Mr. & Mrs. Frank

I admit it: I love making grown men cry. Mind you, I didn’t know this about myself. But apparently, I do. It’s not that I go around whacking grown men over the head so I can squeeze some tears out of them. I like them to be moved so much that they cry.

Right now, we’re in the midst of closing escrow on a beautiful house. The closing date keeps getting pushed back–loan applications are not a fun process. As part of the bid package, our real estate agent suggested that we write a letter to the owners, telling them how much we love the place.

This wouldn’t be much of a stretch. We love the place. LOVE it. You see, the Mr. & Mrs. Frank who inspired the title of this post are the owners of this 1940s ranch house with a startlingly large backyard. They bought the place in 1947, and lived in it their entire life, until then entered a retirement home about three months ago.

They raised three kids in the house. They loved the house. You can see how much they loved it. You can see it in the unique built-ins, the meticulously mowed lawns, and quality roof the put in about five years ago.

So late that night, after we came back from our first day of house-hunting, I sat and drafted this letter.

Every homebuyer dreams of walking into a home and instantly envisioning a future there. I must admit that is exactly what happened when my husband, toddler daughter, and I stepped into your house.

Once my daughter P’s feet hit the ground, she was off and exploring the beautiful backyard. As a writer with a historic preservation background, I completely appreciated the wood paneling and detailed care (and love) poured into every carved surface. And my husband, an Italian artisan cabinetmaker, was abuzz with the potential of the little shed as his future woodshop (and respite from the womenfolk!).

The beauty of your house is that we can fully envision our future in it while appreciating your past. The meticulous workmanship inside the house and the painstaking landscaping work outside are unique and need a family that appreciates their uniqueness. I fully believe that we are that family.

I hope that you consider our offer and rest assured that your house will be as loved in the future as it was in the past.

I meant every word of it. It turns out, the letter made the Franks’ son cry. Mrs. Frank, who is apparently suffering from Alzheimer’s in her older age, had a minute of lucidity, read the letter, called her son, and demanded that he sell us the house.

So I’m crossing my fingers, knocking on wood, touching iron (the Italian way)…doing everything I can to send good karma to the bank so that they’ll give us this gorgeous house. And if we do get it, you can be sure that this grown woman will be shedding tears of joy.

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