Driving to work two years ago I said to Dave, "I don't know if we'll ever live in Portadown again..." We had a quick chat about that probably being true and went about our day.
Portadown has always been 'home' for us. Maybe more Dave than me, what with all my moving around to Canada, London and the like. Regardless, we both grew up here, met each other here when we were kids, went to school here, Dave's parents live here, I work here, Dave is a devout Portadown FC fan and even though we were only living 6 miles away at the time, we both often joked that the 'Cheers' theme song would reassuringly play in our heads when we walked through the town: "where everybody knows your naaaame...".
Later in that same day I had arranged to meet an old pal for coffee at her house.
I walk into her house.
Me: "WOW. This place..."
Her: "You like it? You should move in, I'm moving out soon."
So we did. We took on her tenancy and moved in.
Fast forward 2 years (almost exactly) to today...
Today we became the owners of the same house.
Thanks to housing market timing, our really supportive family and great landlords, we took possession of our house today.
It's ours. Well, it's the banks and ours, but on paper - you know.
Sheesh. So grown up. I never imagined that we'd ever be able to buy a house. I certainly never imagined that we'd be able to buy a house that we loved so much (aren't you supposed to buy a bunch of crappy houses before you get to the good ones?); or one that we have been able to get to know that we love before committing to it. (am I still talking about a house...?)
It's bricks and mortar. I know that. But it has been such a special time living here in this community. More than the house itself, we love the people we live around, our neighbours. We love the interest they take in Levi. We love that they remember his birthday and make him feel cared for. We love that we have the kind of neighbours that will pick you up from the train station at midnight when your husband is away with work just so you get home safely. We love that they have green thumbs and that instead of calling environmental health, they help us maintain our wild and wonderful back garden and teach us how not to kill vegetables. We love that half the row have lived here for over 30 years. We love the wisdom around us, the community spirit.
It is just a house, but it's really a home. Grateful.