Monday, September 30, 2013

'Non-House-People' Won't Get This


Yesterday I did something I probably shouldn't have, but I didn't want to give into fear and -- Well, let me back up a bit.

See this storybook-like house?

Tom and I drove past it weeks ago, it stole my heart and will not give it back. It's for sale--only $69,000. I looked it up online and saw just a few photos, there was an open house and--although tempted--I skipped it.
But this weekend they added more photos, ones like these:
(I can just see my Fiesta Ware on those shelves.)
... and they were holding another open house(!) Ohhh... the temptation! Both to go and to stay home for fear this house would take over my heart some more.
(This is the second dining area and it has incredible woodsy views like this:)
 So I went--it's just a mile, or so, from us (but feels decades and country miles away). I went alone, since Tom was deeply involved in the Bills' game.
And just as I knew would happen, I fell hopelessly in love.
I stepped into this 1927 house and whoosh! It whisked me back to the 20's and simpler times and quiet and incredible greenery from the 40 (or so) windows, views probably not much changed since the house's beginning.
Four bedrooms (each with large closets), one downstairs. A half bath downstairs, a full bath upstairs done in the prettiest tile I'd ever seen--a sort of iridescent robin's egg blue with a hint of light green. A small conservatory-type room with windows on 3 sides and French doors on the 4th, a formal dining room plus another dining room with two windowed walls looking out into woods and the grassy extra lot.
Anyway,  I came home and Tom very graciously agreed to go back and see
the house with me. And it went just as I thought it would. Tom loved it, too, but he saw every single thing that's wrong with it.
No garage. And not a single new window. The floors need refinishing. We'd have to have a curved, concrete driveway poured in front of the house leading to a small (un-built) garage on the side. New storm doors. And the biggest deal breaker? It needs a whole new kitchen--all that's there are those shelves, above, and a sink beside a dishwasher with a tiny, crooked counter top over it.
Sigh. All stuff we've had done over and over on other houses. Stuff which makes us tired just thinking about doing again. If it was in a super nice neighborhood? Maybe. And if we were 15 years younger? Definitely.
I guess it all comes down to wisdom, because it's not really an issue of money at this moment--we'd own it outright, but for years, every spare penny would be poured into that house. Yet once you've been laid-off and once you've hit your mid-50's, you become more careful and more conscious of darn ol' reality.
Right about now I'm sounding like a good sport, but oh dear. On the way home Tom said "How about if we find a house like that, but one that's already updated?" and I was like, "Oh yeah, sure... there are updated dream-come-true houses like that one on every corner! And why is it that other people can live happily in a house for 100 years just like it is, but we can't?"
Then I stepped into our house (which appeared tinier than usual) in a frenzied, spoiled-brat frame of mind (ack!) and while Tom finished watching the game (oblivious to my frenzy), I looked-up houses online in all towns near us for even $50,000 higher and found nothing at all similar. One house, though, came close--old, all updated beautifully--but no bedrooms downstairs (make the dining room into Tom's bedroom?) and it looks like it was plopped down on a golf course (maybe because the trees are naked, the house feels like that and where are all the gorgeous views I want?), plus, it's on a busy street in a part of town I've never felt 'right' in:
Only if you are a 'house person' will you understand this post. And yes, I'm still very grateful for Hobbit Cottage!
But the fact remains, some houses capture my heart even without a stick of furniture in them and well, I've never lived in one of those. The houses we buy are ones I must make special, myself, with paint and furniture and research and work and--. The challenge is wonderful for me--I realize that. It's taught me so much more living in these regular ol' houses than I'd have learned in ones which steal your soul when you step into them, empty.
Maybe I'll have to wait until Heaven--I know.
I know. I know. I know.
But just bear with me while I'm in recovery, ok? It requires time for a girl to return to 2013 after she spent a dreamy day in 1927.
Here's a peek inside that last house I shared (they're asking $94,000... maybe I won't write it off just yet):

Oh, and if you're wondering about all the lawn of the Storybook House, we'd have paid someone to mow it. Definitely:
The cool thing? This has become another house I can, inside my head, walk around its rooms anytime I wish. I can decorate them, rest in them, dream in them.
"The heart wants what it wants."   ... copied


Pat said...

You're feelings....and mine, remind me of a line from and old song, "dreams never die, just the dreamers". I totally understand where your coming from.
It's all about timing, it's way to late for us to think about fixing up another place, so I just dream. Thankful for what I have, but never stop dreaming.

Anonymous said...

There is a house my husband and I toured about fifteen years ago that I STILL think about! We ended up building a much "nicer" new home that we are very grateful to have. The one we looked at needed a ton of work and, in hindsight, we see that God led us right where we needed to be. But, it still gets to me - sort of "house lust!" Belynda

Judy said...

Beautiful! And do I ever understand this. But the thought of moving stops me cold in my tracks every time.

Echoes From the Hill said...

I love that house! When I saw the room painted cranberry and white, I said, "Oh, Wow!"
Why would the kitchen have to be updated? It looks charming from the photos.

Leave it to a man to see what is wrong, since they are the ones who have to fix it or find someone to do the work.

It really is a fairy tale house.


Bonnie said...

Oh, I get it, Debra. But I see WORK even though they are beautiful. : ( I think it depends on the day sometimes! lol (We're the same age, so I know what you mean about maybe if you and Tom were 15 years younger.) Maybe you need to invest in a really good dollhouse. You can repaint anytime with very little cost. I've been thinking about it myself!

Elizabeth said...

Oh Debra, I am glad you went back to see it! I do understand exactly what you are talking about!

Deborah Raney said...

I absolutely LOVED looking at those houses with you, but this says it all: "Yet once you've been laid-off and once you've hit your mid-50's, you become more careful and more conscious of darn ol' reality."

We love our new-to-us house and it really is perfect for us at this time in our lives. But that doesn't stop me from peeking at what's still out there on the market. :) Still, having feared losing the privilege of owning a home altogether, I'm trying very hard to be grateful every single moment for where God has us right now, and to hold it loosely in case he ever takes us to hard places again.

Meanwhile, I put in orders for my house in Heaven. I'm sure God's design will be more amazing than anything I can come up with, but that robin's egg tile you described sure sounds like something I'd love to have in my heavenly bathroom. ;)

Beth said...

Oh Debra, I so get what you are saying. In fact, I use those houses-in-my-head (wanna be dream houses and the houses of my childhood) as the locations of the homes in my mind as I read books. Call me crazy, but I visualize those homes as I read. LOL