EDMOND — It was late summer of '99 when my wife and I started shopping for houses in Edmond.
She'd lived in Edmond as a single mom, working for the state government, before we got married, and then, afterward, she commuted to work from where we lived in Wichita Falls, Texas, for almost two years.
Looking for houses, we saw some real dogs. Really. I mean, really? Do people still list their houses for sale and then do NOTHING to make them attractive or even presentable? I was stunned by some of the absolute wrecks we looked at, in otherwise “nice” neighborhoods in Edmond and northwest Oklahoma City.
And the dogs — the real dogs running loose inside one house, big dogs, big outside dogs where I come from, the owner sitting there, doing nothing about it, as we walked in and darted right back out. I think she was even puffing on a cigarette, a Pall Mall or Chesterfield, but that could be an artful memory accent on the bad experience. But really? I thought: Did that just happen?
Anyway, home shopping was restricted to weekends, and before long summer turned into fall and suddenly it was October, the air was brisk and the holidays were looming. It did not occur to us to do anything but keep looking for a house: I started at The Oklahoman on Oct. 13, and was crashing weeknights on the floor of a friend's condo in Oklahoma City.
Unsustainable. We needed a house. The one we finally bought had me at hello-yes-that-is-the-sneaky-smell-of-cinnamon-something-baking (probably a candle), and the pumpkins on the porch, the array of pansies in the front flower bed, and the containers of beautiful, bright chrysanthemums strategically placed on the porch and along the walkway.