So, I’m Now A (Very Small) Property Owner In Yet Another State


There’s something about a mother-daughter bond that is simply inexplicable. And wonderful. I’m sure it’s similar for father-son bonds, but I have no first-hand experience with that. Nor do I understand the owner-pet bond, although people swear to me that it is exactly the same. (Feel free to debate.)

So, when my daughter Jen took a job in Arkansas, I found myself drawn to Arkansas. (Even though, when she first applied for the position, I strongly objected. This was bolstered by the fact that I personally know people who think it is pronounced Ar-Kansas although, admittedly, they are from the State of Kansas.)

Nonetheless, once she was hired, the company paid for eight weeks of an Airbnb while she went house-hunting, and she invited me to stay. So, I spent a few days looking around, and I have to admit that the state itself is quite beautiful — at least the northwestern part where I was. Plus, the area is growing.

Jen settled on a town called Bella Vista, a moniker that practically screams “Florida.” And here’s what Bella Vista reminds me of — Wellington. Where Wellington used to be strawberry fields, this place used to be forests. Where Wellington filled in swamps, Bella Vista filled in ravines. Wellington has bridle paths. Bella Vista has mountain bike trails. Plus, Bella Vista has golf courses, swimming pools and several country clubs. Remind you of anything?

The biggest regret of most people living in Wellington is that they didn’t buy property there sooner — before it got as expensive as it is. As for me, I bought my Wellington property early, but not as early as I should have. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. Jen had been on the job a month when I bought a parcel in Bella Vista. It’s about a third of an acre. It cost $5,300 at auction. I put it on my charge card, then told my husband. Right now, it’s mostly a ravine, but we plan to put a treehouse on it. Soon.

In the meantime, we are Bella Vista property owners with all the taxes, homeowner fees and rights of Bella Vista property owners. I’m happy.

The community pools are much like the Wellington pool. The club where I had lunch serves a marvelous French dip. I haven’t golfed yet, but I beat out my foursome at the Bella Vista miniature golf course. And just outside the development is every shopping venue imaginable.

“You’re a gypsy!” my mother accused, when she heard the news. I told Jen what she said. “Don’t say gypsy,” Jen replied. “It’s politically incorrect.”

“But we just found out my ‘German’ grandfather was actually from Romania,” I said. “I actually may be a gypsy.”

“Don’t say it,” she said.

“Don’t slander my native heritage!” I countered.

As she always does, Jen winced and sidled away from me: “I’m sorry for slandering a heritage you didn’t know you had until a few months ago.”

Jen and I have a fairly complex mother-daughter relationship. I love it.