birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

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I gave up hoping for world peace a long time ago. My dream these days is much closer to home.

The house is on a quiet street, but not an empty street. The neighbors are friendly but not too inquisitive. Near but not too close. Some families with children live about halfway down the block and they don’t play basketball after 8 pm. Dogs only bark at strangers.

The house is built in the California Spanish style with a faded red tile roof. Three bedrooms and two bathrooms. I don’t want to have to clean more than two toilets. Some wood flooring that’s still in pretty good condition. There’s a garage that we can actually park in AND store the extra stuff we want to keep but not see.. That selection of stored items is much smaller than the piles of boxes we have now, because we have carefully weeded it out and sold the good things, given some away and pitched the rest. Maybe there’s a bonus room attached for an office.

It’s our first house. The first one we actually own. We are pretty old for first time buyers. It’s amazing that they will even give us a loan. I want to finally live somewhere I don’t have to get permission to repaint the walls a new color. For the most part, I like to go with a white white paint. Looks fresh and clean. Goes with any furniture. Tell that to our current landlords, though. I might entertain the idea of a color in the guest room, maybe. Or on just one of the kitchen walls, for emphasis or surprise.

And it is right in our price range in the perfect neighborhood. Our kids will still come to visit because it’s so convenient. There will be dinners outside at long tables in the backyard where we’ll sit for hours under some draped fabric to keep the harsh sun off our heads and the wine cool. Music will play in the background of lively conversation and birdsong can be heard in the pauses.

I will miss calling the landlords for repairs when the sink is blocked up or the roof leaks. Those joys of home ownership will, sadly, now be ours. I hear that everything starts at $1000. Not looking forward to that part.

But I can plant anything I like in the small garden. Sit under my own tree with a cool drink and a book.

Maybe I’ll remodel the kitchen.

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