Thanks to our good friend, Hermine, it is a rainy Friday morning in Georgia, and also the start of Labor Day weekend 2016. He (or it is she?) is the reason I am not in Tampa, Florida visiting my grandkids. Hermine decided for me that this was not the best weekend to travel to a town where strolling the beach and attending baseball games was supposed to be the designated activity of choice. No one will be strolling the beach OR playing baseball this Labor Day weekend in Tampa. As I looked at a video of Clearwater Beach yesterday completely invisible because of the wind shear and the pounding rain, it was final; I was not gonna see my grandbabies this weekend, ugh. And much to my horror, the video showed a young man braving the elements as he played on a boogey board in the storm surge that blended water and sand; some people will do anything to be on the internet. And, tell me, please...where was his mama?
This morning I've had a rare block of time to be alone in the apartment and do some reflecting, some piddling (I am a great lover of piddling), and some chores – most importantly, laundry! I am enjoying this moment of reprieve from the crazy, hectic days recently. Solitude is one of those things in life that you either hate or you love. I personally love it, as most know, and it is in those moments of solitude that I do my best thinking, receive my best inspiration for decorating, writing, and photography projects, and when I feel most at peace with myself and the world. Some folks cannot stand one day of what they consider dreariness but, as much as I don’t like a constant diet of dreary, an occasional rainy day is not only enjoyed and needed, but truly appreciated. It’s a day of staying in (if you’re able), catching up on some reading (if possible), and just doing a bit of meditating (always). It can even be a day of cleansing, as the rain washes away the dryness of late summer and hopefully ushers in a little bit cooler temperatures. I have a pumpkin spice candle burning in the kitchen, and the thought of autumn being around the corner on this rainy day feels very real at the moment. And I know the crazy days are returning...they too are right around the corner.
It appears that, after many days of negotiating, title-searching, repair-estimating, and other seemingly endless technicalities and paperwork, we will be closing this week on the house purchased to renovate. It is the biggest reno we've ever taken on and I am beyond excited to get started! But in the midst of all the craziness trying to get closed and started on this project, we did what any normal American couple would do...we bought another house to renovate! Wow, did I just say that? It's true, but I can't get too excited because closing on this one is still weeks away, and we have found in the due diligence period that is standard on any house purchase, sometimes wild things can happen...like finding out that the foundation is literally crumbling beneath the house...or that we can't a get clear title because the seller has more tax liens against the house than what you're paying for it...or there is an underlying repair that we're not willing to take on which makes it a deal-breaker...these are real challenges we've had before! Thank God for a good team of realtors, attorneys, and other inspectors and advisors who help us place potential purchases under the microscope so to speak to make sure (as much as we can) that it is indeed a good investment. It truly takes a village to raise a house renovation.
Our most recent hopeful acquisition (I’ll call it hopeful since we haven’t closed) is another diamond in the rough. There is one thing that sets this purchase apart from our other renovation projects: It is the oldest house we've ever purchased. Now, I don’t mean 1800’s old, but say, circa 1960. I am dating myself when I say that this house is only five years my junior and I am sure in the day (just like me!) it was a pretty good catch but, alas, it has seen better days and needs someone to give it a much-needed facelift. I believe we are the ones to do it. I never thought I wanted to re-do a house from this era but, as I've gotten older, the 60's and 70's style houses have become more appealing to me and I know this house can return to the splendor days and, better yet, be even more appealing. I look forward to being able to bring this house of my generation back to its roots and beyond into the present year. It is sad when you see a house that has fallen into disrepair, but so rewarding to be able to give it a new lease on life. I know that my days are about to get really busy, and I may have some days in the not-so-distant future where I long to be just sitting alone in the rain in this quiet, comfy apartment that I am calling home right now. But this is what we do. This is where we thrive and, even though renovations are dirty and sometimes take it out of us, we are happiest doing it.
Here are a few initial pics of the challenges ahead...hold on, little house, mama is coming to save you from the years of neglect!
So I sit here reflecting on this rainy, almost perfect, day with laundry in the dryer and the smell of pumpkin wafting through the kitchen, planning and dreaming of all the hard work ahead. I've heard it said before that you're not really working if you're enjoying it, right? Whoever said that is a complete nut! But working hard to see something morph from a thing of brokenness with no purpose into a thing of beauty and usefulness produces great satisfaction however you look at it. It might be a chunk of wood or a lump of clay or an antiquated piece of furniture or ingredients for a great meal (that on their own don't amount to much) that one takes and creates into something delicious or stunning or highly useful. In my case, it's broken-down houses, and I fully intend to make this one amazing. I'll be the first and the last to say there's a lot of hard work that goes into taking the ugly and making it the pretty, but every single time it's been totally and completely worth it.
Let the gutting, the repairing, the re-configuring, the polishing and shining AND the crazies...begin!
Posted by CC
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