Introducing the Yellow Rose Chronicles: a #Write31Days challenge

Write 31 Days is a writer’s challenge to pick a topic and publish a blog post every day in October. This year, Emily is writing with her spouse, Jack, for a new blog they totally meant to start, like, years ago.

The topic for this month? Well, we bought a house!

We wanted 2018 to be a big year for us, so we committed to making some major changes in our lives. The curious reader will learn about the parts of our lives, relationships, and selves that we needed to fix, needed to get rid of, or needed to strengthen.

Every effort we have made can be reflected in the plans we have for this new house, from the spare bedrooms meant especially for two special nieces to visit, to the wedding present we finally got to open after 6 years!

Our first tale is about a lonely yellow rose bush in Baltimore that bloomed in very late May of this year:

After Memorial Day, we somehow found ourselves house hunting? Until then, we didn’t believe we could own a home in this part of the country. When discussing where we wanted to commit, we agreed that finances, local culture, and support networks were all crucial factors that made Baltimore an unlikely choice.

Yet, we were cautiously optimistic that if we knew what we wanted, we could figure out what it would take to make it happen.

Within a week,  Emily realized we found the home of our dreams (Jack quickly caught up). In a town lousy with rowhomes, we found a detached home with curb appeal and very few improvements needed. It was even close to our budget!

The rest of our house hunting was ruined. Despite our careful planning, we couldn’t help but compare all of the lesser houses with the one we had grown unexpectedly attached to. The house with the giant garage? Pass. The one with a finished basement? Nope. The home listed for half as much? It just… didn’t “feel” like the one with the yellow rose bush out front!

Every time we spoke about houses, we described our favorite as having an indescribable advantage. Every other option made sense, but this house with the yellow roses really intoxicated us somehow. We had to have it!

Our realtor encouraged us to write a love letter to the previous owner. What did we love about the house? What did we dream for life in this home? What made our hearts beat for this place? We searched for the words, trying to illustrate (within Fair Housing practices, as best we understood them) the vision we had of the life that we wanted.

Emily says that writing the letter made her realize just how quickly she had fallen in love. We had no way to know if the seller would also find it persuasive:

We fell in love with a wonderful house today, so much so, we went back a second time to absorb it all. For the first time in our house hunting adventure, we both had an emotional connection to what we were seeing and experiencing. It’s so clear to us that this home has been well-loved.

From the moment we saw the house in the pictures online, we knew it had charm, which is so appropriate in our Charm city of Baltimore. When we stepped out of the car the blooming flowers on a quiet street drew me in. The yellow roses by the mailbox were a favorite, a symbol of friendship.

Our six year wedding anniversary is this month, and we are really looking forward to buying our first house together! We have been ready to make Maryland our home for some time now, and we hope this is a major step in putting down more roots here.

We have always wanted a dog, but have only lived in tiny apartments. When we married, we were given a fire pit to warm the many upcoming evenings with friends. It has never been unboxed! For years we have dreamt of a home with a yard. Maybe we could find one with a porch that could fit a swing? Ideally with some exposed brick inside and plenty of natural light?

We have envisioned what we wanted our ideal “someday” home would look like for so long, and we have already got our hopes up that this could be our dream house! We eagerly look forward to caring for this house and taking joy in making memories here.

Emily & Jack Phoenix

Would you have sold to us? Find out what happens as October continues!

One Reply to “Introducing the Yellow Rose Chronicles: a #Write31Days challenge”

  1. Goodness, Harrison roses are my very, very favorite. They’re nearly impossible to get, now. They were the only rose that would grow in my home town, with its impossible winters. One year it snowed on Halloween, and kept on snowing. The last snowfall was the first week of the following July. Tough year.

    I love so much that they spoke to you. They’re special roses. I was so surprised to see them when I clicked on the link to your page.

    Big wishes of happiness and comfort in your new home.

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