Friday, April 12, 2013

The Little Old House

In 1981 we decided that it was time to buy a we did.  50K price, with 17.75% interest rate on our first mortgage.  It was an old house, which is what we thought we wanted.  We loved it and worked on it, and struggled with it, and put on a small bathroom and lived with the low ceilings, slanted floors, lousy location.  We had two dogs in that house and one cat.  My parents stayed with us on the fold out sofa. Friends with babies came.  My two darling nephews stayed over many many nights.

Due to many reasons, it all became too much for us and we put it on the market in August 2001.  We all know what that year was like, and it stayed on the market for a long long time while we built a new house.

In March 2002 we moved out of this old house and to our newly built house.  It took me a long time to get used to the new house, all the bells and whistles it more than 1 electrical outlet per room, and an automatic garage door opener.  

I went and visited the old house occasionally, and only went in once when the new owners had moved out and asked us (me) to "check in on the house" if I had time.   Of course I checked in on it - that house was like our baby. DH did NOT check in on it, he's better at letting go and leaving things behind.

Another couple bought the house and lived there for about 6 years or so. No one knew them. No one ever saw them and they didn't return visits to the neighbors.  Then it was on the market again.

Last summer some new people moved in and I stopped by on a whim. They were lovely people, with two young daughters.  They loved the house and were used to old houses.  They asked me to come by at Christmas as they had a card for us - so I stopped by one evening and went in.  The house looked so beautiful. The fireplace was on, the Christmas lights twinkling.   They had it decorated beautifully, and it just looked great.  I came away very happy that the house was loved....and very weepy for some reason.  It literally took me a few days to get over that visit.  I kept reminding myself of leaky windows, and low ceilings.

Today I found out that the house is on the market again...and probably has been sold already (houses are selling very quickly around here suddenly).

I feel so bad for the house!  In some strange way, that house had an "awareness" of itself - there is no other way that I can describe it.  It wasn't "haunted" - it just has layers of consciousness.   I've written before of the fact that the house didn't want us to leave, and threw up all kinds of roadblocks as we tried to wasn't until both of us - independently - went to the house and explained exactly why we had to leave that the strange happenings stopped.  The house sold the night we had that discussion.

I'm getting a bit weepy again over the poor house being sold/abandoned again.  I'm sure the young couple decided to make a few bucks on it - and good for them. But the poor house!  I miss it, I miss our life there, I miss my dog and cat, and being young, in love, foolish, fresh, having babies around, and parents spry enough to sleep on a fold out sofa.   I could never move back, I am too spoiled now with a basement studio, and lots of lights and cable TV, and extra rooms.   But I do miss it all.
Isn't it silly?


Postscript:  I had a wonderful time at mom's 90th party but haven't posted as I came home with an awful cold, which has turned in a "little bit of pneumonia", and am on antibiotics which make me sleepy and silly.   I'll be back soon...when I get over feeling sorry for myself and get some good cough free sleep.


Cris, Oregon Artist said...

Sounds like your old house is a nice starter house for young families, and think how the house must feel having new families moving in and being raised all the time. It should be a happy house because it never gets old people in it who don't have the energy for its upkeep. Well that's my take on it. That said.. hope you get to feeling better.

Lynn Cohen said...

Oh mim, what a story. So bitter sweet, so poignant. That old adage, you can't go home again, seems to fit here. I love the story , your wonderful memories. You'd die if you saw the house I lived in for fifteen years, where I raised 2 kids, started my relationship with current DH , that had no insulation , a stove with a door that wouldn't close all the way, we froze in winter, roasted in summer, but we had constant company around our PG and E round spool kitchen table, the washer and dryer sat on a built on porch that threatened to fall away from the house. But when we finally moved I sat in that empty living room, looking out at the awesome red roses out that window and cried. They tore that house down after we moved. We moved on to a more livable house, and soon after to our first owned home where we still are. But we still drive to that town, down that street and sit in front of that still empty lot and See the ivy covered front porch and remember all the good and not so good times. Some house are just very much a part of us!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Maybe you should draw the floor plan of your previous home. Keep it in a sketchbook so it knows you are thinking about it. Some homes do hold memories for us. I hope you get to feeling better.

kj said...

Your memories are part of those walls. And that house is part of who you are.

I no longer believe inanimate objects don 't feel. A person who can connect with houses, trees, land, art-- somehow understands how energy flows, how love works

I understand and admire how you feel, Mim. The house is not able to just relax and be cared for, be revered, as it ages. (Are you sure you don't want to reclaim it, modernize it, share the years ahead together?) (forgive me, I had to ask)

This is an excellent piece of writing, Mim. EXCELLENT. This is an essay that if published so so many people would love and understand.

Feel better my beloved friend. Jeez life gets complicated


studio lolo said...

This is a beautiful post, Mim. I got weepy reading it. I too, feel "energy" and connections to inanimate things. I always had a hard time getting rid of my old clunker cars which kept me safe while I had them.

I've never had the privelege of being a home owner, but if I did I'd be very attached to each home as well.

It's not one bit silly. I do believe that sweet house will have a new family soon. Maybe that house was meant to have people start out there, and down the road they'll all tell stories about their first, special house.

Brian and I have that awful cold. Going on 2 weeks for me, only day 5 for him and he's cranky.

Feel better my friend.


kj said...

I read this out loud to JB while she was fixing dinner last night . It is an honest reflective wonderful piece of writing. It was perfect to read outloud, a clear sign of a good writer

I love it

sukipoet said...

beautiful words and sentiments about your old house. i believe houses are sentient beings and that we connect with them on a deep level. i did this esp with my grams house and the house i rented for 20 years on the Cape.

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

Goodness, Mim, I was about to leave a comment on the car post, because I am in the middle of the exact same thing, and then I read this one about the house. I could have written that post about our first house, and our Memphis house, and probably will be writing it about this house in a few years. The sentence about being young and in love and having babies, oh how it struck home. Interested in your stories about the consciousness of the house - very cool!