Saturday, March 2, 2013

     Goodness gracious, it's been nearly a year since I last posted. A whole year of going on living and doing and being and pretending this place is not just utterly falling down around us. Well, it's not...literally (yet), but sometimes it feels like it. In the last year, we've lost shingles off the roof faster than Dorothy's Kansas shack, had 3 inches of poo-water in the basement, and seen the yard overtaken with Creeping Charlie (at least it's still green...?). Lately we've discovered the the kitchen drains are corroded, which leads to a massive, starchy swimming pool in the kitchen when one dumps the pasta water too forcefully into the sink.  Late at night, when I'm alone and I hear the house creaking, and small cat hair tumbleweeds blow around the floor every time the heat kicks on and shakes the entire house, I think...what is it like to live in a new home? Someplace furnished and outfitted with things from this century, where things don't just up and break every week? Would I be happy there?

     So I look to my cut glass doorknobs for answers, but being doorknobs, they do not reply. I look to my wee galley kitchen for explanation, but it is too busy holding itself together and watching the sink for signs of acting up to be bothered with my inquiry. How about you, Monsieur French Doors? They just gaze at me silently through their ancient single panes and continue to leak cold air into the living room through their old-man caulk, despite the fact I have redone them twice. I once again cover them with the curtains (heavier this year) and butt towels up against them and promise to bother them no more, until which time they are replaced with something more heating cost-efficient. The vile mail slot gapes open, breathing the outdoors in, refusing to close unless by force, and inspiring me to hang a heavy curtain over it, just like in Blighty. All of these things, knowing nothing of the present, are unable to answer me. If anything, their silence mocks me.

      But this is the information I do glean from the house when it thinks I'm not looking. Removing the heating grills in the living room, I can see that underneath several layers of paint is the original color-- almost the exact same color blue I've chosen to paint the room. The light in the closet hallway that refused to labor under the ugly contractor's special fixture that was previously installed once again glows dutifully after being fitted with something old-looking but new. As I repaint the house, room by room from builder white to darker, more intimate colors, the house embraces and warms me, folding me into it's well-sized rooms. Put the chair there, it whispers. Maybe you should consider red drapery. On evenings in the early summer (before it's too hot for man or beast and we all retreat into the air conditioning), I throw open the French doors, put on some music from the 1930's, light the candles, fix a gin cocktail and sit on the screened porch and enjoy the breeze. And on these evenings, I feel the house sigh and say, you are at home here. Thank you.

A NewHouse is for another life, one that I choose not to live. Perhaps in a parallel universe Another Sara in Another Time enjoys a NewHouse with a non-leaking sink and a bathroom that does not look like it was installed by Frankenstein's Monster (if he was into interior design but failed all his courses). All is well and there is never anything to fret about. But I doubt it. NewHouses have no character. They are young and impetuous, and prone to bouts of binge drinking and saying things they don't mean, hooking up with the first shrub that's planted near them, then regretting it all later, becoming broken shadows of themselves. And because NewHouses are made of cheap drywall and vinyl windows, at the first sign of trouble they collapse in a puddle of self-hatred and loose siding, taking the owner along with them.

     For better or worse, I chose this gorgeous monster. Maybe it chose me. It's my home. I love it warts and all. And I think it likes me, too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I finally found my dining room set for this house! It only took three years (sort of like the time in between posts on this blog), but these things take time, you know. It's not like I wasn't looking.

I liked the farmhouse table when I bought it. I needed a table, it was the right price, and I lived in a farmhouse. It seemed to fit pretty well, and has served its purpose. But it's not working for me here at 43. The look is all wrong, the chairs seem huge and after 10 years, I'm just tired of it. Here it is, staged for sale at the farmhouse.