I’ve got another happy living story.  I just told you about how I met my husband and how filled with gratitude I am to have him in my life.  After we were married, David moved into the house that Ian and I had been living in, and in fact where Ian had died.  In retrospect this must have been quite difficult for David, and I give him great credit for not asking us to move.

The kids were now twelve and ten and our house didn’t have a basement or any real place for them to just “hang out.”  We  also had three cars, as Ian had a convertible BMW which I traded in for an awesome MINI convertible, and of course I still had my car and David had his.  We really needed a three car garage.  Ultimately we decided to add on to our house by building a third garage and adding a bonus room above the entire garage area.  We also put together a long list of other upgrades we wanted to have within the house:  a wine fridge, an extra refrigerator in the garage, an upgrade to our master shower that included a ledge for me to prop my leg while shaving and gorgeous thick glass walls, and a new kitchen with granite counter tops – someday.  No problem, right?  Wrong!

We were told by our architect that it would take about 4 to 6 weeks to get the variance approval that we needed in order to start our building project.  Apparently, we needed to build eighteen inches over our set back line on the property, and this needed town approval.   We were ready to go. . .   First the town forgot to put a notice in the paper about our project which added another 4 weeks.  Then our architect filed the wrong papers – 6 more weeks.  Then we had the hearing, and the committee agreed that they would have to view the site.  Another hearing would be set in 4 weeks during which time the board members would all drive to our house to view the proposed variance.  But wait!  It was now vacation time, so the next hearing wouldnot  be set for 8 weeks.  After all of this waiting, we thought we were close.   Oops!  One of the committee members couldn’t remember what our property looked like; yes, he had viewed it along with other committe members, but he couldn’t get a clear picture in his head, and he wanted to postpone the vote until the next meeting.  This went on for 9 months!

During our wait and even a year or so earlier, I often drove by a beautiful house on a lake.  This home was across the street from the middle and high schools, so I saw it regularly when I dropped my daughter off at the middle school.  I had watched as they tore down a small, nondescript cape and re-built the home into the most amazing, breath taking, glass covered, chalet.  I even called my realtor and asked if the home owners were going to sell the house or if it was just for them.   She said, “Just for them.”

One day as I was driving by, I noticed that the glass house was for sale.  I again called my realtor, without any real intention of buying the house, but just to inquire about the cost and to ask why they were selling.  The owners were being transferred to Texas.  they were not happy about leaving, but they had to go in order to keep getting a paycheck.  The price?  Way more than was affordable for us.  Oh well . . .

After the 9 month variance struggle, we finally received approval.  It was time to move ahead with our plans.  That same week, I drove by the lake house again on my way to school, and I noticed that the for sale sign in front of the house had changed company names.  Curious, I gave my good friend,the realtor another call.  The owner’s had tried to sell the house for six months without success, so they took a buyout from their company.  Now the lake house was being sold by the relocation company, and they had drastically dropped the price in order to sell it fast.

Mamanasco House

I called my husband, and we all met at the lake house.  David and I walked into the front room and without looking at the rest of the place I knew, then and there, that we would be living there very soon.  Not only did this house have the three car garage, but it also had the extra refrigerator that we wanted.  It had a walk out basement with a TV room, and a guest room with its own bathroom.  The main floor had a brand new kitchen with granite counter tops and a huge wine fridge.  The master bathroom had a beautifully tiled, tumbled-marble shower with a ledge for me to prop my leg while shaving, and the shower even had the thick glass walls we wanted!  This is all in addition to the house having a killer view of the lake!  And it was within walking distance to both of the schools our childen would be attending!

I feel so blessed, and I feel such gratitude for all of the events, especially the frustrating nine months of waiting for variance hearings because we would not be in the house that I love without going through those bumps in the road.