Every year, all the kids ask me the same thing. "Mom, what do you want for Christmas?" I never have a good or specific answer because I never really give it much thought. It's not like when I was 10 and I'd sit down on Thanksgiving weekend and strategically plan out my list according to the things I really really wanted, all the way down to the things I kinda sorta wanted. It's been a very long time since I actually wrote a list for things I wanted for Christmas. However, I have been giving this a lot of thought this year, and do have a rather detailed list of exactly what I want.
A house. Yes, a house. I want a 4 bedroom, full (finished) basement, 2 bath rambler. No more going up these stairs to get the bedrooms, then up those stairs to get to the game room, then back down those stairs to get to the kitchen and bathroom. I'm tired of stairs and I want my whole family existance to exist on one floor, thank you very much. Besides, Dougal is getting old and she fell down the slippery kitchen stairs the other day and scared the life out of both Rachel and me. These are the same stairs I fell down when I was pregnant with Ruth, and hurt my arm real bad. No more stairs! Now, back to the house:
I want it in town, close to church and close enough to walk to the store, the park, library and pool. I also want it close enough to "folks" so that when the kids make friends in the neighborhood, they can walk to their houses to play. Country living is great for a while, but the time has come to shift thinking on all this "out in the boonies" business.
It should have a fairly good sized fenced back yard, big enough to hold the pool, the trampoline, and enough room for Dougal and Tulip to go outside unrestrained, and get plenty of exercise. They're farm dogs so they can't be locked up city-style, they'll go nuts. I'd also like the back yard to have an area just for my garden. There is something very theraputic about digging in dirt and growing your own goodies. It must be in a good neighborhood with good neighbors on both sides, and across the street too. A 2 car garage is preferable, since we now have 2 vehicles and we like to park them inside in the winter. I'd prefer the house be heated primarily with natural gas, but a fireplace would be nice too (just not the main source of heat). I want the kitchen to have lots of windows that catch the morning sunshine. An eat-in kitchen would be fine, but a dining area is preferable, since I don't have a kitchen table, just a dining room table. I'd buy a kitchen table if I needed to, kijiji is great for stuff like that. All wood flooring thoughout the main area of the house would be just fine, but the bedrooms should have nice carpeting. It must be fully insulated with air-tight windows and doors and not a single draft anywhere.
Being in town of course, it will come cable/internet ready, and we can ditch the satellite tv package and dial up internet service, for less expensive cable and more reliable and MUCH faster internet access. The monthly rent and utilities should be comparable to what we now pay, and could even be slightly more, considering the piles of $$ we'd save on gas, actually living in civilization, rather than living on the outskirts of it. It must also come with an incredibly wonderful landlord like the one we've had for the last 6+ years. He's so good, he should hold Landlord classes to teach home owners how to do it right. In all my adult life renting houses, he's by far, the very best landlord ever.
So that's pretty much it. The minor details could easily be worked out later, but that's the basic idea. Moving in the spring would be good, due to weather considerations, and the fact I'd need to hold a monumental garage sale first, to get rid of all the heavy stuff I will never move again, in my life. In the event this is not doable for anyone, both coming in for a tie at second on my list would be:
Really great socks, and The Tim Janis Ensemble's Beautiful America CD.