The clacking of Jackie’s shoes echoed through the house as we stepped into the foyer. I was surprised by the emptiness; I had assumed the former owner’s furniture would still be in place for showings. Shiny hardwood floors seemed to run throughout the first floor and up the stairs directly to my left. A bright lemony scent of cleaning products pervaded my senses as I entered the front parlor on my right. The rooms felt open and airy due to the nine-foot ceilings. Three windows spanned the front of the house showing off a good view of the porch and large cherry blossom tree in the front yard. The rounded portion of house, well known to the Victorian style, was set up as an octagonal office off the parlor, and the front porch wrapped all the way around the circular portion, ending about ten feet beyond the side of the house. I fell in love with the office-study instantly for its odd shape. More windows spanned the front and sides of the octagon, and built-in bookshelves lined the back wall.
I followed Jackie back through the parlor and into the kitchen. The kitchen was a modern marvel with quartz countertops, cherry cabinets, a hefty center island and appliances that looked large and brand new. I wandered over to the stove and read Viking along the front. There was a breakfast nook expansive enough to accommodate a table for six. The kitchen was beautiful, but what stopped me cold was the view from the French doors leading out into the backyard. Yard was an understatement. What met my eyes was a beautiful English-style garden with oriental accents thrown in. Jackie’s phone rang and she stepped into the other room to answer.
Unlocking the back door, I strolled into the Garden of Eden surrounded by a six-foot brick fence. The garden snaked its way through blooming larkspur and lilies of various sorts. A lilac bush bloomed to my left along with hollyhocks and dozens of other flowers that would open in the summer heat. Laying my handbag on a small green cafe table, I stepped off the brick patio onto a gravel walkway. I’d seen gardens like this at European castles and English manors when I backpacked through Europe during a college summer. I walked under an arbor of honeysuckle vines that had spread enough to close out the light from the sun above. On my left a concrete bench sat tucked against the arbor wall, waiting for two lovers. Following the path as it branched to my left, I was instantly charmed by the fountain. A plump cupid stood atop his cement pedestal and waited for water to come flowing out of the arrow he pointed directly at me. Pulling my eyes away from the cupid, I followed the path on my right and walked deeper into the garden, shadowed by an old tree I determined must be an elm, its new leaves bright green in early development. In the far back corner stood a gazebo surrounded by nodding columbines and brightly colored azaleas in pinks, purples and whites. My fingertips dragged lightly along one of the two padded teak chairs inside the gazebo. Leaves rustled in the breeze and a feeling of serenity enveloped me as I pictured myself drinking a morning cup of coffee out here. Something clicked into place and, at that moment, I knew I’d buy this house even if I had to replace the entire foundation.
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