Home Sweet Home

19 May

As Patrick noted, on Monday Finn and I said goodbye to Egypt and flew off into the sunset (or sunrise, as it were). I meant to update as soon as we landed, but to be honest with you I needed a little time to recover. As I was sitting on the plane with a screaming toddler, one of the nice old ladies leaned back and told me I’d laugh about it someday. I’m still waiting for that day. I’m recovered enough from the mental trauma that is corralling a kid who doesn’t like to sit down for more than 20 seconds on a 12 hour flight enough to be able to blog about it. Laughing about it might be the next step. I’m taking it a day at a time.

So after squishing a van’s worth of luggage into a clown car and flying down the Autostrade with a disgruntled driver who kept glancing at the dirty wheel of the folded stroller rubbing the seat of his car and giving me the death glare,  we finally arrived at the airport. I had a stroller, a ginormous carseat, a backpack, a messenger bag, two suitcases, and a toddler who was not happy to be strapped to my back and came dangerously close to pushing me to check him with the baggage. People were really helpful though and we got through and to the gate with no problem. We climbed aboard the bus that would take us the airplane, at which point Finn threw the first of many screaming fits. Since he was on my back and my hands were occupied with our sixteen carry-on bags and trying not to fall everytime the bus braked sharply, I couldn’t do much for him but bounce up and down and tune him out while I eyed the other passengers. I was hoping for as many Egyptians as possible on the flight, since they love babies and don’t get as annoyed with them as Americans do. I was disappointed to see white people. Not just any white people, but old ones. The kind that are usually cranky. As I eavesdropped on their conversation, I heard words like “St. George” and Draper Temple. Places in Utah. I mentioned that I’d be visiting family there in a few weeks and struck up a conversation with a group of them. Turns out on my flight were 72 Mormon grandparents on their way back from a tour. Seriously. Mormon grandparents. Is there a group on earth who are more used to tolerating screaming toddlers that are not their own? I was repeatedly asked how old Finn was and when I replied, I got the same response over and over. “I have a grandson/granddaughter around that age!”

I’m not going to torture myself by recalling too many details about the flight. A few highlights though:

  • Finn mistakes car seat for hot lava and will not even let his arm brush against it without screaming.
  • Older Egyptian childless woman on other side of Finn who has always wanted kids. While toddler was screaming, comments beamingly on his healthy lungs.
  • Said toddler discovers lots of fun buttons to push in galley area then subsequently demands to run down the aisle to it for the duration of the flight (about 11.5 hours remaining flight time)
  • Flight attendants who clearly never met Egyptians beg with tears in their voices for people to obey the fasten seatbelt sign, stop congregating in the aisles, stop smoking, stop sneaking up to first class. Later, attendants openly cry in frustration.
  • Same flight attendant, with her head in her knees in the galley, who, when Finn reappears for the thousandth time, yells “just go sit down!”
  • Helpful people carry my carry-ons and carseat off plane for me. Am wondering how much baksheesh they wanted. Wonderful realization that baksheesh is thing of the past.
  • Quick layover in New York during which Finn runs around greeting strangers and woman at gate gives me disapproving look for letting him talk to strangers. Middle finger starts twitching.
  • After 15 hours straight of awake-time, feral child passes out in arms, sleeps all the way to Chicago. Close my eyes and drift off for the first time on the trip.
  • Waiting for me, great friends Kay and Stacy. Sleep through drive to South Bend, arrive 2 am local time
  • 4 am local time, feral child awakes for the day

The next day I left Finn with Kay and went out to see our top 7 or 8 houses. Our realtor clearly understood what we wanted and there were lots of good options, two in particular. The next day we saw more, but kept going back to the two from before. Consulted with Patrick and he agreed. Next day, went back to top five. Immediately ruled two out, had a good back-up and two favorites. When I went back to my front-runner and opened the door, got a big smile on my face. It felt like home.  Stacy went back a third time with and according to the realtor that opened the house for us, almost peed her pants in excitement. This was the place. The owners had been counteroffering with another buyer for several days so we made our offer and crossed our fingers. The next day we got word that they decided to accept and were faxing over the contract. We have a house!

It’s in a historic neighborhood near downtown, on a street we housesat on when first married and later lived near. The house is charming and warm, just like we wanted. And we love the charm and character of the neighborhood. Each house is unique.The local paper just did a write-up of the street last Sunday, citing it’s urbanity, history (Knute Rockne lived here), and sense of community. I’m really excited.

Tour schedule:

South Bend until Wednesday

Salt Lake City 5/30-6/13

McAllen 6/13-6/24

Closing date 6/26/09. Yay!

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4 Responses to “Home Sweet Home”

  1. Dre May 19, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    You’d better be coming to SLC on 5-20 because that’s the day we’ll be at the airport.

  2. Javi (the brother) May 19, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Melissa,

    Nice house! But you do know that “Historic” is just realtor jargon for saying its haunted. 🙂

  3. Mrs. DeLeon May 19, 2009 at 9:16 pm #

    Not unless she takes one of Grandma’s couches, Javi. (And the term is not “haunted” but “watched over”.

  4. aprillee May 20, 2009 at 1:01 am #

    I am so glad that you made it and found the perfect house! That is so exciting! It looks great. Enjoy your traveling this summer.

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