Tag Archive | old house

Saying Goodbye To An Old Friend

Last weekend, in less than 24 hours, I drove down to Lynchburg and back again. My friend Margo and I were on a mission to clean the house and get it ready for sale. She had no idea what she was in for!

 The Pearl Street House.

The Pearl Street House.

Stuart and I bought this house 7 years ago, thinking it was our place to settle down, forever.

In the way of “best laid plans of mice and men,” it did not work out. The job was not a good fit for Stuart and it was clear that it was time to head home to Maryland. This was sad in many ways as it meant the end of Stuart’s career as a helicopter pilot. We said goodbye to the type of friends that are all too rare. As I think of it now, it brings tears to my eyes: I loved Lynchburg,Virginia and I loved what Stuart had become, through his commitment and dedication to serving those in need.

From the Top of the Stairs.

From the Top of the Stairs.

The house was the one piece of Lynchburg we still had. It made me feel as if I still had a foot in that town.

The Living Room.

The Living Room.

It was comforting to think of it standing on the hill, a stalwart since 1880. A house with so much character and history that I felt I was doing a service to society just by owning it. It was an adventure from the start, and the children even discovered a secret passage.

Just one of many fireplaces.

Just one of many fireplaces.

An old chandelier.

An old chandelier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The real estate market is brutal and we will take our lumps once again.

View to the porch through a dirty window.

View to the porch through a dirty window.

But at the same time it will free me. Selling that house will free me to be in the now, to fully appreciate my current surroundings and to let the roots run deep. Our home is in Maryland. We have family, friends and space to run. We have a community here. I will never forget Lynchburg or the people I love there. That house has been standing on Diamond Hill since 1880, and the past seven years have only been a brief part of that long history.

Saying goodbye.

Saying goodbye.

It is time to say goodbye and let the next chapter in this home’s history begin.

 © copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

 

 

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Cleansing the Palate

In this new house, we are still in the drudgery of the “pesky little jobs list.” These are things that we have to do to make the house functional. It has nothing to do with decorating or adding my own flavor to every room. It is pure drudgery and we have to keep on keepin’ on, or like the Nike slogan says, “Just Do It!”

None of the things on this list are worth blogging about, but they do have the potential to save my marriage. Every time my husband rolls up a rug because the basement door catches on it, or when the towels pile up on the bathroom floor because there are not enough places to hang them, I swear under my breath at him. This “pesky little jobs list” is oh so important.

The fight between The Rug and The Door.

The fight between The Rug and The Door.

It includes things like trimming the solid wood doors a tiny bit shorter so they will open over a runner, installing handrails on the stairs so my mother-in-law will not plummet to her death, hanging blinds for privacy, organizing the tools in the basement, and bleeding the radiators so they work, all the way upstairs. I kid you not, this list grows at what seems like an exponential rate.

One of two new handrails.

One of two new handrails.

Sometimes I think this is just because we bought an old house. And then, when all I have to do is close the door to the baby’s room when she sleeps, I am thankful for that old solid wood door. I love the radiator heat as it does not dry out my skin in the cold winter months like forced air does. Believe it or not, when carrying a baby up and down the stairs, it is useful to have a handrail all the way up.

I was considering adding the chore of painting to the “pesky little jobs list,” but then I changed my mind. Right now it seems overwhelming because I still have at least six rooms left to paint in this house.

Benjamin Moore, Green Hydrangea.

Benjamin Moore, Green Hydrangea.

But paint is like a palate cleanser. It is the fig between the cheeses and the sorbet between the courses of your gourmet meal. Paint is what allows me to start thinking creatively, with a clean slate, and then move on to the fun part of decorating. Paint is the fresh air in a room.

Benjamin Moore, Green Hydrangea.

Benjamin Moore, Green Hydrangea.

Sometimes I think it is like the Golden Gate Bridge around here. Once I get finished painting, I will just have to start over again. But this is also an opportunity for new ideas. With a new paint color, you can change the look of a whole room.

Benjamin Moore, Fresh Butter.

Benjamin Moore, Fresh Butter.

The good news is, paint is cheap. And while my “pesky little jobs list” continues to grow, I will not add paint to it. It deserves more of a place of honor. Perhaps I will add it to the “pesky BIG jobs list” instead.

© copyright Mariam d’Eustachio 2013.