(Note: this was written in Fall 2014, and is being posted in Spring 2015.)
Every time I sacrificed a visit with friends or a night out with coworkers because I had to work on fixing up our townhouse get it right, get it ready to be sold, I gritted my teeth and said that the next house it would be different. I would decorate slowly, I would make changes slowly, I would blog the development of the house, I would see more movies when they’re in theatres, I would spend more on the next house but I would spend money on the house less often. I promised I would watch more TV on the weekends and I would go out on Fridays. I promised I would relax. I promised myself I would enjoy being a home owner, because the next house would not be a profit generator. I said I was going to wear make up to work, and I would style my hair, and I would do laundry more often. The next home would be more relaxing, I would have my shit together in the next home. It would be a real home, a forever home. When we looked at houses and imagined how we’d lived, I’d make sure we actually carried out those dreams, actually lived those visions.
Moving was so hard that I actually resolved to never move again in my life. Mark agrees. I followed through on my resolution, and the pace at the new house is much slower. I didn’t blog anything about the house because there was nothing to show.
To be honest, we didn’t unpack. That’s how tired we’ve been.
The first thing we did with the house was paint the master bedroom, so that we had a settled place to sleep. We stopped there. I painted the family room purple below the chair rail running around the room (to reduce the contrast between the red brick fireplace and the stark white walls), and I saw that it was good. I bought the paint to do above the chair rail and into the kitchen, but never got around to doing the painting.
Throughout the spring-summer of 2014, out of five potential bedrooms only two were functioning. The other three are basically storage for books and junk right now. For some people this is crazy, but for us – this is the face of burn out.
However, the new house is a new lifestyle, and Spring-Summer 2014 was discovering how the house was going to change how we use our space and where we spend our lives.
Mark can tell his own story, but his story from my perspective was this – a double car garage with a compressor and a wide driveway meant he finally got to live his dream. He worked on cars in the driveway with his friends all weekend, drinking beer. He went to a few car shows. He watched F1 races in the mornings, with the dog asleep upstairs with me.
My story – I spent spring-summer 2014 of the house new out in the front yard. I wanted to restore the curb appeal of the home, so I spent a great deal of time standing on the curb gazing at the house, trying out different ideas. The house, as purchased, needed a new roof, new windows, the front door and garage door were a beat-to-shit pale khaki green, the window frames, shutters, screen door, and sidelight (exterior) were trimmed in chocolate brown. The gutters were a medium brown, and the old roof was dark chocolate brown.
Meanwhile, the front yard had overgrown cedars and evergreens, randomly placed roses and weird out of control plants that didn’t make sense. The whole house looked dirty, to be honest. Cats had been peeing on the front step… a lot.
Next post, I’ll lay out what I/we did with the front of the house in the first year, plus I’ll take a look at what we’re learning about living in the house.