Sunday, March 5, 2017

THE COTTAGE IN THE WOODS; Part III

Dear Olive,

Well, we didn't get the cottage.


I stood outdoors at the auction as a fairytale flurry of snow drifted down, knowing it was not to be.

Jason and I had crunched the numbers, interviewed roofers, and done a million walk throughs to make our decision.  In the end, it was the layers upon layers of lead paint that was the final straw.

We could have pulled the trigger and paid someone to take out the dangerous materials.  But the point was to do this ourselves as a family project.  And as we increased the list of things to outsource, the scales were tipped.  Ultimately, we realized it was not just a risky choice but also an irresponsible one.  The same week that we got the news of the paint, I evaluated a child with neurological damage due to lead exposure.  I took it as a sign.

So I stood amongst my neighbors and watched as our dream was sold to the highest bidder.  Perhaps the point of this journey was to underscore the gratitudes that I sometimes take for granted... a safe home, a husband who bands together with me to make my heart's desire a possibility.

I wore my hot pink tights, green coat, and chartreuse gloves to the event.  It was the outfit I had worn to work, but I realized how I stood out in the crowd of black wool coats.  My friend Robin attended with me out of solidarity.  I was struck by how in mourning my dream, I also felt relief for being exactly who I am, despite the things around me.  So many friends have asked the outcome of this adventure.  In it, I feel lucky to place emphasis on the friendship instead of the attainment. 

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