Realtors and Farmhouses
I trailed behind my mother as she walked with the realtor through the empty house. How boring could life possibly get? Honestly, I could be dancing right now. My new Pointe shoes still needed breaking in, and house hunting was not exactly going to do the job for me. Why did we have to move anyway? It wasn’t like we were going to a different state or anything, just a new town. In my opinion, the entire thing was silly and pointless. No pun intended. I sighed loudly, and my mom shot me a glare over her glasses as she discussed acreage, loans, and locations with the smiling realtor. I frowned harder, and turned away to look around the room. It was a beautiful house, after all. All the floors were wood, with no carpeting. Perfect for dancing. And the high ceilings made for plenty of space to practice jumps. The more I looked, the less bored I became, in fact. I finally grew impatient with my mother and the realtor, and moved ahead into a new room. There was a fine layer of dust on the windowsills, and the morning sunlight trickled goldenly down through the old glass in the panes. The swirling patterns of dust in the air made me feel like dancing, rather than slumping boredly against a wall. I checked over my shoulder to see if my mom was still engaged. She and the realtor had turned their backs to me, and were moving in the other direction. I set down my purse in the corner, and carefully shut the door to the sunny room, willing it not to squeak and attract attention. Then I turned back towards the wide, beckoning, sunlit spaces of the empty floor before me, and began to dance.
I hooked my thumbs behind my suspenders and leaned back to look at the house. It looked strong, like it had weathered a few centuries and could still hold out for more. I gave a wide, nearly toothless grin and approached the realtor. As she showed me through the rooms, talking the whole time in that auctioneer’s voice, I cast an eye out the windows into the afternoon sun with every chance I got. The house sure was nice, but the land was my main concern. Were the pastures right for cattle? And what about the barn out back? It looked a little saggy around the edges. Would it hold up for a few more years without repair? How much hard-earned cash would I have to spend to fix it up, anyway? I thought about the new tractor I planned to buy. With payments for a house, albeit a good-priced house with a lot of land, combined with payments for lumber to fix the barn, would I still be able to purchase the tractor? Would I even still need a new tractor? And back to the cows, again. If I moved here, by how many head could I expand my herd with this acreage? All these thoughts and questions whisked through my mind, like a combine in a cornfield. The realtor was beginning to look annoyed at my lack of attention. I tore my eyes away from the window and followed her up a staircase, placing my hand on a rough wooden beam that supported the ceiling as we climbed to the second floor of the house. I could feel the life in that beam, steadfast and strong as it had ever been. Yes, this was a good house.
My kids screamed in the background, and I struggled to hear over the noise of the crying. Why my wife sent them with me, I had no idea. Heck, I had no idea how she even remained sane with the little terrors in the house all day! I groaned, and apologized once again to the poor realtor as I pried my two-year-old’s pudgy hands out of his sister’s hair for the fifth time. This was a nightmare. Trying to keep track of my kids as well as hear what the realtor was fairly shouting at me was exhausting. Who would have thought two kids could be so loud? I finally managed to break them apart, and picked up the two-year-old to prevent other catastrophes. Great, now I got his yelling full-force in my left ear. How charming kids are. The realtor gave a slightly crazed sigh and led me on into another room. The dusty windowsills shone red with the setting sun and the dust motes swirled around my head. The picturesque scene was, alas, ruined by the squalling kid in my arms. I finally gave up, and told the realtor that the house was simply gorgeous, but the lack of heat would not agree with my wife. Then I asked if she would help me wrestle the kids back into car seats. She politely declined. Smart woman.
I groaned loudly. No hope of drowning my woes in the blaring radio on the way home from work. I’d had enough loudness for one day. For a week of days. I had thought the large old farmhouse beautiful and spectacularly situated when I pulled into the drive this morning. Now, after showing group after group of potential buyers through it, I was beginning to hate the sight of it. The first group had been very pleasant, just a mother and her bored daughter. Funny, I had lost track of the daughter about halfway through the tour. I hoped she wasn’t one of those juvenile delinquents, who might possibly do something harmful to the house. I didn’t want that coming out of my paycheck. Although, thinking back, by the end of the showing, she had turned up at her mother’s side, bored face mysteriously turned radiant. I’m never going to understand teenagers. The second showing went decently, too. Just an old farmer interested mainly in the land. He hardly heard a word I said about the house, although he did take great interest in the exposed beams. I liked him well enough, although his inattention to my well-practiced speech was irking. The last group was pure torture, however. Some poor overworked dad with two absolute terrors for children. I promised myself never to have kids, if that was what they were like. I couldn’t hear myself think, much less talk! I think the man was glad to get out of here. I was glad to get him out of here, at least. And asking me to help him strap the kids into the car…what nerve! I took great pleasure in watching him chase them around the driveway. Let him get some grief for the trouble he put me through. All told, today was lousy. I never wanted to see that house again!