In June of 2004, Scott rented this house all by himself. And moved everything in all by himself (which is to say, supervised the movers and decided where things should go--no small task). And unpacked 95% of everything all by himself. When I arrived with the children, the day before William's fourth birthday, we were all giddy with how much elbow room we suddenly had. This house was bigger than any other house we'd ever lived in.
But here's the thing. This house is old. Not old and charming, like something from the '50s or '60s. Not even old and nostalgic like something from the early '70s. No, this house was built about 1980, and it has all the style of that big hair, shoulder pad, country-decor loving decade. We have lots of wallpaper and lots of wallpaper borders. Here is a sample of the overall style:
See that tiny white line? I've lain in bed many nights staring at this, wondering whether that bottom part was supposed to be removed. Is it, perhaps, perforated? Would it annoy me less to have this floral swag dipping up and down, around and around my bedroom with a cute little oh-so-realistic curve to it? Deep down I know that would have sent me around the bend and yet that faint line just mocks me, like pencil guide marks that someone forgot to erase.
And this half-bath. This room has, on occasion, given me motion sickness.
All the walls have a bit of texture to them, which seemed like a visually interesting detail when we first moved in. But the walls in the playroom are so textured that we've been injured by them more than once. Imagine me doling out band aids to bloodied children and asking, "Do I need to clean skin off the wall or did you get it already?"
FlyLady encourages me monthly to dress up my laundry area, because it will magically change my attitude about doing laundry. I'd be willing to fly her in to get her take on this room. And it's not just aesthetic. I have yet to have a repairman see this room without him doing a double-take and eventually conceding that "technically it meets code."
But you know what? The management company brought somebody to look at This Old House this morning, and I left a two page note on the table about what's nearby and how happy we've been. I had to physically stop myself at least three different times this afternoon from calling to see what they thought of This Old House. Because this place, even with all its desperate need of new carpet and cosmetic updates has been home to us in a way that no other place has been.
This is what I'll really remember about This Old House: