I think that my absence may be more about the ups and downs of settling into a new normal; finding my way to feeling at home in my new life. I still feel off kilter from time to time. But it is a new year, and I will try to be better at this.
Part of the difficulty of returning to this blog is figuring out where to begin. Its like a good friend that I've gone too long without speaking to, and now it feels like it will be such an effort to catch one another up. But I guess that the best way to begin is just to pick a topic and write and not worry about whether the writing is pretty or funny or twists around in any interesting ways. So forgive me if this turns out to be none of those things.
It probably makes most sense to begin with the topic presenting itself as the lowest hanging fruit. In this case, a yellow, box-shaped fruit with dormer windows. :)
But all that aside, I am very happy I did it. It feels great to come home to a place that I have no current plans to leave. It feels great to chip away and make progress little by little, and to know that that chipping and progress is finally for my own benefit and not the benefit of a landlord. This little house is old and quirky and there are many things that I will be changing over the years, but it feels right. Because I love old and quirky houses. Even when there is lots to change over the years, they hold a special charm.
So, what can I tell you about it? It is a 2 story Victorian mansard just one street over from where I last lived. It has a living room, dining room/kitchen, sun room 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a basement perfectly acceptable for storage. It has an over sized front porch, large back deck, free standing single car garage, white picket fence and sits on a double city lot at the top of a hill and at the end of a dead end street. It has a backyard that I am convinced is the size of a soccer field. Its a 3 minute walk to the subway station and I am in the center of downtown in 20 minutes. One of my neighbors is a forested section of a 200 year old, very beautiful, park area that will never otherwise be developed. My bedroom faces that forested section. On my first night in the house I fell asleep to the sound of the night breeze rustling through the neighboring 6 story pine trees. On my first morning I woke up to the song of beautiful church bells.
I spent many of my free summer and fall moments working in the yard. The prior owners did basic maintenance, but lacked vision. In all fairness, I think that they did more before their 2 young sons were born, and then fell off the wagon. I dug, edged, mulched and planted 12 garden beds. I moved things around. I trimmed bushes and trees. I filled more than 30 lawn and leaf bags with weeds and debris. And another 30 once the leaves began falling. And that doesn't include the 7 years of Christmas trees that I dug out of what I thought was a giant leaf pile on the side of the garage. Yes, SEVEN Christmas trees.
Garden bed in progress. This one runs 1/2 the length of the backyard at about 30 feet long.
Only in the last several weeks, once the weather turned cold, did I begin to turn my attentions to the inside. First things first, I spent a small fortune on the very unsexy job of replacing the entire waste pipe system--which was probably as old as the house and showing some signs of corrosion. I've had the boiler serviced. I've had an electrician bring the outdoor outlets up to code, install a motion light, and do some starter indoor projects. I most recently had a very cute Irish plaster man smooth out my hallway and living room ceilings. I'm currently in the process of priming them, this weekend I will paint them, and later this month I will finally, finally begin painting the walls of the rooms on the first floor. And after that I can place artwork as the rooms begin to shape up, replace some of the lighting fixtures and begin to put in place the touches that make a house feel like home.
And so, it is to that priming that I need to turn now. I will call it quits here for tonight. In the interim, if any of my readers have hung in for the long haul and were still checking in from time to time, wondering if I would ever resurface, do let me know.