Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evening Contemplations... Looking at My House Through Other Eyes

Yesterday I mowed my lawn at 8:30 at night. The days are getting shorter here in the Midwest and though just a month ago there would have been plenty of natural daylight to finish the job, last night it was pretty darn dark out by the time I finished. I hadn't mowed in quite awhile, and the lawn was looking pretty shaggy. I knew that it was supposed to rain, and since I can't mow when it is wet, I figured I better get it taken care of while I could. I'm sure I missed a spot or two, but it was at the point where no matter what I did, it was bound to look better than it did! It turned out to be good timing, a few hours later it started to pour.

While I was outside pushing my mower about, I got to thinking about my house. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the bills that I forget how wonderful the place really is. Recently one of my coworkers, let's call him Darren, asked me about where I lived. "Hey, don't you live on Fabulous Boulevard*?" he said, "I have a friend who is looking at home for sale on Fabulous Boulevard." I confirmed that yes, that was where I lived and yes, it really is fabulous. Darren then asked how to get to Fabulous Boulevard, as he wanted to see the house his friend was looking at. I gave him directions and then said, "And hey, if you want to see where I live, it is the big blue one with the dark blue trim." (I have worked with Darren for years, and had even went with him to look at a house back when he was shopping for one for himself.)

So, Darren grabbed his roommate and they went off to see the house their friend was looking at. Apparently, as they were driving around, they also checked out my house - several times. According Darren's roommate (who happens to work with my sister, which is why I know this part of the story**) they drove by my house a couple of times - going around the block and coming back to admire it. (Rereading this I realize it makes Darren sound a bit creepy - trust me, he isn't. He is just like me, someone who loves old houses.)

This story made me step back and look at my house in a new light, figuratively speaking. In actuality I was stepping forward pushing my mower in the gloom, but you know what I mean...

It was one of those moments when you suddenly step out of yourself and see things from a completely different view. I've always loved these big grand Victorian dame houses - and here I am, living in one. True, it isn't exactly under the conditions I would have wished, but how often does life go perfectly according to plan?

I occasionally get stuck on how big the house is, how old it is and how much work it can be, but then there are moments like last night when I realize that other than the paint and occasional landlording problems, the house really isn't that much work. Once the house is painted, I don't have any huge problems that must be done. I have some that should be taken care of in time, but nothing all that pressing. Yes, it is big, but I never feel 'lost' in the house. I don't feel like I am rattling around in it. The size works for me. And yes, it is really old, but then again, that is part of its charm.

So, I go back and forth in my mind about whether I want to sell it or not. There are days I want nothing more, and other times, like last night, when I start to question if that is really what I want. The truth is, the point is moot. I am not going to put it back on the market until the economy picks up a bit anyway. Until that happens and I see homes in my area selling, I'll just keep going at it as I am. Still, it is nice to have moments like last night when I can look through someone else's eyes and see how lucky I really am.

* No, Fabulous Boulevard is not really the name of the street where I live. It is a red herring to protect me from financial blog stalkers.

** What can I say? It is a small world. When you consider I am only 4 degrees of separation from Chuck Norris, three from Dan Ackroyd and two from the late Pavarotti (and no, I am not famous nor do I know anyone who is - it's just chance,) the fact that my coworker's roommate works with my sister just isn't that big of a coincidence.

Photo by: tsuntsun3
via flickr


Angelica said...

What a costy post :) I happened to read this with nice music one, it added to the overall impression. You've put so much love in your writing :)

Dawn said...

Thanks Angelica!! What a very lovely compliment. I love to write, I am so glad you stop by to read.

Brooke said...

i found you through living simple's're to be commended for working hard to save your home.

how nice that you were able to appreciate it for its beauty rather than the large payment

Miss M said...

It does make me feel better about my house when someone makes a nice comment about it. Mr M had a friend over the other day who has a multi-million dollar home (wife is a dr). This guy actually complimented our shack in the hood, I'm sure we have a better view than said million dollar pad but still. The ghetto bird flies every night in our part of town. I'm glad your co-worker gave you a better appreciation of your place, I like old houses too.

SS4BC said...

That is a really nice compliment of Darren. Also, I love the name that you've given your street.

For some reason it makes me really happy to know that you're getting this $900/month for something that you love. =D

Moonblossom said...

I also love big old houses we are moving into a new to us house next week and I can't wait to fix it up the way I want.. On a budget of course :-)

Saver Queen said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes you just need to take a step back in order to fully appreciate everything you have. Someone else's eyes can give you a fresh perspective. It's refreshing to feel grateful for a moment instead of just bogged down in all our worries.

Mike's Mortgage Guide said...

I have a nice old house from the 30's and before it was for sale, my wife and I looked at it many, many times and thought "wouldn't it be great to live there?". We came within $1k of closing on another house and decided against it. Then, a couple days later, our dream house was listed for sale. We bought it within 24 hours and haven't regretted a single second of living in it. Being so old and made of brick, it has more character and stature than any other house in a quarter mile.

Raising our son in this home is a blessing that he will remember for his whole life. I want him to look back in his older years and say, I love that house...Just like we do.

Like you, we would rather do without most anything except our beloved old house.