almost isn't good enough...

except in horseshoes and real estate (if you're lucky and praying there's no FedEx catastrophe tonight).

"It's like going to the hospital and coming home without a baby," is what our realtor said when we walked into the closing office of the title company this morning. She was dead on. The perky receptionist had already rubbed me the wrong way, and I might have lost it if one person uttered "congratulations" as we were signing the papers that would make us homeowners once again. Because we were simply homeowners-in-waiting at that time. The only thing inhibiting the process, of course, was the seller who hadn't completed his end of the deal. Every time I saw his name etched under the line "Seller," my stomach dropped.

After several toy train jokes and thirty minutes of signing, Alex and I went on our way as homeowners-in-waiting. We were both feeling oddly depressed and thought that a trip to Home Depot would perk up our spirits and get the creative juices flowing. Word to the wise: if you almost, but not quite, become a homeowner one morning, do not (do not) go directly to the Home Depot. We walked out with $20 worth of boxes and a pack of Mentos.

Meanwhile, back in Seattle (or Salem...or Portland...or wherever); actually I don't know what was happening at this time out west, but I imagine our seller was waking up to his artisan-brewed coffee thinking what a beautiful morning it was. He wasn't thinking about the family he sent into a tailspin less than 24 hours earlier. He probably wasn't even thinking about his toy trains that meant so much just hours ago. Alex and I were bummed, but we had the law on our side.

At noon, as I was releasing my frustration by furiously packing all the books in our house, our realtor texted us to say the seller had agreed to meet the mobile notary at 1:00pm (3:00 our time) at the Starbucks in some place Oregon. My memory did not fail me, however, as I recalled this was a repeat of yesterday's episode. I wouldn't let myself believe that this time it would be different.

By 3:55pm (our time) I was wondering if "no news was good news" or no news was bad news or no news was just no news. And then the text arrived. Our realtor let us know that he had signed. I laughed out loud. Literally. Laughed. Out. Loud. I sometimes laugh at inappropriate times because I'm not sure what emotion I should be feeling. This may have been one of those times.

And so the story ends. At least I hope that is the end. The only thing that could go against us now is the FedEx package with the signed papers getting lost somewhere overnight before it makes its way from Oregon to Austin. But what are the chances of that happening? I think our story is good enough already.

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