This morning I went for a walk on the beach at my mom’s river house, where I’ve been staying while waiting to close (or not close) on my own river house a few miles away. Most days, I spend a few minutes on the ever smaller beach (thanks, climate change!) looking for the smoothest, roundest, clearest stones to add to my water fountain. Some days I find one or two, some days ten or twenty. Once in a while I’ll find an arrowhead. OK, once I found an arrowhead on this beach and now I feel I have to check it every day for another.

This morning, all I can see are heart-shaped rocks. Everywhere. I’m feeling good about the walk-through this afternoon.

I want to see it as a sign that everything’s going to be fine with this house.

I try not to remember that the first time I went to see the house after I made an offer on it, I found two snakeskins in the grass in front of the house. That wasn’t a sign, was it?

Later, when I arrive at the house to meet the guy who is going to install my internet, I try to remember that I do not believe in these sort of signs when I spot an enormous red and black insect making its way under my deck. My sister takes a photo and runs it through an app: cow-killer. Extremely poisonous. Very painful bite. Gulp.

Or when we check the same app to find out what these flowering plants are with the big spiky pods: Jimson Weed. Extremely invasive. Toxic to children and animals if ingested. Hallucinogenic. Read the WebMD reviews of Jimson Weed if you’re curious. Nasty stuff.

Not bad omens!

I prefer to think, as my friend Elizabeth reassured me, that this is more of a test to see if I really really want this place. And I do.

It’s like the house needs me to take care of it, and I need it. We are going to make something great of this.

And, I remind myself, if the house falls down, burns down, or otherwise self-destructs, I can rebuild something even better! The lot is gorgeous, the neighbors are lovely, and my sister is just down the street. This is going to be great fun, even if it will be a lifetime of projects.

I closed on my house today and have the keys in hand.

Let’s make this beautiful thing happen.

I got the keys.