No More Pancakes: A Courtyard Lane Story

For the past few years, Bob and Betty Newbie spent Mother’s Day weekend at their cottage in Granite Falls with their pup, Buddy. They played horseshoes, cards, went fishing, and relaxed. Neither ever mentioned the real reason they chose this particular weekend to leave town.

“I know we planned to have a big family when we bought our home,” Betty said, finally deciding to bring up the subject. “But it isn’t working out that way.”

“We have plenty of room,” Bob began, “Buddy loves the big house …” but Betty cut him off. She shook her head, fighting back tears.

“Yeah, but I’m tired of cleaning unused rooms. I think of what we thought would be, and it isn’t happening. I feel like I nag you to do all the yard work. I am getting sick and tired of living next door to Eliza Pancakes. She is insufferable; I can’t even go outside without her poking her nose over the fence. If you haven’t raked the leaves in a few days, she complains. Besides we have lived in the neighborhood longer than she has; how can she have been elected president of the HOA again? What an upstart! I am regretting ever moving from our starter home down the block.”

Bob thought carefully before answering.

“True. And now that Bob’s House of Pancakes is opening a second restaurant, she is getting worse,” Bob agreed,” than when she was elected president again. The new homeowner’s association rules are annoying.”

“I just don’t think kids are in our cards, Bob. And I can’t take another disappointment.” Betty looked at her hand. She’d been dealt an unlucky one. “I’m done trying.”

His wife had valid points. Besides had been wondering if he could handle another ride on the emotional roller coaster of trying for a child. Betty wasn’t the only one who spent days under a dark cloud. After the last time, they had agreed to take a break, and even their doctor thought it was a prudent decision.

“We don’t have to stay in our big home, you know. Courtyard Lane is even a hotter market than when Ned sold up. Plus, we have a completely renovated home. The Weatherbys demo’d Ned’s lot for their new house, but ours is move-in ready.”

“Are you sure you would want to leave the neighborhood? We grew up there.”

“I never thought I’d say this, but, yes, I think I’m ready for a change.”

Bob called Nicer Homes & Gardens Realtors the evening they returned. The local agent assured them their home would be listed that week. “I doubt it will be on the market more than a week,” she told Bob.

The listing was posted:

Large family home in the desirable Courtyard Lane Neighborhood. Four bedrooms, two baths, open-concept downstairs. Deck with pool and garden area on a corner lot. Move-in ready with option to purchase fully furnished.
This home won’t be on the market long! Shown by appointment only.

Their realtor was right; within two days the house was sold. Betty, Bob, and Buddy moved out the next week, taking only their personal belongings. The night before they moved, they hosted one final barbecue for the neighborhood and made their announcement at the end of the party.

“The look on Eliza’s face was so worth it,” Betty confided to her husband as they went to bed in their home for the last time. “To be the last to find out. How fortunate she decided to run back to her home for another bottle of Von Haunt Merlot when you told everyone.” Betty leaned back on her pillow and laughed to herself. For the first time in years, she was excited for their future. Who knew what lay ahead?

They rented a small apartment in the Arts District since there was no rush. They’d take plenty of time finding their perfect place.

“Look at these views, Betty!” Bob stood on the balcony of their penthouse apartment. A year had passed since they moved to San Myshuno. “We are right in the heart of things. Festivals all the time, the dog park Buddy loves is just across the street, food stalls with the most incredible dishes! A loft penthouse ready for us to furnish. A job I actually like, and you can walk downstairs and across the plaza to your job at the Arts Center!”

“It’s lovely, Bob, and I agree that this is the perfect place for us. I honestly don’t miss our old hometown. But you know what I think the best thing is? No Pancakes next door! Now how about waffles for brunch? We’ve always loved waffles.”

Buddy barked in agreement.

Mother’s Day can be difficult for those who have wanted a family but can’t or have lost children through death or estrangement. I wanted to share a story of a couple who, after years of not being able to have children, have decided to enjoy life together. They haven’t “given up,” they’ve moved on and decided to intentionally create a life with just the two of them and their fur baby and pursue their hobbies/career.

Originally I moved the Newbie family next door to the Pancakes because of the Sim backstory irony, but as I was playing the Courtyard Lane households, which were filled with children, I realized that wasn’t in store for the Newbies.

Because I’m a benevolent Watcher, I wanted to give them new opportunities, and San Myshuno seems like a good place. For now, they will be assigned NPC roles in my game, and I don’t plan to play them (at least for awhile), but I do hope to see them around.


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