Growing a Dream

By Sandra Mann

“We need a house.”

I informed my husband one December evening after looking at the same walls all day long of our two bedroom apartment. I was expecting, due in February and on my third month of bed-rest. My two little boys were running around and I felt claustrophobic. My husband’s job was not that great and I had no idea how we would get into a home but I wanted one. He told me if I could find a way to do it he was all for it. I still had almost two months left until my baby came so I started dreaming of our charming little starter home while I waited. A dream seed was being planted.

After the baby came, I started researching and found out that there were programs for first time home buyers that we qualified for. We would be able to get a loan with payments that were not much different from the rent we paid. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start seeing houses and find a nice place for my family. It was so wonderful to see my seed sprout and show its miniature new leaves.

“Oh my,” was a comment I made most of the time as we looked at these tiny, dirty, run-down dwellings that people called houses. It was so depressing that after two months I decided that we just weren’t meant to have a home. We would have to wait for two more years to save up enough to get into a decent home. The seedling wasn’t growing the way I thought it should and I plucked it out.

Summer started and with it came uninvited house guests. Our apartment first was infested with fleas that bit us until our bodies were covered with red welts. My oldest son had allergic reactions to them and would have quarter size welts that would bleed from him scratching at night. They came from the un-mowed lawn around our apartment building.

I called professional exterminators but they would only guaranty their work if they sprayed the whole complex. The land-lord would do nothing about them and our own extermination efforts gave only temporary relief. I thought this was bad enough but then the yellow jackets arrived. They were very aggressive and stung many of the tenants in our complex. The day one landed on my sleeping baby’s forehead was the last straw. I had to get my family out of this place.

Where had I put that dream seed package? I needed it again.

I started thinking about our little home once more. A determination came over me and I decided that I would look for this home until I found it. It would be clean and livable with a big back yard for my children to run around in. There had to be a home like this somewhere in our city and I prayed daily that the Lord would help me find it. After a month of hard searching we found just what I had been looking for. I knew this was it and couldn’t wait to move in. Our lease would end mid-October and we could move out the same week.

My seedling took root this time and a bud appeared.

We put a bid on it but came in second. I was devastated. How could this be? This was my home. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. What were we going to do now? Our little plant was looking a bit yellow.

We decided to look for another opportunity. We would not give up until our family was in a clean, safe, bug-free home. We were determined to find a place with room for our children to run and play. My dream plant was not going to die. I would love it and care for it until it bloomed!

Three weeks later we had not found anything interesting and nothing comparable to the other home. Our realtor called us and asked if we were still interested in the home we had bid on. The other buyers’ financing hadn’t gone through and the owners had already found a new place. The home was ours. We moved in just before Christmas! I love poinsettia blossoms, don’t you?

Sandra Mann
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