Well, once again I did not win the HGTV Dream Home. I wasn’t officially called or e-mailed or tweeted. No one pulled up in my driveway with a giant check.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I didn’t enter every day like I could have. The question is…why? The Dream Home was perfect, a three-bedroom Cape Cod decorated in laid-back style. It was everything I always said I wanted, with vaulted ceilings, a fireplace in the bedroom, a window seat in the giant master closet. The house was even in Martha’s Vineyard, a place I’ve fantasized about ever since watching my first episode of “Murder She Wrote.” Yes, I know Jessica Fletcher lived in Cabot Cove, Maine, but Martha’s Vineyard sounds like a place where a person could wear a cardigan sweater in her golden years and bike into town for a bran muffin in between writing chapters for her bestselling books. Like I said, perfect.
In the Dream House premiere show, I got to see the whole town, a storybook mishmash of cutesy boutiques and cafes. Again, perfect. I could shop, I could nosh, all while breathing in the crisp, salt air. There was even a place where the locals congregate late in the evening to buy donuts hot off the donut press. Martha’s Vineyard looked made-to-order, and part of me was planning my future there.
The trouble was, another part wasn’t. A different side of me was looking at the house and thinking…tassels on the chandelier in the bedroom? I’m not really a tassels kind of gal. The copper downspouts seemed impractical and the weathervane…OK, I loved the weathervane, but the prize package included a giant car, and I have enough trouble parking the smaller one I already have. The property also included a doghouse and I don’t have a dog, and even if I did, it seems unfair to haul the poor thing back and forth from Birmingham.
I guess that was the kicker: I wasn’t going to live there. I loved the house, but not in a for-better-or-worse kind of way. I wasn’t ready to see it through hurricanes and burst pipes and peeling paint. Substitute tornadoes for hurricanes, and I have all that here in Birmingham.
Even as a getaway, Martha’s Vineyard wasn’t perfect. I’m fickle. When I want to get away, it’s not always to the same place. I love lounging at the beach, but I wouldn’t want to do that every week. I love the mountains, but there’s only so much climbing a person can do. I love the desert…actually, no, I don’t. Brown and brown and more brown. Still, I would like to visit there.
I guess that’s the point. There’s too much left to see. I’ve experienced Ellis Island, the Grand Canyon and Walden Pond. I enjoyed Asheville and New Orleans and Ogunquit, Maine. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Mykonos and the Sydney Opera House and toss a coin over my shoulder into Trevi Fountain. I’ve kissed the Blarney Stone.
Biking into town for a bran muffin will have to wait. I want to watch Old Faithful, ride a train through the Canadian Rockies, take a boat ride on the Seine in Paris (France, not Texas. I’ve been there).
Anyway, it turns out my dream home is really a hotel room. Yes, I know the money will be spent and I’ll have no bricks and mortar at the end of the day, but you can’t take it with you anyway, right? Go and do and be.
No Dream Home may actually be my dream come true. Isn’t life great?