After approximately 22 months of living in what I ever so lovingly referred to as our two sh*t boxes, I was MORE THAN READY to find a real California home. By that time it was quite clear that we would be living in California permanently, which meant it was time to find a home and not a sh*t box to live in.
Sidebar: Please don’t misunderstand. I know and respect that for many, living in a condo IS living in a real home. My negative feelings towards those condos had EVERYTHING to do with the context of my life at the time. During that time in our married life, living in those two condos was less than a pleasant experience for our family for a variety of reasons.
How bad could it have been you ask? Well…We lived so close to our neighbors that on cool nights we couldn’t sleep with our windows open. Why? Two reasons. 1). The neighbors often went outside to smoke right underneath our windows, and 2). On multiple occasions we could hear the couple next door…how should I say this…um…totally getting it on which included lots of…um…spanking. (Insert wide-eyed/shocked emoji here.) Maybe that’s why they were always out smoking. So, yeah to say that I was ready to move was a total understatement.
I had made a new friend at a Mother’s of Preschoolers event at a local church who happened to be a realtor. It didn’t take me long to request her services in helping to search out our next home. It was springtime which meant my husband wasn’t available to find the home with me. He actually gave me full permission to pick out the house. I believe his exact words were, “Whatever you want, honey. You go pick it out. I’ll like whatever you pick out.” (This tidbit will be important to the story later.)
So that’s exactly what I did. Kirsten and her husband, Jon, did an excellent job showing us lots of nice homes. I knew which one would be ours the first time I saw it. It checked off lots of boxes, was at the right price, in a neighborhood that seemed nice, so we jumped in with both feet and made an offer.
I will never forget getting the call from Jon while sitting in Chili’s.
Jon: I have great news! They accepted your offer!
Me: That’s awesome! No counter or anything? Wow!
Jon: There’s just one thing. Did you know about the drug bust that happened in that neighborhood?
(Insert the sound of a needle scraping across a record.)
Me: Um…no, I don’t think so. What drug bust? Like what kind of drugs? Like hardcore drugs?
(While my parents and our boys sat around us trying not to eavesdrop, Derek was in my ear saying, “Drug bust? We can’t move in a neighborhood filled with drugs! We can’t have people knocking on our door asking for drugs! I can’t leave you and the boys alone in a druggy neighborhood!”)
Jon: There was a guy growing marijuana in a house. He wasn’t living in the house, just growing weed. It was a huge bust. Something like 3 million dollars worth of weed.
Now let me pause for another moment and give you some context for the story. This neighborhood is one of the newer ones in the valley that we live in. It is filled with young families, a pretty little park, and a local school within walking distance. There have been several national commercials shot in our neighborhood because it basically looks like Anywhere, U.S.A. This neighborhood was NOT a place where you would expect 3 million dollars worth of weed to be growing.
Me: Wow. Um…okay. So where in the neighborhood did it happen?
Jon: Next door.
Obviously, that was not the answer we were hoping for, that was a little too close for comfort. Derek was in my ear saying something along the lines of “not good” but my response to Jon might surprise you.
Me: Well, he’s in prison and the weed is gone, so it’s all good! Tell them we have a deal!
My husband thought I had lost my mind.
A month later we were moving in next door to the pot house. When meeting new friends in the neighborhood we were often introduced as “the people who bought the house next door to the drug bust.” Yep, that was us. It was a mantle we wore with feigned ignorance and I decorated that place from top to bottom with pride!
My little, green laundry room…
Our back patio addition…
I have written about that house several times on this blog (which you can find by clicking on the label, HOMES. You find my decorating, our remodeling of the kitchen and backyard patio addition.) It was a good little house that we enjoyed for severalyearsr until, well, we didn’t anymore. Remember that part where my husband said, “I’ll like whatever you pick.” Well…he didn’t. Five years later we were on the hunt for a new house.