Believe it or not, we're about to sign a contract for a house. This explains why I've been out of bed since 4 a.m. and am now writing to you at 5:15.
Yes, it's the same house I mentioned in my previous letter, and, yes, you can laugh with me about our secret lives as icy-veined price negotiators.
So we have a contract in hand, except that Tom's name is misspelled all over it, but that is nothing new. Still, I don't think he should sign a document that claims his name is "Dirtwistle."
Everything may fall through with the inspections, but I am almost ready to believe that I might be planting daffodil bulbs in September.
The house is a small shabby cape, built in 1948, located in an old residential Portland neighborhood around the corner from a busy, ethnically diverse business district. It is an easy walk to the baseball park, a longer walk to downtown, a few streets away from Baxter Woods and Back Cove.
It has a sunny front yard, a shady back yard, a claw-foot bathtub, and a fireplace with a little Jotul woodstove; it has a dining room with a frosted-glass door to the kitchen, and it has a study for me and a study for Tom. For the first time in my life, I might have my own dedicated writing room! It has a badly designed kitchen and an unfinished bathroom and a low-ceilinged cellar and a questionable furnace. It has dog crap all over the back yard and a tumbledown stoop. It is a two-minute walk away from a Somali restaurant named Mini-Mogadishu, which advertises itself as serving something called "chicken sugar." I cannot wait to try it.
Meanwhile, Happy Independence Day. Or Dependence Day. I'm not sure how to think of it. Shortly, I'm told, the doll-house apartment will be surrounded by 100,000 revelers. Our downstairs neighbor says it will be "Woodstock with sparklers," which does sound exciting. Last night Tom and I went across the street to check out the Portland Symphony stage set up in the parking lot and to admire all the temporary fencing and convenient trash cans and portable toilets and such. We are ready for a spectacle.
You won't hear again from me until Friday because tomorrow, bright and early, I'm off to write 'n' kayak with a passel of high schoolers. No doubt I'll have some fine tales to share when I return.