Curiosity is terminal

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Old House, New House

My Beloved and I have bought a house.

This is the first time in my life I have owned property.  I feel a bit hyper-ventilative about it.  I am a commitment-phobe.
The evidence in my life for this is practically nil - I have never been at a job for less than 2 years.  My long jobs have been 6,7 and 14 years, plus I have stuck with the carpentry trade for 21 years, sometimes concurrently with other jobs.  My first long term relationship was 17 years.  I raised a child - she'll be 26 this year.  Nevertheless, the idea of settling down for some long term future freaks the hell out of me and makes me want to bolt.

We don't get to move into the house for another 8 weeks.

I have lived in the too small, closet challenged, shopless house we are currently in for 25 years.  It is too small. It has no closets.  It has no shop or garage or facsimile thereof.  It has no spare bedroom.  (No, I don't want to talk about all the books and yarn that are taking up inordinate real estate in my little house, thank you very much.) My bedroom is so small that we actually have to leave it to get dressed.  But I lived here for 25 years and raised the Offspring here, so now I feel sad to leave.  I'll get over it I'm sure.

My little house actually belongs to my grandmother.  She had a bit of money and she bought it when the Offspring was a baby.  The deal was I would pay the mortgage and she would leave it to me.  Who thinks to get grandma to sign a contract like that?  Not me, that's who.  Grandma lived 3 blocks away.  She watched the Offspring when I went to work, I shovelled her driveway in the winter, she taught me to knit.  Now Grandma is 94 and spry as a 60 year old, but doesn't recognize anyone anymore and can't take care of herself.  Grandma's kids are already having nastiness over the whole thing, and the best I can hope for is that they'll sell it to me. But I've already paid the mortgage on this house twice, and it would be considerably higher now.

My dad and I built a deck on the front of it.  We gutted and rebuilt the kitchen and the bathroom together.  My first partner and I worked on the roof and built the fence together and we painted cars and did mechanics together in the driveway.   My Beloved and I renovated the basement to make a sunny office and a bedroom for an orphan we adopted, and we gutted and rebuilt the Offspring's bedroom.  We planted trees.

But it is very small. It has one bathroom.  It has no shop-type space. In order to make things we have to drag a bunch of tools out of the shed and set up in the back yard or the driveway.  We can't accomodate out of town company if the Offspring is here.  And it is in part the subject of nastiness in my mother's family.

The new house has closets. It has a garage (which will be a shop).  It has three bathrooms.  It is advertised as having six bedrooms, but two of those bedrooms are only a little bigger than a large closet.  It will have two spare bedrooms, so that our families and out of town friends can all stay at the same time. It is big enough to have parties and the yard is laid out so that we can have garden parties.  I don't have any pictures of it that I want to share yet, because at the moment it is someone else's home.   The things that made my little house my home are the things I did to it and in it, alone or with someone I loved.  Once I have done some things in the new house it will be our home.  One of the first things I am going to do is plant trees.  I want to look out my front AND back windows to see something like this every day:


  1. A woman's home is her hassle...but it sounds very much like you are more than qualified for that. And as for'll find they can come with you. Take it from somebody who moved A LOT as a kid. The new place sounds fantastic, from your description.

  2. That's a good thing to know Ken. My parents still live in the house dad built 39 years ago and my uncle has the home my grandma lived in all my life. There's not been a lot of moving in my life!
    My parent's house wasn't actually finished until about 10 years ago, so I know all about living in a construction zone (not to mention making one).

  3. We got a handyman special in Ingersoll Ontario for a song my grade 13 year. My stepdad, almost singlehandedly, gutted the place and rebuilt it from the inside out. For most of the summer, our oven was a barbecue...Barbecued soup for lunch...that was also the summer I found out shingles are heavy. I mean, I guess I knew that, but it didn't really register until I had to load them into a bin. I thought I could just pick up great sweeping handfuls of them. Uh...that's a nope. *smile*
    You'll love the new place...and it might not be done for a while, either, satisfying your urge to tinker. And as for memories...cherish those old ones, yes, but start making new ones right away!

  4. Congratulations Karen!

    And, in addition to Ken's suggestion (which is a great one), you can always stop by for a visit occasionally.

    I sure am going to miss the seasonal pictures of those trees though.


  5. RossK! Nice to see you! Thank you for the congrats. The new house is only 4 blocks from the old house, so visiting will be easy. I keep forgetting that I have the memories and no matter what they are coming with me.