Friday, March 10, 2006

this old house

I finally saw the inside of my new house yesterday. Yes, I realize that this is strange, but its a strange situation. My grandparents, both my father's mother and father, passed away in the Fall of 2004, leaving my dad and his brother with inheritance that included 6 houses, 4 of which are within 15 miles of DC. One of these is the house my father grew up in, the house where he lived when he met my mother in 8th grade, the house they went to after school when they were dating in high school, and this house is now occupied by my sister, her husband, and their two adorable kitties. I think that is so heartbreakingly perfect, its amazing.
2 other houses are town houses in Burke, which is where I lived from ages 8-21. Burke is many things, but convenient to anything it is not. We've all grown out of Burke, I think.

The last local house is my new home. It is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom two story house and it is ridiculously huge for me and my 2 little cats. When I saw the inside yesterday, it shocked me, in a couple of ways. First, it looks to have been built or at least seriously renovated in a very unfortunate period of the 1970s, style wise. There is an abundance of parquet, which makes NO SENSE because much of the house is hardwood. If they put parquet OVER the hardwood I will laugh and cry and roll around on the floor. The kitchen is a mess, I mean it just needs to be completely overhauled but it is HUGE. I love big kitchens. Each of the bathrooms comes with its own brand of ugly ass missmatched tiling, included the one that takes the show. The sink and surronding cabinet in the main guest bathroom is white, with silver and gold sparkles and stars all over it. Its, its, well there are no words.

The bedrooms are lovely, two at 11X12 feet, and one at 9X9, all hardwood, one with bathroom, all have natural light. The closets are horrid, but you know. Apparently people didnt care about VOLUME of clothes over quality until very recently.

The basement makes me feel like I'm in the ecstacy seen of Garden State. Wood paneling. Huge open spaces. So much storage I could put my whole studio in the storage room. Another bathroom. A bedroom down there too that is crazy big.

And then...the backyard. Or Sara National State Park, as it should be called, because it goes on forever. There is a nice stone laid patio, and then it turns to grass and keeps going and going, pass the hammock on one side (love it) until you hit a stream. Yes, there is a babbling brook IN MY YARD. and then it keeps going.

It is truly amazing. The upstairs dining/living area will be my masterpiece. Its got carpet right now, but we suspect hardwood underneath, so that carpet is old news like yesterday. There are 4 floor to ceiling windows that turn out on the bottom pane, to allow fresh air and breeze to come through.

Picture this..Gleaming white walls and light hardwood floors, slightly worn with age. In the middle of this expanse, we have two simple olive couches surrrounding a low, round, dark wood table. elegant matching side tables corner out the couches and on each end, creating an L shape line.

Yeah, I keep doing that with every room in the house, and in reality - I can do that living room, but then I will be completely tapped for a while, financially. And that's what worries me about this house. The potential, and the knowledge that I will not be able to fix and design everything at the pace that I would like to. Beyond the money, renovating a house takes time, and it is not a solo project. I'm not sure this house is for a single woman. I mean, the gardening alone is going to take all day every Sunday all summer, which is GREAT, but a little anxiety inducing as well.

I refuse to sit in this house and let its potential go to waste. As I told my mom last night, this will be a grown up house. There will be no makeshift cinderblock shelves and/or seating. There will be no futons. There will be no anything that you would see in the house of a 22 year old boy. Except there will be beer. But it will be good beer, in bottles, chilling on the back porch in a metal tub of ice, and served in glasses if you want them because I AM A GROWN UP. And the lawn furniture will be matching and tasteful and not plastic.

I won't move in until April 1, and there will be some renovations prior to that, most notably a fresh coat of paint and a new kitchen floor and counters. But our property manager put a lock box on the door and I have the combo and I am already tempted to go and sit and feel the house some more. I'm worried that I won't be able to sleep with all that space to worry about, all those doors to break into. That the house will make strange noises and I won't feel safe. I'm moving up in the world, neighborhood wise, but I have a feeling I will be more concerned for my safety. Beyond that, I just want to see if I can make it feel like home. Just me rattling around in there will be very strange, but I'm not sure that I want roommates either. What about the fact that I will be furnishing a house of that size, knowing full well that I will likely move back into apartment life in another city and some point - I mean, if I buy this house from my parents, it won't be for a few years. Did I say I wanted to settle in Fairfax? I think I said staying here my whole life would be a tragedy - yup, that was me, it was. And it would be. I need sun and ocean to really breath, I do. And I also need a city. So, really, when you think about it, I NEED San Francisco.

See, I've got house issues. What's a girl to do?

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