The “For Lease” sign appeared on our front yard yesterday and, as I had expected, promptly broke my heart. The kind I could actually physically feel. Right there in the center of my chest. A quick jab of pressure, and then overwhelming sadness as I drove up the driveway for one of the last times.
In July of 2007, I had been scouring every single day the three streets in Dallas I knew I wanted to live on. They’re my favorite three streets in Dallas–big, old houses, mature trees, wide sidewalks. They’re enclosed in a safe neighborhood just a few streets over from one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the entire country. One day, a new “For Lease” sign appeared. I was the first one to call on the place, the first one to look at the place. And I knew I wanted to live there the second I walked inside. The shining original hardwoods, the large windows, the molding. Not to mention the laundry room (!), the yard (!), and the covered parking (!). All for a friggin’ steal.
Whenever I get breakfast at a restaurant, I try to get as much food as I can for the cheapest price. What I’m actually craving doesn’t matter. If what I really want is a strawberry Belgian waffle, I’ll forego it for the three-egg breakfast just because the waffle is only a waffle, whereas the eggs come with bacon, hashbrowns AND pancakes. Aapartment hunting for me is very similar. I try to find as much as I can for the lowest price possible. I’ll forego a place that might work for a place I feel downright lucky to have found.
But when I found this place, it was like ordering the three-egg breakfast and then finding out that it ALSO comes with the Belgian waffle. Sometimes I’d just sit and stare at the beauty of the evening light coming in through the rippled dining room windows. The way it reflected off of the hardwoods. The contrast between the white-painted molding against the pale yellow wall. I’m a sucker for beauty, and our place is beautiful.
I’ve practically been a nomad since I left for college in the fall of 2001, moving every single year. This was the place I hoped I would stay for a long, long time. I saw no reason to live anywhere else. This was our place.
But starting tomorrow it won’t be our place any longer. Someone else will be the first one to call on it and the first one to see it. Someone else will fall in love with it immediately. Someone else will move in and sit and stare at its beauty, marvel that they’ve finally found the place they knew existed, the place they knew they’d find if they just looked hard enough. They will wonder about all the previous tenants. Why they moved, and if they’ve left a piece of themselves there, just like they’re bound to do when the day comes they, too, have to move on.