Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Living the life you love

Yesterday my neighbor stopped by to welcome me home after our Spring Break vacation.

Have I mentioned I love my neighbors?!?!

I invited her in, even though we (and by "we" I mean, The Hubs) had demo-ed all the day, and the house was a total disaster. If I waited to invite her in when it was clean, she would never be able to come in! That's just who we are and how we roll around here. What you see is what you get.

She stepped over the laundry baskets and past the jumbo pile of kids shoes into the renovation zone that was our kitchen. Think plastic sheeting, drywall compound and dozens of nails and various tools scatter haphazardly.

She began to exclaim excitedly over the house. The same soffit and old cabinetry as in her kitchen, the wonderfully done original wood floors, the double fireplaces. The kitchen and bathrooms. We talked of quirks and facets, money pits and projects. The love we share of our un-ordinary home, our fixer, our unique lifestyle.

"Why do I need a big spa bathroom?" I asked her. "I want my square footage in my living space, not wasting around in a big bathroom. I need to shower, use the bathroom and that's pretty much all!"

She agreed. "Yes! I can sit on the toilet, brush my teeth and spit in the sink, all while turning on the shower. It actually makes it much easier to get ready when I don't have to move!"

I laughed, but it's true. Standing in the middle of my bathroom, I can hold out my arms and touch the walls in all directions. Still it has everything I need: a toilet, a shower, a sink and some storage.

"It's a lifestyle to live here," she went on. "It's an attitude you have to have to be happy and content with something different than the norm. These houses, with their tics and quirks, they require a different way of looking at life, and at what you really want and need."

She's right.

While others are buying big homes, with new everything, and rooms and rooms to spare, we opted for a good-sized home with yard and yard to spare. Most buyers want brand new, so they don't have to fix anything for 10+ years, We chose a fixer-upper with incredibly good bones, but needs a major facelift. We won't be done with renovations until.....well, probably for as long as we live here.

The first thing I loved about this home was its two fireplaces, followed quickly by the five different floorings throughout it. What puts others off actually interested me. It's different, and I like different.

While I know some people walk into my house and are shocked at what it doesn't have - two bathtubs, a laundry room that fits side by side washer and dryer, an updated kitchen - I absolutely love what it does have.

Originality. Fun. Years of life.

Neighbors that welcome me home from vacation.

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