Our long weekend marathon road trip to Manitoba and back was a smashing success.
I always feel a bit like a hero after such ‘quick’ round trips of 1,800kms over a weekend. “Europeans wouldn’t dream of doing this sort of thing,” I think to myself. But what do I know of Europeans? I may be one, but I haven’t lived among them (that is, actually in Europe) in 25 years.
The objective of our trip was to check out housing in the area. On Friday we had some mobile home viewings and a lunch appointment with one of the Providence admissions guys and a campus tour.
The Providence campus is really quite nice and not at all what I expected it to be. I had imagined it was like Briercrest back in the early-t0-mid-80s, only much smaller. It’s certainly small in comparison, but it’s stately. I got quite excited about the whole studying-being-a-student thing as we drive through the campus. I need to remind myself that I’m probably more excited about the image than anything and once I get into the thick of studying and exams and memorizing Greek and Hebrew and research papers I may not feel the same excitement.
The mobile home scouting went well–we put a deposit on one of them the same day. We looked at three of them. One of them had a nice addition with office space in it, which would be very useful, but the place needed a LOT of work (it was the most run-down of the bunch) and I don’t want to spend my seminary days worrying about leaky roofs and heaving porches. I felt bad, though, because the people who own it were very nice, friendly people. And I’m pretty sure they saw us go for a second viewing at the mobile home we ended up buying.
As we left that it’s-bigger-but-it-needs-more-work mobile home, I said, “We’ll be in touch.” Those words have been ringing in my ears since then. I said them more as a knee-jerk, ‘that’s just what you say’ sort of thing or maybe as a formality–I’m not quite sure what I meant by them and, more importantly, I’m not sure how they were interpreted. Would it be assumed that “We’ll be in touch” means “We’ll be in touch *if* we want to make an offer on your trailer”? Or would it be assumed that it means “We’ll be in touch *to* make an offer on your trailer”?
I’m wondering if I should be calling them to say, “Sorry if I miscommunicated anything, but we bought the other one.” I hate to leave a bad impression, especially on those friendly folks. And I’d hate to have bad blood with potential neighbours. On the other hand, that’s the reality of the real estate biz. I just wish I hadn’t said, “We’ll be in touch,” whatever that might have meant.
The third mobile home we looked at was also liveable and acceptable, but its location (behind the first two) wasn’t as good. The first two mobile homes have a view of the bus stop and a large field across the road where the kids can run around. The third one was nice otherwise, similar to the first one we looked at, except that it has a wood burning stove occupying a chunk of the living room. I can’t imagine what fire insurance premiums would be for a mobile home with a wood burning stove in it. However, I can imagine one of our kids smashing their heads on one of its sharp corners or, more likely, burning their precious little hands. I could also imagine trying to arrange the furniture around it.
We opted for the first mobile home: it was the most expensive, but needs the least work. In fact, cosmetically it needs no work at this point. We can just move in and live. Plus, if mobile home living is simply too cramped for our family, that mobile home would probably be the easiest to sell. PLUS, the owners threw in the dishwasher and a bottle of wine.
So we put a deposit on a mobile home in Otterburne, Manitoba.
This is Otterburne:
The school and campus make up most of the corner north-east of the river. Not much there. But I’m good with that.
Now to prepare and sell our house. Finish a seminary course. Finish bivocational life. And then maybe a vacation. And then move. I can’t wait.