06.02.05 on the occasion of our three year house-iversary
The day we came to look at the house for the first time, a couple of potential buyers were just leaving. We passed each other on the porch. One of them motioned toward the house behind him and shook his head, as if to say, "Don't bother, it's not worth it."
No doubt he saw the grungy carpet, the dirty walls, the peeling paint, the overgrown yard, the sagging porch, the broken windows. There wasn't just cleaning and painting to be done, but big, major work. The bathroom needed a new sink. Heck, it didn't even have a shower. The kitchen needed to be scrubbed down by a HazMat team. It also needed a new fridge and stove and that hideous orange countertop and 70s era linoleum had to go. The yard was more suitable for jungle exploration than barbecuing. The hardwood floors in the bedrooms had long since lost their shiny finish and there were dismaying pet stains in prominent places. There were previous "improvements" to be undone, and plants to relocate, and an oddly-placed basement bathroom that needed to be ripped out entirely.
We saw all of that, too. But we also saw this:
What we saw was a house that was desperate to be loved, to be seen for all its wonderful qualities, treasured for all its quirky character, healed and mended and fixed up into a beloved home.
In the three years since we moved in, we've torn out the carpet, painted the floors, replaced the refrigerator and stove, installed deadbolts on all the doors, painted the living and dining room, cut down a dying tree, planted three new ones, dug out a patio area, built three retaining walls, replaced the dining room windows, torn out the bathtub surround, partially tiled the bathroom floor, building the porch posts, renovated the attic, put up new porch railings, and installed a porch swing. There's more to be done, of course, but we've come a long way, baby.
We both knew, as soon as we set foot on the porch and turned around to look at the view behind us, as soon as we saw the big wooden beam in the living room and the built-in bookcases, as soon as we discovered the hidden staircase that led up to an attic full of possibilities and the green darkness outside that hinted of future summer celebrations...we knew. We knew that this was it. This was The One.
Pictures taken after we'd bought the house, but before the sale was final. This is what the house looked like when we first saw it. It does not look like this anymore.