May 12, 2014

10 reasons why I love my home

One of my biggest frustrations since the move to Australia is housing. I've struggled, and am struggling with housing in Australia both when renting and now owning. There is much to do with the place we bought and my worries sometimes overwhelm me but I try to remind myself to count my blessings. So here is me counting my blessings.
1) We have wildlife in our backyard. We love our nature.

The rainbow lorikeets love the pods that grow off this tree. I can sit in my lounge and watch them pecking at it. The boys and I counted nine birds on the tree at the same time!

2) We have a view. Many years ago, while driving along the Great Ocean Road, hubby and I had one of our 'fantasy' talks. "Would you rather a house with a grand view of the ocean, or a house on a hill with a view of rolling green slopes?" We both agreed we are hill people. No, we don't have a farm house perched on the top of a hill with green as far as the eye can see. But we now have a little snippet of a valley to look at.

3) We have bush views without backing onto bush. I have my paranoias about backing onto the bush directly.

4) We have a garden. The previous owner was an avid gardener. I don't have green thumbs, but I do like my greens and flowers. Different parts of the garden bloom at different times of the year, and it's always a nice surprise when a corner of the house suddenly lights up with bright, beautiful blooms.

5) The kids think it's cool. When we first inspected the house, the kids ran around declaring that it was the perfect house, and could we please, please, please buy it. We ignored them because they declared that of almost every house we saw! And what do kids know anyway... they know little about the realities of home ownership and maintenance, right?

But sometimes we could all do with viewing life through the lens of a child. The kids had a housewarming party, and some of their friends came over for a play. I've been to their friends' houses, and they have lovely houses. One kid in particular, has a lovely million dollar brick house with a modern, open kitchen, patio and a pool in a much desired suburb. When his dad came to pick him up, one of the first things he said was, "This house is so cool! Look at that," he said, pointing to our dilapidated, narrow staircase. "Isn't that cool?" The dad coughed out a polite affirmative reply.

6) We can see the sun rise. Admittedly, this is not a very practical benefit, because no one is up at the hour. Not normally, anyway.

7) We have a little piece of the Australian dream. We have the grass, the water, the barbie and the backyard. In most pockets of the world, it's a fantasy for a working family to own this dream. 

8) We have great neighbours. Sometimes the best thing about a place, is not the land itself, but the people that surround. On day two, while we were still unpacking and had boxes from floor to ceiling, our neighbours' kids were running through the house and settling onto our couch. Nothing to make you feel like you've moved into the neighbourhood.

9) It's in a great suburb and a great street. Our neighbours on the left and right have been here for 40 years. The previous owner lived here 30 years. We leave stuff worth over a thousand dollars on my unlocked front porch, and the stuff are still there.
The attitude of people in this suburb still harken to days of  half a century ago. I laugh at this sometimes when I read the papers about someone whose house was broken into through the front door because they didn't lock it. I don't laugh because I love someone else's misery, but I laugh because it is such a privilege to have that sense of security and trust in today's times. I come from a place where everything is padlocked and bolted and triple bolted and you still don't feel safe.

10) I saved the best for last. We have a roof over our heads that no landlord can take away.

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