Back from vacation. The real estate market is apparently in crisis. Sellers, excited by prices of the past two years and ever-hopeful here for that "california buyer," are allowing their overpriced, market-worn homes to wither on the vine. Buyers, ignoring the past six months of phenomenal interest rates and hesitant to jump in now lest they pay too much, are now for the most part out of luck with the implosion of the subprime mortgage market. In fact, many contracts have suffered terminations at the hands of bankrupt banks. So hey this means I don't have to make any hard decisions about what to do with my spendy and time-consuming career du jour.
Ryan and I took the girls camping in our 1953 canned ham this month. It poured and blew gale force winds. We were grateful for the shelter of the trailer and bravely tried to roast mallows in the spitting precip. A family of Barbie and Ken models from Germany camped next to us in their rented Winebago, eating organic yogurt at their dinette set and unabashedly staring while I cooked spaghetti and the girls went swimming in the KOA pool in the rain. All-American fun, I tell you. I casually mentioned on the way home that we might trade the canned ham in for a larger, bathroom-equipped RV. Sarah was incensed. "Then no one would point and smile at us anymore, Mom."
While we were gone, the neighbors watered (not like I do, of course, and the hanging petunias will never be the same) and fed the horses, chickens, rabbits and cats. The dog went with us. My mother snuck in and cleaned our house. It was 85 degrees and sunny the entire week at home. Our vegetable garden was invaded by deer. Ryan and I each bought books at a roadside used book store. Our optimism was laudable. Mostly we played dominoes and went on scavenger hunts and constructed rain gutters out of duct tape and washed sandy clothes in the KOA "clubhouse." We paid too much for ice cream and pancakes. We made memories and came home and were glad to do so.
One week later, we dropped the girls at Grandpa and Grandma's and returned to the coast. No kids and no dog and no travel trailer.
This was an entirely different sort of trip of course. Sylvia Beach and the phoneless, televisionless oceanview library. The Tables of Content restaurant and plently of time to read, sleep in, eat seafood. 70 degrees and sunny and incredibly wind-free walks on the beach. We have been married 15 years. We have three little girls and a baby on the way. We have three and a half horses and our children can discuss literature (well, Dr. Suess and E.B. White) and help in the garden. It's good to be back.