Expect Miracles Series
By Lynn U Stewart
Sometimes things happen that shift the direction of life.
Chérie and daughter Jennifer were snuggling one morning. It was a simple Mother daughter talk about life. When Cherie asked the question, “Honey, what do you want to do when you grow up?”
A most startling response came back. “ I want to be just like Madonna and drive around in limousines,”
When Jennifer was three, Chérie combined our households to raise Jennifer as we were both between husbands. Living in Marvista in LA CA at the time, Cherie burst into my room that morning and awakened me with a start: “We have to move!”
After relating the conversation, she asked me where I would like to go. Having five minutes to review the idea, I had no incling about where. I returned the question. Minutes later I reflected on Chérie’s Ph. D program in Santa Barbara. She had liked her graduate school experience and was partial to her intense weekends in the small community two hours north of LA.
On the following Saturday, I met with Allson the realtor in Santa Barbara. She had five houses to show me. When we took a left onto Cannon Drive, I marvelled at the canopied street of Dia Doro Pine Trees lacing the filtered sun. It was clearly one of the largest streets in the area and the house we parked before was the #145. A period Jefferson southern home, with big white columns, it was a most un-likely style for the sleepy Santa Barbara streets. Spanish red-roofed stucco was the norm for the Gold Coast architecture. Built in 1932, the two story white house, with black shutters had a warm eastern charm with a classic Ionic topped entry surrounded by the sweet smell of Jasmine.
Walking though the front door, it felt an overwhelming sense of home. I noticed the stairs on the left. A large formal living room straight ahead and a small library through the adjacent door, there was an immediate, intimate and friendly feel. The rooms were warm and inviting. The dining room was at the end of the hall and an old fashioned coat closet was tucked under the stairs. As I walked up the white railing-ed staircase, I discovered the first master bedroom with Jenn’s room, just across the hall, the perfect configuration for Mother and daughter. As I wound around the cozy corner just beyond the landing, a bay window opened the view to the garden below. And as I came around the corner, a second door to Jenn’s room became evident. One more corner and there was yet another wing with a two landing staircase with an open atrium revealing yet another sitting room, cozied around a fire place. At the top of the stairs was a second master and a studio/laundry across the small hall. The “piece de resistance” was the sauna nestled away in the corner of the studio. As I pensively walked down the back stair, I discovered space for the office as well. The picture was complete. There was space here for all of us –the house was perfect. I could see it feel it touch it…it all fit!
Mission accomplished, I called Chérie. “I found it, it has a place for each of us. It is it, however there is one tragic flaw, it’s definitely not in the budget. “Knowing that even if the San Anselmo house and the Military house sold we would be missing a chunk of money to make the down payment possible”
So, the challenge of how to afford the dream house was next. Having been disinherited and lost everything at least twice, it seemed like the surrogate family home had been delivered. I simply knew there had to be a way.
On my way back to LA, I asked for guidance and as I drove through Ventura, a series of ideas floated across my screen… and then a blinding flash of the obvious. In the year before, Carl had asked me for assistance in finding a partner with a home into which he could invest. I had introduced him to every investor I knew with the hopes of making the match. On the ride back to LA, I realized we were that investor. Carl, who had been my first call when the move to Santa Barbara was proposed, was the possible third investor. In addition to him living in Santa Barbara, I knew he had been looking to buy. It was in fact his realtor who was driving me all over town in search of our new home.
Carl became our partner, both houses sold and in September of that year we moved to Santa Barbara. It was a dream come true , a pastoral medley of weather, beauty, business and friends. Life seemed to bless the move. Jennifer was extracted from the Madonna world and enrolled in the Crane school, Chérie was traveling and in in grad school and the business made an easy transition up the 101 to the beautiful county on the ocean, With the possibility of Europe and the first Inner Negotiation Workshop in the Netherlands nipping at our heels and our dream home come true, we started another chapter in the flats of Santa Barbara.
Is there a new chapter in the wings for you?
What are the challenges to taking that risk?
Are you willing to find a solution that might be so obvious that is over looked?