December 28, 2010
Somebody Else's Dirt
You know, there's something about moving into a "used" house. Most houses are used, so one really must get used to it, but I've always preferred a new house, new construction being crap aside.
The previous house in what Brian likes to call "Old Trees" (Webster Groves, MO) was a wonderful compromise for us. Brian likes a house with character, which is sure to come with some dirt alongside it.
We bought it in early 2006 in anticipation of Baby James' timely arrival and shortening Brian's commute to downtown St. Louis. We had previously lived in Maryland Heights, and the house really wasn't ideal for having children (or at least the way we lived in it wasn't - we would have had to move pretty much everything to get the nursery on the same floor), so we started looking. After dragging Brian's aunt and uncle - our realtors - all over tarnation (again, Webster Groves and the surrounding area), we finally found it.
The house was a nice mix of character and cleanliness. The character stemmed from the fact that the house was 80 something (perhaps 90 something) years old. The cleanliness: it had just been completely rehabbed.
So I got my new house with all new appliances, and Brian got his old house with character. It was heaven sans closets.
We have since moved - in September of 2009, we moved to my hometown to be closer to my mother. Our jobs made that opportunity easy, so we seized it. We have a lovely home, but I didn't get my new house. What I got was...other people's dirt.
There's character to it, I guess. I can certainly abide my own dirt or rust spots, but reviewing the mold in the caulk that someone else lived through makes me a bit...uneasy. I don't have those stories of how time passed and it grew there, and I can't seem to get it clean short of replacing it, and every night when I commence the dinner cooking routine, I have to stare at it, and it reminds me that I didn't put it there. A bit unsettling.
The same thing happens when I review the worn wood moulding/baseboards, and I miss some aspects of my new/old house that looked new. Strange quirk, maybe. Uneasy nostalgia unknown.
The Webster Groves house is still ours, unfortunately, and it's due to be showcased at some point on the HouseHunters program by HGTV. Brian believes that will be sometime in January - he regularly watches the website for programming previews. I miss the house and the fact that I found it easy to clean. My dirt always is.
Posted by hln at December 28, 2010 07:44 PM
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Loved your 'house recall' story. ..especially after leaving our beautiful Prow lake George new house to come back to MO and move into a 5 year old house with someone else's 'dirt'. Not bad for the most part, but there are grease spots on the front entry concrete and in the garage I would like to know how to clean!
Hope to see our new friends soon. Marie (and Bill)
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