2011 saw us PCS from Guam back to California. PCS = Permanent Change of Station, which, considering we have been moved 10 times in 10 years, makes the "Permanent" bit rather debatable.
|Our zoo visit with Victoria, from Embassy Suites|
At the beginning of our house-hunt, I told Kai and Jana to be patient; we would look at 100 houses and pick the very best one to buy. Our agent, Tom, heard this and laughed. He thought it was a joke. Tom didn't know me then. He sure does now! One hundred houses later, including several offers along the way that fell through for one reason or another, we found "the one", and went through a hairy-scary on-again, off-again, nail-biting closing process that left us all weak at the knees and with more gray hairs than we started with.
|The house perched precariously on the hillside,|
like a displaced crab-shack
Entering, we saw immediately that the floor-plan was ridiculous; kids' rooms at the entry, and the kitchen, living and master bedrooms at the top. Who ever goes UPSTAIRS to their kitchen and living areas? The floor-plan was completely upside-down! There was a back deck, and a hillside slope with lots and lots of mesh wire holding back the crumbling soil and rock where someone had at some time cut into the hillside to do some sort of landscaping, then changed their mind, and walked away. Earth crumbled and fell through the mesh, and it had "big bucks required" written all over it. (My intuition was spot-on; we later got an estimate of $24,000, to retain just 1/4 of it). However, the view was AMAZING.
|Spectacular sunset views of Mt Diablo from the dining room and deck.|
|Move-in Day. |
The moving company had to rent small
U-haul trucks to get up the crazy-steep driveway,
the top 1/4 of which can be seen here.
So, in the end, it was the mountain view,the birds, the deer, and the squirrels that made me do it. They saw me, a sucker for a furry or feathered creature, and turned on all their charm to get someone into the home that would maintain their birdhouses in the trees, throw vegetable scraps onto the trails, and send the kids up with buckets of fresh water for them in the annual droughts of east-bay summers. On Jan 1st the regulations on our loan-type changed, and so we HAD to close sale on a home by Dec 31st, or lose our mortgage opportunity. I fought tooth and claw for the crazy upside-down hillside home with the adrenalin-pumping driveway, and with 3 days to spare, we closed the sale on Dec 28th, 2011. Tom almost had a stroke, but the commission should buy a few boxes of dye to turn back all the grey hairs he must have sprouted as we went back and forth trough the most gnarly closing he can ever remember.
|Every mover needs a hot-pink boa, of course|
With 2011 drawing to a close, and the dawn of 2012 before us, we became home-owners, and Danville's newest residents.
|Our move-in helpers, Jana in her Boa, & Kai in his Mario hat|
|The highlight of our home is not our home at all, it is the beautiful deck view of Mt Diablo, seen here in the cloud-layer|
|Blue bird meets angry bird. |
Feeders and bird houses keep us entertained.
We have enjoyed the wonderful and privileged school that Kai and Jana love to head off to each day, the downtown Danville parades, fairs, restaurants, and cafes that are just a two minute drive, yet feel a world away, and our peaceful, quirky, crab-shack house perched on this gorgeous hillside at the base of Las Trampas and Mount Diablo that we are blessed to call "home".
Now, if I could only get to the bottom of the last dozen moving boxes...