i just got an email from our realtor that our first house is back on the market.
oh, the emotions!!
marc and i bought the house in july of '98. (holy crap look how young we were!!) we (i) were (was) so in love with that little bungalow!
in the six years we lived there, we painted every room, replaced the deck when marc put his leg through the boards (unexpectedly) of the old one, ripped out lots of "landscaping," repaired lots of little things, put out lots of little fires in place of saving for the bigger projects we *wanted* to do. we had cats, we had a kid, we had a miscarriage, we got pregnant again and knew we needed more space.
(what the house looked like before we signed the purchase agreement:
... brown shag carpet that smelled like dog pee in the eat-in kitchen, nasty brown dog-smelling shag in the upstairs, candle smoke stains on all the walls upstairs, an non-functioning dishwasher in the kitchen used as tupperware/plastic bag storage - which the previous owners left for us, a refrigerator that smelled like death - and replaced two days after moving in ...)
in the last three months of our time in this house, we finally recarpeted the upstairs, finally painted the upstairs, painted the exterior, replaced the front steps, etc. when we left, it was finally the house we'd wanted for six years. granted, the downstairs was painted and made lovely early on; it was just the upstairs that went neglected for so long.
we moved out and moved on and didn't look back, but i will always have a soft spot in my heart for this little craftsman. i loved the house, i loved our neighbors, i loved that we could walk three blocks to take henry for bike rides along the minnehaha, or walk four blocks and get a cone at the pumphouse creamery. it was wonderful while it lasted.
(and, to be fair, i'm leaving out a lot of the things that bugged us over the years, like being on a busy street and hearing constant noise from city buses, ambulances, etc., or having to smell our neighbors' cigarettes spring, summer and fall when the windows were open, etc.)
i was so fond of this house that i even made a project documenting our time in it for my book:
so today, when i got the email from rita with the listing, all those memories flooded back:
our first christmas in the house when we had no money, and the only furniture in the living room was a ratty old recliner that marc had gotten free in college and a cedar chest he'd inherited from his grandma, and we didn't even get a tree, but we put a quilt on the floor, bought a $4 bundle of wood for the fireplace, and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for christmas eve dinner.
henry's teeny-tiny bedroom that was carpeted almost perfectly wall-to-wall by an 8x10 rag rug.
the way henry's closet wall froze in the winter ... we never did figure out where that frost came from.
scraping all eight layers of wallpaper and paint off the plaster walls in the living room, dining room and entry using a 1.5" putty knife; it took foreEVER, but was so worth it in the end.
the way the built-ins and windows looked in the winter with christmas decorations.
how steep and narrow the stairs were leading to the half-story, and how many times each of us fell down them.
... and so many others.
i'll keep watching for an open house listing, because i would love to wander through those rooms again and let the memories guide me.