Nineteen years ago last week you became our official address.
After five years of apartment living in Bloomington, we were more than ready to find a place to call home. We searched far and wide, but once we drove through the neighborhoods of St. Paul we knew we had found our place to settle in.
And you, you were love at first sight. Even though it was December, and snow was piled everywhere, and we had no clue what your yard would hold. I of course fell for your picket fence, and your calm presence on the corner of Hamline and Hartford. Mike was excited about your bigger than average garage.
Inside, the pictures of smiling people on the refrigerator drew me in. People were happy in this home, I could feel it. We loved the size of your just-right rooms, the carved trim along the ceiling in the living room, your warm wood floors.
But others had already placed an offer on you, and our hearts sank. Determined to own you, we stopped by to visit the people who lived in you, just to say hi. We wanted them to put a face to the offer we would craft, and they were so kind and welcoming. They gladly told us what they didn't like about the current offer on the house, and we listened intently. Although our realtor was none too happy when he heard what we had done, our offer was accepted. I like to think it was because they could imagine us living in their home, though it probably wasn't.
You were to be our 'starter' home. We would live in you for a few years, and then move on up to a home more befitting a successful young couple.
We painted, repaired, and planted flowers.
We mowed your lawn, and shoveled your walks in the winter. Each spring and fall we washed your old windows, and cleaned your screens. You sheltered us during rain and wind and hail. Although not without a few leaks here and there....
You were our refuge during trying times, and a place to hold celebrations for friends and family.
We brought Charlie home to you, and his laughter soon echoed off your walls, and his tiny feet toddled down your hallway. He played in the sandbox in your backyard, and rode his tricycle down your walk.
And even though we still dream of moving to a larger home someday, with a big kitchen, a finished basement, room for a studio, and more yard for flowers, I can also now imagine us staying right here. Hosting Charlie's high school graduation party, a bridal shower, welcoming a grandchild and playing with him or her in our backyard.
We will own you in a few short years-and the idea of not having a mortgage sounds pretty darn good.
Thank you little house, you have sheltered us well.
Love, Mike and Kristi and Charlie and Claude