So, I was talking about Em and Ry’s new house, which got me thinking and then talking about my old house. That’s been happening a lot lately -- the past sneaking into the present. Comes from watching both my children face the same kinds of decisions their parents struggled with forty or so years ago: what job to take, where to live, when to ask for advice, when to take it, unsolicited.
Early on their road to home ownership Em and Ryan considered a Bigger House (raised ranch) on a Busier Road. Price ran almost 50% higher than the cozy 1940s cape they’re in. Speed limit difference between the two locations was about the same too. I was glad they opted for smaller (and slower), using the same reasoning Em's father and I used in 1982: smaller homes don’t require two full-time incomes to maintain. McMansions do. Puts a lot of pressure on a family. Em told me her realtor remarked she wished more buyers would think about that.
They went with a small community bank too. One couple’s Occupy (just off of) Main Street Movement – in a real rather than symbolic way. The occupy being an embracing of sorts.
I can’t help but look at the photo of the Mr. and Mrs. in front of the homestead, a day after moving in, and think of Charles and Caroline Ingalls, the bearded husband and wife (with child!) in Little House on the Prairie. The photo just begs the word homestead. Not just a house, and even more than a home – a homestead. Brings to mind the acts of government and, in this case, a young couple and local financeer, that wend a sensible route to home ownership, similar to the way Homestead Acts have made owning a home more middle-class friendly in our nation's history. There’s something very reassuring about the way the front windows of this homestead reflect a rosy sunset from across the way.