish you lived a bit closer :-)). It’s been a while since I’ve gotten to spend some quality time with Susan since she got engaged, and I really had missed her! She encourages me SO much and I never feel stupid talking to her.
Friday night my brother stopped by on his way up to NC to pick up my sister from college. They came back on Saturday night, arriving about 6:30. I enjoyed spending time with them. Amy, Paul, and I walked up to Chick-Fil-A and had milkshakes and talked. My sister was telling us about the classes she’s taking next year. She’s going to be taking a semester-long course that’s basically like a “semester abroad” – they will be traveling all sorts of places (in the US, I think) learning all about survival in various climates and seasons of the wilderness. They’re actually going to be going to Montana in the winter months. Brr! Sounds right up her alley. :-)
Amy and AJ were gone the next morning when we got up, so we took our time getting ready and went to church. We were actually on time!! I think I finally realized that we have to allow 5-10 minutes for the traffic right around the church, and parking. We enjoyed the service a lot. I also enjoyed the worship – we sang “Blessed Be the Name” which is one of my favorite contemporary songs.
After church, neither of us were hungry so we did our most recent favorite activity: driving around looking at houses. We’re trying to get a good idea of what neighborhoods are in the area, so we can narrow our search when we are actually serious about buying something. We have been considering condos and townhomes, although they don’t always provide one of the most important things to us: a yard. We walked through one complex called La Hacienda, and immediately fell in love. They are beautiful colonial Spanish style homes, with arch doorways outside and inside, and 2 car garages in the back. We both were like “we want to live here!”. However, the prices are a little high – we could get a house in another neighborhood for about the same. La Hacienda is in a really nice area, with really good schools (which helps resale value), and are 3 bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, spacious kitchens, garages, and nice layouts (from what we can tell). The biggest drawback – only an enclosed patio, no yard (though there is plenty of grass to walk a dog, just not a fenced in area). The comparable houses are in a much more lower-income area of town, with half the houses in the neighborhood needing repair work and lawns mowed. The schools aren’t as good, and the neighborhoods around it going downhill. The houses are generally 3 bedrooms, but often only have 1 bathroom, no garage, maybe a one-car carport (meaning that we would have to park a second car behind the first or on the grass), very small kitchens (men must have designed these houses!) and overall awkward layouts. But… it’s a HOUSE… with nice big yards and trees… Which one would you pick?
I think we will probably go with the house. Mostly for the yard, since we have a dog. If it weren’t for the dog I don’t think we would care as much. We are continuing to look, because I know townhouses can have fenced-in yards. We’re not ready to buy yet, anyways, so we have time to look around and pray about it.
After lunch Paul and I took Jera to the dog park. She had a grand old time, and we met another couple who were there with their beagle. They really encouraged us a lot. They said that beagle puppies are soo hard – so much harder than other puppies, but after about 2 years they settle down and become the nicest pets. They said they can even let their 4-year-old beagle off leash! I think God knew I needed to hear that right now. They said we were doing everything right, making sure she gets a lot of exercise, crate training her, etc. and that we just need to stick with it and she will be the nicest dog. I hope so. They said we will be able to let her be in the house without worrying about accidents or chewing – and that it’s normal for a beagle puppy to be having accidents in the house even at 8 months old (and later!). Phew! We’re not horrible pet parents. That encouraged me soo much – only 16 months to go!
Sunday evening Paul and I walked up to the closest movie theater and saw Spiderman 3. We enjoyed it a lot, though we don’t think it was as good as the first two. We really liked the theme/message of the movie. I love being able to walk to so many places in the area! In my last apartment, we couldn’t do that at all – it was about 15-20 minutes to the main street, and not many places to go from there. I just wish there was a convenience store near us, or a CVS or something. We can walk up to Target/Publix but we have to cross a major road without a crosswalk (i.e. run and pray), and it’s too far to walk carrying groceries.
Now it’s back to the grindstone. Paul has today off, which is nice. His car is currently in the shop and so we’re nervously wringing our hands about that. You can pray for that. We’ll probably be selling his car later this summer anyways, so we don’t want to put a whole lot of money into it! And an $800+ repair job is REALLY not in the budget right now.