Remember these pics? I think that’s a pretty good representation of a specific stage in home ownership. Namely, The Beginning. Those pics were snapped on my phone, processed in VSCO cam to bring out the age, the cozy autumn light, and all the lovely bits of the property. This is more or less what your brain does when you make this sort of decision: all the ugly details, the cracks and flaws, and all the bits with parenthetical question marks hanging over them sort of dissolve into a gentler, softer focus. You’re left with only the pleasant impression of a memory and the idea of what it could be in some hazy, mythical future. It’s this state that gets you through the endless, menacing paperwork, this state that gets you to update all your social media statuses with a… generous amount of exclamation points, and this state that gets you the heady sensation that you have done a very grown up thing and deserve a nice dinner to celebrate it.
Sooner or later though, the beginning slips away and you are thrust bodily into the never ending chaos of owning a home. It’s harshly lit, outlined on calendars and circled with red pen, and sounds like Nancy Grace. “Exciting!” Is what everyone will say to you once you begin, and they are right: it is exciting, much in the way a smoke detector going off at midnight is exciting.
Having said that, here’s a more honest look at the house we bought in February:
We had a lot to do before we moved in. We knew the colors had to go. We knew we had to do something with the floor. We knew had to do... something else with that furnace pipe plunging up into the attic and through the master bedroom floor. I think I also had some vague notions at that time about a yard? We would have one? It would need… care, or something? Outside of those initial goals, I had very little else in mind. We had 60 days to accomplish so much, and I was going to be out of the country for about 10 days of that, and Dave and I were both working full time besides, and there was all the business of moving to consider. It was… daunting, to say the least.
Dave is a planner, and the more he dropped all of our deadlines and milestones into a timeline, the more he looked at me like “hi friend, do you understand how time works?” This would have been more than a valid question. I, however, am not a planner, but rather a procrastinator, and if I understand the world “wheelhouse” (and I do not) mine would easily have been those specific, nightmarish hours before a deadline is looming and you have a lot to do, but there’s still like, three more episodes of 30 rock on Netflix that you absolutely need to watch first, and then, then will be the perfect time to start your project? So I was in my element, and moronically optimistic.
But, I had been talking through a lot of what I had planned with my dad and my mom, and we were confident that we’d be able to make a huge dent in this list, if not actually complete it. We moved around a lot when I was growing up, and had done more than a few major remodeling jobs in the houses we had lived. We got to work immediately.
Next up: Reworking the floors and paint, paint, paint