The Self Employed Housewife – Diary of a foreigner – book two Ch 7
Moving into their first own home
A very Rare video from A early time.
How 'Time' influences us
This video was done in 1993. Years after this story, but the information is timeless.
Time was truly a mystery.
Four years it was, she looked it up. It was already four years ago that they moved into this home, and now they both felt a move closer to town would be a good decision. In two years they would be looking for a high school for Sascia. Jeroen would follow two years later.
After Jan’s parents had visited them in February they had started to look around as to which suburb they wanted to move to. Driving each day into town was a major issue now that the traffic was getting busier due to the huge new shopping mall that was being built nearby.
Lately she had been wondering about how “Time” worked. Her vivid dreams seemed to be timeless, so why was ‘being awake’ so controlled by the clock? She was often day dreaming, thinking about life in general. Why was thinking about life so different than other people, except for Pat and the people from the Yoga group.
Staring out the kitchen window told her that it was going to be a rainy day. She hoped that the kids were in the classroom before the drizzle became a downpour. Only if it rained she would drop them in front of the school. It was not far to walk, ten minutes tops. Jan would be home from his work later. There were no ore ships in the harbour at the moment so he only had to drive to the office, do some paper work and then come home again.
Her leather work was calling her, but so was the book about the illusion of time. She got it out of the library and even Jan had browsed into it last night. She always hoped that he would take an interest in alternative ways of thinking, but instead he seemed to be reading the war history books and lately books about Christian churches, which did not interest her whatsoever.
Driving into town
Her Beetle was purring on the freeway into town Her afternoon leather classes were well attended and she, like today, sometimes took Jeroen with her after she picked him up from school if Sascia had after school activities. Jan would pick her up later. Ballet was her latest new hobby, but she already knew that it would not last. Sascia was not as supple as some of the other girls. She had also gone to ballet when she was Sascia’s age, but the teacher told her mom that her feet were not suitable to wear ballet shoes, so that was the end of her ballet career.
It took her thirty five minutes to get to the parking bay near the collage.
“Mommy can I finish my coin purse today?”
“Yes why not. It’s been carved and dyed not so?”
Her afternoon leather craft class was filling up with children and some adults. They were all on different project stages, but she liked helping them all by inspiring them to finish before starting a new leather product. There were three women in this class whom she was getting to know really well.
Wendy, a mother of two little girls who were still in playschool. Corry who lived on a small holding with her husband and a teenager daughter and Ina, a Dutch lady in her sixties. Her husband had joined her evening class. They had invited her and her family the previous week to meet Jan and her kids, but Jan had had to work.
“How is the house hunting going?” Ina a thin fragile looking woman who walked with the help of a stick asked. Ina still loved learning to create leather products at her age.
“We can’t seem to settle on the same home, except for the suburb. We would both like to live in Walmer.”
The agent for the double story house that Jan had no interest in a few weeks earlier had been very actively pursuing them, knowing that Jan was a keen buyer. He had lately visited Jan’s work telling him what was on the market.
“Jan is keen on a house in the lower avenues, but it holds absolutely no appeal for me. I keep hoping it’s sold.”
Her thirtieth birthday went by without much excitement. Jan had been his usual boring self that morning before driving to work. She was secretly hoping for a nice surprise, but instead he had bought woodworking tools she could also use! It was her own fault. She had been looking for a jigsaw to carve wooden templates for leather class projects, so that is what he bought.
It was now a week later, Friday evening and she had prepared supper after coming home from town when Jan suddenly came up with a suggestion which he rarely did. The Proposed a drive-in treat for the following evening. She wondered what had brought that about. It was usually she who made going out plans.
“Daddy can we go out to dinner tomorrow before the drive-in. We never went on mommy’s birthday?”She was stunned at her daughter’s suggestion. True they never went because Jan had a ship in. She winked at Sascia who knew that her mother was glad she had mentioned it.
“Yes why not. Duifje let’s look again at that last house just before the agent took away the for sale sign. The agent had come to my office this morning telling me that it was still on the market and they were now desperate to sell, so the price has lowered.” Him calling her Duifje made her suspicious. So that was it. He wanted to get her in a good mood knowing she had not liked that last house.
“Jan, that home we saw on a Sunday weeks ago looked way too ugly from the front”
“That can be changed, like we did with this home.”
“No it’s not the same. Our home here had an aesthetic appeal from the start. OK it was not my first choice either, but money wise I suppose it was the best option at the time but not this horrible looking square box of a home we saw last in Walmer. At least the double story had an appeal, even if it needed a lot of work.”
“Forget it. That house was a nightmare from the start and you know it. We are going to have a look and see what can be done about it so it becomes more to your liking.”
“It sounds to me that you have already been inside. Have you?”
Both children were listening to their arguing, but Jan had already made up his mind. Apparently the agent had shown Jan the house the day before her birthday and he had never told her! The hurt that he had kept it from her was a real downer, but she was not going to show to him how she felt.
The kids were watching TV when she cleared the dishes thinking that at least moving to Walmer was closer to the collage and to the Art in the park venue. Maybe she might like the house inside and Jan was getting very handy with his woodwork. He seemed to like doing renovations.
Their house was for sale
The weather was getting cooler. Soon the winter would be bringing more rain. She hoped that it stayed dry for the drive-in later. She was looking forward to seeing at least two good movies after they had dinner out.
“Mommy can I wear this today?” Sascia had already been dressing up into several different outfits, while Jeroen needed to be told what to wear. She had better take several jackets with them in the car, and some blankets. The sun was still shining behind the clouds, but it was getting windy.
“Let’s hope we can still go to the drive-in tonight. You look fine. Jeroen are you ready? Come Daddy is waiting.”
She did feel an excitement that they would be out the whole day, first to see the house in Walmer. The agent had made an appointment with the owners at eleven.
The moment she walked in the hallway, she noticed that the carpet stank of dog pee which almost made her gag. It was shabby inside with old fashion wallpaper everywhere and the woman who greeted her looked like she came from a homeless shelter. There was a grownup son and an old man watching football on the TV. They never looked up. Jan had clearly fallen in love with the back garden. He had mentioned it on the way how big it was.
There was no front garden to speak of, unless you call old car tires with a few wilted plants a garden feature. Yes the price was low even for the lower avenues, but she already knew there was no way she would move in the way it was. Jan knew from her expression that she was not happy and he took her outside away from everybody.
“Come on forget about what it looks like now. We’ll put our house on the market and if we get our price, we can make an offer and if they take it, we will clean and paint it all, including new carpets.”
But the house is so...boring...I hate the front. Yes it has a great back garden, but... The agent came strolling towards them and she already knew what he was going to say.
“Shall we have some coffee somewhere and discuss having your house advertised as a show house this coming weekend?”