Tag Archives: Garage

Home Ownership: The American Dream?

For Hubby, me and our newborn daughter, our rental house proved a sanctuary.

Apartments worked for Hubby and me — until a percussion major moved upstairs. Then, upon expecting our first child, we learned our complex was a drug trafficking center.

We rented a house.

The only upstairs residents were squirrels. They pattered across the roof, but none sold drugs or played xylophones.

We possessed three whole bedrooms and a garage. No more scraping ice off car windows. Hubby and I began to succumb to the American Dream. …

However, the driveway didn’t shovel itself. Our house boasted a real yard — whose grass never stopped growing. Flowers I planted attracted real weeds. We purchased a shovel, mower and garden tools. Lawn chairs. And …

The infinite to-buy list should have warned us about home ownership.

But tired of paying rent, I longed to choose the colors of walls and carpet. Bang nails to hang pictures without asking permission.

Our younger daughter welcomed her new brother to the little ranch we built. Thank goodness the water and sewer system had been connected!

So, we built a little ranch in a new addition … where roads hadn’t been completed. Also, water and sewage hadn’t yet been connected to the town’s system. During that inflationary era, the special 12 percent mortgage seemed cheap, compared to an earlier 21.5 percent prime rate.

We brought two newborns to that ranch. Mysterious stains marred my carefully chosen colors. I spent years watering grass and breastfeeding babies. Neither was ever satisfied. I also discovered I wasn’t handy. If I banged a nail into one wall, a gaping hole appeared in the opposite one.

The American Dream?

Our home for 24 years.
Before we knew it, the toddler had a prom date.

One other house we owned ate water heaters and softeners. Another featured a pillow-soft porch roof, as well as a toilet that randomly ran over and soaked anyone playing Ping-Pong in the basement.

We occasionally considered living in a grass hut in Bongo Bongo.

Still, Hubby and I have called all three houses “home.”

Home, where our babies took first, shaky steps. Where they learned to watch for traffic as they walked to school. Home, where we took prom and graduation pictures. Home, where they and their children now come for holidays.

Home is the only place where Hubby and I can put feet on the furniture. Where we can blow up and make up. Bake brownies, eating them all without anyone judging.

Image by Hans from Pixabay.

Our American Dream is no HGTV superstar, but at this address, we can be us.

At home.

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What home-owning adventures have you experienced?

Grandbirds!

Nestbuilding robins need a blueprint.

During the COVID shutdown, Hubby and I discovered weird vandals had swathed our garage light with dead tiger lily leaves.

“You never know how quarantine boredom will affect some people,” he said.

Eventually, we discovered Courtney, a robin, wasn’t bored. She was constructing a nest.

She and Jason, her mate, must have flunked Nestbuilding 101. Their shapeless leaf pile dangled halfway to the ground.

Image by annca from Pixabay.

No eggs or nestlings fell. Still, we felt sorry for the hardworking couple. Hopefully, they’d consult a new architect before trying that blueprint again.

“Looks like we hung shrunken heads on the garage,” I observed.

Eventually, the robins’ mess toppled.

Instead, Courtney and Jason built another amorphous mound of lily leaves, topped by a tipsy nest.

We held our breath as Courtney settled in. Don’t lean to the right! Or left! No heavy lifting. Raise your feet so they won’t swell!

Mama robin broods her eggs in the tipsy nest.

Courtney took on a new-mama look: frazzled and frumpy, with missing feathers she’d worked into her nest. She probably couldn’t stand Jason, debonair in his neat, black-and-red suit. You did this to me!

Still, Jace babysat eggs and brought food to his grouchy spouse.

We grandparents-to-be grudgingly admitted the garage-light choice made sense. Under an overhang, the birds escaped bad weather. A perfect distance from the ground and roof, their abode protected them from interested neighborhood cats.

Those kids were smarter than we thought.

For Courtney, 14 days on the nest probably seemed like 14 years.

Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay.

Then, it happened.

Hubby yelled, “Jason’s pecking at the nest!”

Our worry changed to celebration. Three tiny, wide-open beaks clamored for Daddy Jason’s tasty victual.

“Ya-ay-ay! Triplets!”

We did the Grandma-and-Grandpa Dance.

Unsure of their gender, we named the babies Ellie, Nellie and Belly — the last, the pushiest at dinnertime.

Success! Despite the messy precarious nest, the robins raised three babies.

Their parents, making 100 trips a day to find food, didn’t care about their children’s preferences: “What, you think this is McDonald’s? Eat!”

They did. A lot.

Soon, they crowded the nest as if in the back seat of a VW Beetle. Before long, the triplets left home.

Impossible! A little sad. But even nasty viruses couldn’t banish our smiles as we witnessed that shiny, brand-new life. How glad we were that Courtney and Jason moved into our neighborhood!

Though, about that nest blueprint, kids. Maybe you should check out different ones the next time?

Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Have birds squatted on your property?