I originally had written a really long blog on this topic, complete with song references, and it was kind of perfect. So of course my browser ate it. I ended up rewriting the whole thing, but it wasn’t the same.
Anyway, last Sunday was my final walkthrough for the house I’m closing on today. My husband and I drove out together, and when we first got into the car, a song was just finishing on the radio. “Closing Time” by Semisonic. A song that I quite enjoy singing along to. To my mild dismay, I recognized that the song was ending, allowing me to only get in the final line, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
I almost choked up, singing it this time. Because I was about to embark on my own personal closing time. About to take on the responsibility of a mortgage, and move my household to the country. I have never lived in a place that I own before, and I’m excited to find out what that’s like. I’m going to have land to explore and use. Ambrose has goats on the brain, but that’s not going to be a year one project. There’s going to be a lot to do, some stuff that I already know, and more stuff that I don’t. I’m expecting to learn a lot, and it’s just exciting.
I started my life in the suburbs of Chicago, with a brief stint in the big city itself even. Most of my childhood was spent in Winfield.
Winfield was a small suburb, a “village” with less than 6000 people. But it was within an hour’s drive of Chicago. And it was bordered on all sides by other suburbs. There was never a sense of wildness there, as if every square inch was already owned, allocated and developed.
I went to college in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A relatively small town that is also the state capital. Santa Fe was and is much bigger than Winfield, but much, much smaller than Chicago. It didn’t have the same stores that I was used to, even out in the suburbs. And the campus where I lived was rather removed from town anyway.
Being able to walk out the door of my dorm and into the mountains was a revelation. Not far from my dorm, there was a swing hung on a tree, halfway up a mountain. If I faced the campus, the view was of the buildings nestled into the hillside below (gorgeous), but if I faced the other way, I may as well have been completely alone in the woods.
And then I moved to a subdivision in Boise with my first husband. It was never our house; it was his parents’ house, and then his mom’s house after her divorce. And then she decided to sell it, without consulting us at all, and we all moved to Nampa to a rental.
I consider Nampa to be a suburb of Boise. I’m not sure if that’s accurate or not, but where we moved in Nampa was not a subdivision. It was a single house surrounded by farmland, but only a short drive to a mall. There weren’t great mountain views, just farm fields and the ever present scent of the sugar beet plant.
Then it was back to Boise for me after my own divorce. I lived in apartments, first by myself and then with my second husband. I didn’t expect that I would ever be able to own a home, because I wouldn’t be able to save up for a down payment while enjoying life on my salary. I tried out the city nightlife and had some fun, but it wasn’t what I wanted.
Last year’s rent increase was the last straw. I got help, and I figured out a way to get myself a house.
But not in Boise. Boise has become far too expensive for my means. And when I saw what I could afford out in Nampa, Caldwell and beyond, I decided to stop looking for normal places to live and start looking for a place that would suit me. A place where I could walk out my front door and be surrounded by the beauty of Idaho. Ideally deep in the woods with the potential to go off grid…
What I ended up finding wasn’t in the woods, but it feels right. The mountains will surround me, feeding my gaze in every direction. Neighbors are well spread in this “subdivision” with a 5 acre minimum plot size. When I first visited, I knew that I wanted to be there.
And now, it’s closing time.