The yard is the largest extra room in a house

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking over other people’s fences.
Of course, this isn’t entirely new to me, but now I have a purpose.
My search to buy a house has been going on for a while. But recently I started packing boxes. The plan is that when my silverware and pajamas are packed, it will be time to go.

This photo was found on the Internet, but you get the picture.

Up until recently, I was reluctant to narrow my search to Paradise.
They have deer in the foothills. Deer eat your plants. The deer pole-vault over eight-foot barricades to eat your plants. The soil is terrible. I’d have to drive 12 miles (or something) to get to work. There’s no downtown to play pinball, have a frozen yogurt and then swim at One-Mile — all within half a mile.
Kara and Elizabeth would never come visit me.
You get the picture: I love Chico and don’t know Paradise at all.
Yet, now that I’m looking around, I’ve found that Mountain Mike’s Pizza has a pinball game, and most houses in Paradise have large yards. I’ve also made the conscious decision that I can be happy wherever I am.
And heck, if I’m bored while living in Paradise, I can walk around the neighborhood and throw pine cones at deer.
My friend Kara asked me recently “why don’t you make a list of your perfect house?”
I was a bit exasperated that day, and didn’t appreciate her cheery suggestion.
“If I waited to find my perfect house, I would be 80 years old and still renting.”
The house itself, of course, will be important. I want a garage so I no longer have camping gear stuffed under my bed. A kitchen large enough to install a dishwasher would be nice. I’d also really prefer neighbors who don’t have dogs trained to bark every time they hear a car door open.
Even if the house is small (which means I might be able to afford it), the yard is the largest extra room in the house.
This week I narrowly missed buying a small house on a busy street with a huge, empty backyard.
To some people this might not sound enticing, but to me it was an empty canvas with full sun.
The first year I would build raised beds and transplant all the daffodils from my Chico house.
Another lonely house under consideration was once well-loved. Little walkways are now covered with pine needles and many of the ornamental bushes are dying.
I asked my real estate agent, Carolyn, if we could turn on the hose while we were there. But sadly, the water had been turned off.
If not me, I hope someone buys that soon.
The more time I adjust my lens to Paradise, the more I see its shady beauty. I know daffodils grow there, and the garden club has planted tens of thousands of daffies to prove it.
Also, I’ve taken the home and garden tour the past few years. Those yards are so outstanding you know it’s possible.
In the meantime, I’m praying that when the right house finds me, I’ll be the first person to call their real estate agent and say “eureka.”

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