Old!

My house. I love her much. She had me from the moment I stepped into the front door after looking at a lot of houses that I didn’t like.

And despite my love for her, like all relationships, we have had our ups and downs. The relationship had a tumultuous beginning with more than one person questioning me wanting this house, especially after the inspection. The floors slope, there is no garage, the yard was overgrown with all kinds of nastiness (including epic poison ivy), the water pressure sucks. In short, she is a house most people would have been smart enough to stay away from.

But I fell in love. Like most things and people I love, she is quirky but extraordinary. Lovely molding and arches, built-in dressers in all the bedrooms, old big trees, lots of land that Annie patrols constantly, a massive dining room, heartbreakingly beautiful morning light, covered porch. She gave me lots of space and character for very little investment. Who can ask for more?

And then the basement flooded. And then some siding flew off. And a bird got in through the chimney. And I got poison ivy. Again and Again. And then the fire. There has been more than one moment spent curled in a ball crying from stress, wishing I hadn’t misspent my youth “building equity” and was a renter who had spent more time at bars.

This week we got a letter from the insurance company that implied we might be dropped because of the fire last year. It really shook me up. But after some investigation, it looks like things will be ok. We might have to pay more for our insurance, but things will be ok.

And as part of the insurance broo-ha-ha I discovered that our house was built in 1900. That’s right, 1900. My house is 109 years old. IMAGINE! And that fact makes me love the old girl even more. Think of the years that have passed in her walls – how the world has changed, and she has sat there. It humbles me to be a part of her. And reminds me that she is not perfect, but our home is lovely and is part of us, with all of her foibles and beauty.

Here is my list of top 15 favorite memories from my house, since I took possession, six years ago to the day…
1. The first night after I closed. Some friends and I sat in the empty living room, drank a bottle of champagne and strategized what I should do with all the rooms (I moved from a very, very tiny house.) My favorite suggestion was turning a large closet off the upstairs bathroom into the game room. (That ended up not happening.)
2. Sitting on the porch in a late summer evening with my friend Cory talking about philosophy.
3. The first night DH spent there.
4. Putting up Christmas lights on the mantle and accidentally pulling the lights so that all of the glass candle holders and decorations crashed to the hearth and broke. Annie was napping on the couch. She woke up and gave me a look that said “Seriously lady, what is WRONG with you??”
5. Planting flowers in the yard with the kids.
6. Cooking a late Thanksgiving dinner with a friend (pre vegan) for a friend that had been in the UK over Thanksgiving. It was the first turkey either of us cooked. And we were pretty proud of it until we realized that we had left the plastic giblet bag in. Ugh.
7. Dancing in the living room to Kids Bop 9 with my friend Heather and the twins. While DH sat on the couch and gave us a look that said “Seriously people, what is WRONG with you??”
8. Setting the dining room table for parties.
9. Drinking coffee in the living room 8amish on weekend mornings, when the world is quiet and the light illuminates every cranny of the granny house.
10. My friend Kate giving guided tours of the house the first few parties I had at the house. She had heard the spiel enough that she could do it on her own.
11. Gasping when I saw how lovely the Pottery Barn sheer linen curtains looked in the windows. Best purchase ever.
12. Trying to crack people up when I explain how a toaster/microwave combination is the stupidest thing ever, as I point to it in my stripey kitchen. You can’t use the toaster and microwave at the same time and it takes up just as much counterspace as a separate toaster and microwave, yet costs more than buying them separately. And it is so heavy I had to have a husband of a friend lift it onto the counter for me. Worst purchase ever.
13. Every band practice of the Imperatives – rockin’ the suburbs with the french doors open.
14. The THWAP! of the dog door when Annie goes outside to patrol her yard.
15. When we got DH’s books into the new fancy schmancy bookcases in the parlor. Seeing all of his books lined up on those shelves ushered in a new era of my life and it was now our house.
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2 thoughts on “Old!

  1. This was a great one! I love your house too 🙂 I’ll give tours any time you need me to. I have always been jealous of your house and how great it is, but I’m so glad I got to be part of some of your favorite house moments.

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