The ink wasn’t dry on the mortgage loan documents and things starting falling apart around our new house. We weren’t surprised. I mean, we’ve lived inside these ancient sponge-painted walls for two years. We knew what we were getting when we bought this place. We just thought we’d have a bit more time to replace everything.
Then, in the span of five days, the air conditioner died, the window got stuck open, the kitchen sink malfunctioned (Spraying everyone in its path!) and the bathtub faucet sprung a pretty significant leak. Oh, and there is mystery liquid on our basement floor that we still have not addressed because, well, did you see that previous sentence? We’ve been a little preoccupied. Never before have I hoped an animal peed on my floor, but that’s where we are right now, wishing for cat urine on our basement floor.
You’d think in all of this I’d be curled up in the fetal position just repeating “why” over and over and over again. Strangely, I’m not and the other night I figured out why.
We were sitting at dinner with friends telling them the story of when things were so bad, we sold a junker car that we could never afford to repair to our neighbor for whatever cash he had in his pocket because we were in between pay checks and desperate to buy our kids food for school lunch and spring clothes.
In retelling that story, with the laughter that only comes from growth experiences, I realized why the current demise of my newly purchased home hadn’t beaten me. This time, we were prepared. Don’t get me wrong, we don’t have buckets of money lying around waiting for major home repairs. But, we did have a five year plan for many of these improvements and while we are speeding it up a bit more than we’d like, at least we know we can do it in the end.
All of this will require some major belt tightening and a reallocation of funds, but that is nothing we can’t handle as we’ve done it before. What it won’t do is throw us into a position where we can’t buy our kids flip flops unless we sell a car. Those days are over. We’ve been standing at rock bottom looking up for too many years to let that happen to ourselves again. We’ve learned some tough lessons about making plans, and being educated and patient with money.
So, while no one wants their brand new house to fall to pieces moments after they turn the key, we can handle it because we’re tougher and smarter and content in the knowledge that we can find our way out of just about anything, money pits included.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch them set up my new AC.
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