by Betty

For fifteen years we had wandered west and north, now south. Two weeks after we arrived in Tucson we decided it was time to settle down.

So it happened we had spent most of the day riding around Tucson with a realtor who had shown us houses that met our requirements. Many houses were just right, but did not call out, “Welcome home.”

Tired and discouraged, we decided to give up and we headed back to where we were staying. “Wait a minute. There’s one more you ought to see.”

She drove on, turned in onto a wide street, lined by small green pine trees on both sides of the street. The houses had green lawns. Flowers bloomed here and there. The streets wandered around. The neighborhood called, “Welcome.” She drove up to a house that called, “Welcome home.”

But it was not what we wanted. It had three bedrooms; we wanted one. It had two bathrooms; we wanted one. The kitchen had room for a table and four chairs; we wanted a small kitchen, a counter and two stools. This house had a double carport; we wanted a single carport. It had a large yard, front and back; we wanted a small yard.

The realtor named a price. Way out of our price range it was. We offered considerably less. She looked at us like, “What country are you from? They’d laugh at an offer like that.” The realtor suggested a mortgage and low interest. We told her we didn’t borrow money and would never pay interest.

Discouraged and tired, we headed home. Maybe we should wander on. Walking in our door, the phone was ringing. “Is your cash offer still good?” “Yes.” “Then meet us at the bank next Tuesday with the cash. We’ll have the keys and title.”

So it was – we bought a house and lived here for 55 years.

The first night we were eating in the kitchen and heard cars going by, never stopping. We opened the front door, went out to a street full of cars, singing people and every house filled with colorful Christmas lights, every house but ours. We thought, “What have we bought?” Twas our introduction to the “Winterhaven Festival of Lights.”

August, 2012

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