About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cats, Dogs & Little Fishes

The plan, when LittleBit and I went to bed last night, was to get up bright and early and head to the Y to work out. Ten minutes ago, when I should have been rousting her out of bed, the sky opened up. I wish you could hear it: cars starting to swish by on the road outside the living room window, rain falling on the sidewalk and whispering through the leaves on the trees. And me with my umbrella out in the car!

I didn’t want to post about our trip[s], because I didn’t want to hang a “please break in and steal everything that we have” sign on the front door. Not that we have all that much, unless you count old dishes, buttons, the last dregs of beauty consultant inventory, and my craft stashes. Oh, and books, seven bookcases in my boudoir alone.

Yes, I have a boudoir. Every self-respecting single woman, and every truly blessed married one, has a space that is all her own, no matter how small, where she may repair in order to, well, repair. Sarah Ban Breathnach writes about this more elegantly and eloquently than I can. And I do believe that Virginia Woolf had something to say on the subject as well.

Here are my musings after Sunday’s trip, written on Monday before work.

Firstborn and I had a good trip taking LittleBit to choir camp in Huntsville yesterday. Firstborn did all the driving, and I feel somewhat more hopeful about getting there on my own tomorrow night after work. I wrenched my knee getting into the car before we left, but it feels fine after half of a good night’s sleep – I had to wake up to slug down some milk and cookies to rinse some of the salt out from dinner last night but am going back to sleep shortly – and I’ll take my cane. Because if I take my cane, I won’t need it, but if I don’t, I might.

Leftovers from Sam’s Café in Fairfield to take for lunch today. I discovered Sam’s about ten years ago when I made my first solo trip to Houston for an interpreting workshop. And I always try to time it so that I’m hungry when I hit Fairfield. This is the first time I’ve eaten their chicken fried steak that it was tough. Until Brother Sushi took me to the Star Café in Fort Worth for one of our monthly dinners, Sam’s was the best chicken fried steak that I’d ever eaten.

I’ll try to remember to cut up my steak before I leave the house today, because a spork would just curl up and die. But what my lunch will lack in tenderness, it will make up for in flavor, and the mashed potatoes were *perfection*! I did not have sufficient self-discipline to save part of my peach cobbler for today’s dessert. I’ll just have to eat some canned peaches instead.

On the way home from Huntsville, we pulled off the road in a small town so that I could show Firstborn the house that I discovered ten years ago on the way to that same interpreting workshop. [I don’t remember why I left the highway; I think there was a billboard for a craft boutique that I never found.]

The house was unpainted, uninhabited, and in need of much work. But it had elegant bones, and I could tell that when it was built, probably in the late 1800’s, it had been amazing. I was sufficiently impressed that I called the number on the For Sale sign and made arrangements to walk through it. I wish that I had taken pictures.

The foundation and framing were bois d’arc wood [pronounced locally as “BŌWdark”]. The foundation needed shoring up, but the house was still of a piece. The roof needed replacing, as did the wiring, and there was no air conditioning. But there were 54 windows, and enormous trees shading the house and the back yard. Not to mention the landing at the top of the stairs, perfect for setting up a spinning wheel or a loom.

I think they were asking $80,000, as is, and I figured it would take at least that much to make it habitable.

This is what it looked like when I showed Firstborn on Sunday:

And this:
It's for sale again. On Tuesday after work, on my way back down to Huntsville to pick up LittleBit, I stopped again and called the realtor. They’re asking $180,000. I could have mostly paid cash for that house with my inheritance, ten years ago, though heaven knows where I’d have gotten the money for the renovations. Or how we would have lived in it while that was being done. Or what we would have done about schools, and visitation, and other practicalities. What I really needed, was that house, here.

As Firstborn said when I called her to tell her how much it had appreciated in ten years, “coulda woulda shoulda”.
I'll share our Huntsville pictures and the scarf-in-progress in a future post.

1 comment:

Jamie Flea said...

Scanning, scanning.. Hey, I know that house!

Just don't come further down into town to see ours. It looks much like that one did prior to the renovations.

When I saw that house three or four years ago I thought it was on the verge of being torn down. The current owners have put quite a bit into it.

Maybe with my new raise we can make ours look like that.

(Saying hullo from your post-it note!)