I was raised in a home where I never wanted for anything of necessity, there was always a hot meal (or cold pizza on my favorite mornings) and a roof over my head. This did not come without sacrifice, these things were not just ordained upon me. I understand that there was no fairy with pixie dust that provided these, instead I watched the hard sacrifices my mother, my father, my step-father, and again I will mention my mother (for double the emphasis on her strength) made along the way. I am not some trust fund kid who doesn’t understand hard work, as should be made clear by the personal sagas of my professional full time job blog here.
I have lived in and cherished homes without central AC, without working plumbing, and blissfully embraced periods of no home at all. My husband and I have experienced months where a hot bath was created by boiling pots on the stove, and meals consisted of the scraps in the back of the pantry. That was nearly five years ago, and in the time we worked hard, I sacrificed my career to be a mother, my husband sacrificed his time, alongside the team to build and foster a now flourishing business. A month ago he spotted a house online that would work with our strange credit situation and suit the wants and dreams of the family.
As he showed me the the pictures I shook my head in distaste, and embarrassment. This was not anything I ever deserved or ever felt written in the stars for our small family. Such a house of space and dreams seemed ostentatious and ‘unnecessary’, a concern that has caused me more harm than good in my lifetime. “No, I’ll look at the house, but I’m going to say no right here right now.”
The house though was a dream come true, and was by no means larger than the space we could use, but somehow we have managed at a third of the square footage to this point. Behind the house is a large backyard that holds a canal at one end and a screened in pool at the at other (a combination that is like a mystical unicorn in the Sunshine State). Seeing the amazing area for our daughters I gave in to my family’s pleadings and agreed to the home.
Within three weeks we were carrying our first cardboard box through the guarded subdivision gate, and into the grand glass doors of this glorious mansion (to me it feels like a mansion at least). But still I kept it a secret, I dreaded the negative backlash from my family and friends. I felt a weighing guilt, like I did not need this so I did not deserve this. But I remained quiet as my kids and husband danced with glee.
Over these first two weeks though we have discovered the upstairs AC unit did not work, and still a week later, two HVAC repair companies and five missed appointments later we are still in the oppressive heat with no real end or solution in sight. The pump to the pool did not seem to be working, which the pool maintenance team keeps ignoring, even through our questioning. Half the oven in our restaurant quality kitchen does not work, the lighting under the hood and cabinetry has a short that prevents the warm ambiance that could be. Despite the several interviews we have set up with housekeepers no one has actually shown up. The head of the HOA has yet to meet with us to drop of our resident tags so we can drive in and out of the subdivision with ease. All the preschools in the area seem inadequate (according to my esteemed education background) or unable to offer any information on enrollment availability. Keeping up with it has been a full time job until my eyes are crossed. Suddenly I feel pangs of empathy for the great Jarvis of Downton.
When family or friends call I complain about the AC guy arguing with us for days that the unit cannot actually be broken, refusing to come and look, and the pool company’s incompetence to detect or repair our broken pump. Perhaps to my friends these issues are so out of touch with their day to day struggles that they are unable to understand what I have complain about, but I complain with great gusto because these first world problems have restored the balance in my universe and I can finally gaze upon our grand home and say glory, glory hallelujah!