Though today’s date has sad and tragic memories for us all, last year, those memories were … well, not replaced … so I’ll say, new happier memories became a part of the date for me. Because one year ago today, I signed papers for an hour or more, int he company of my friend, my realtor, my loan officer, someone else’s realtor, and a couple other officials. When all the signing and notarizing was complete, I became I first time home owner, at the age of fifty-five!

I’d given up on my dream of owning my own home. Ever since I’d moved out of my dad’s house at age eighteen, I’d dreamed of having my own place. I never thought I’d have the money for a down payment. I didn’t believe it would happen. Well, I told myself, renting isn’t so bad. sure, I’m not investing int he future, but I never have to worry about yard work or maintenance. It’s really okay. But my heart still dreamed, in those secret mopments, those times you hide away and don’t share with anyone, that place in your heart that never can quite give up on the dream.

Then in the summer of 2013, I realized, to my great surprise, that I had the money for a down payment. My friend reminded me, as I thought of trips to Paris and New York, “sherry, you can finally buy a home, what you’ve always wanted.”

“wow, so I could!

Within days, I was in touch with wonderful realtors, Toma nd Beth, and the best person to advise me through the bewildering world of financing, Dianna. They were patient. they answered hundreds of questions, from deep and complicated to mundane and laughable.

And so, on September 11, 2013, on a cold rainy day, I sat in the office, signed those papers, and walked out with keys to my home and a huge pile of documents!

Tom, Beth and I, came back to the condo. I unlocked *my* door for the first time. It was empty and cold, but we walked around, planning where furniture would be placed, talking paint and carpet. had anything ever been so wonderful?

Tom went to the store and came back with wine, crackers and cheese,a nd we toasted to my new role as a home owner. we talked for a long time, while my then guide dog Olga, wandered the empty rooms, sniffing, spent time out in the fenced yard,a nd then laid at our feet, enjoying the company.

over the next few weeks, walls were painted; carpet was replaced, new furniture ordered. And on September 28, I moved into my home officially.

Home ownership is a blast! it’s complicated,a nd there are times I still feel like I’m swimming upstream against the current, over my head and confused. There are expensise you never dream of when you rent. sometimes there’s a nagging fear that something major will go wrong, and I won’t have the money to fix it. Home owner’s insurance is a requirement of course, and it was amazing to renew that yesterday and think, I own a home, I have to have this. coooool!

Because after all, even with the expense, the worry, the finances involved, I am sitting in my living room, in my condo, planning dinner tonight with all those who helped me get here, celebrating the one year anniversary of being a home owner. My dream came true. Yeah, most dreams, they take a hell of a lot of work, time, effort and absolute commitment. They don’t just fall into your lap. except for that unexpected ability to make a down payment, of course.

Am I glad, oh yeah!!!!

Did you know? I own my own home! A sweet, two bedroomd, two bathroom condo, a washer and dryer, a dining room, a small office room, a sweet kitchen and a fabulous fenced yard. It’s mine mine mine mine mine! Yeah, I wouldn’t change a thing.

I offer my thanks to all those who helped me get here. It’s been a wild year with a lot of changes, but every day, I can settle down and let the stress of the day roll off me, relish my own space, lose myself in my own little world.

Dreams do come true. Now, which one is next?