It really wasn’t our dream house. But it took us a while to figure that out. Actually, it took us being outbid to figure that out, so we’re quite thankful and none of you need to offer us the sympathy that you’ve been very kindly offering over the past week.
It was a beautiful house, fabulously redone, and there are a few rooms that I still wish I had the chance to repaint and decorate and live in. The dining room, which had a curved wall of windows, and the 26-by-26-foot living room are among them. Yes, you read that right: TWENTY-SIX square feet. How does that make my city-dwelling readers feel? Those rooms and the walk-in closets and the master bedroom will all be missed. But the kitchen, which aside from my “office” is where I spend all my time, was less than ideal. It had been updated and had great countertops and nice cabinetry, but because of the attached garage, it did not have a view of the backyard or the driveway. And now that the house is not ours and never will be, I can admit what a huge problem that would have been. In our current house, I can easily see the kids as they play on the swingset from my regular position washing dishes and I can see who goes up and down the driveway, and it would have been very isolating to not have that view (to not have any view actually; the sink faced a granite wall). So we are not disappointed to not be moving in there.
But we do love the block and we are ever hopeful that some other opportunity might arise there in the next year or so. In the meantime, we are continuing on with the improvements we furiously started on our house a few weeks ago, albeit more slowly now that an impending move isn’t driving us forward. Those of you who’ve been following this story since the beginning may remember the ceiling that fell in back in September of 2007. This was right in the midst of the absolute worst week we had ever had, which has only ever been topped by the more recent “recurrence” weeks. We found out on a Wednesday that Austin’s primary tumor was resistant to chemo and that it had grown by 50% over a four-week period. He then had that almost six-pound tumor and the entire right kidney removed on Friday. He was released from the PICU late Friday night and was just embarking on what proved to be an excrutiatingly long and difficult road to recovery, while Mark and I were anxiously awaiting the pathology results that would define the rest of our lives, when Mark went home on Saturday afternoon to find that Braedan’s bedroom ceiling had fallen in. Just crashed to the floor, in various bits and pieces of dust and plaster. Well, we obviously couldn’t be bothered with it then and there, and after a few months we moved Braedan into what was then the second floor office and moved the office downstairs to the sunroom (which, while beautiful and sunny, was never actually used when it was the sunroom). And Braedan’s original room has sat empty for the past year and a half! No, not empty; it has become the “art room,” which means it is strewn with construction paper and markers and crayons and glitter paint at any given moment. If you have an “empty” room in your house, you won’t be surprised to hear that it has also become the repository for anything and everything that we’re not using or that we don’t know what to do with. From my winter clothes, which have yet to make their way up to the third floor cedar closet, to all the pants and shoes my boys have outgrown to suitcases full of law books, it has turned into a space that is much easier to ignore than to tackle. Part of the reason we never repaired the ceiling is that there is also something wrong with the chimney that runs through the walls of that room. So anyway (!), we have finally found the source of the chimney problem which will be surprisingly easy and cheap to fix and will finally repair the ceiling and then repaint the walls and hopefully move Braedan back in there before we end up putting the house on the market.
So this was all a long and convoluted way of saying we are glad the deal fell through on the white house. It just wasn’t “us.” Mark described it as that feeling you have when you’re single and you know someone else who’s single and available and they’re nice enough and smart enough and attractive enough and you really feel like you just ought to give it a try, but something just isn’t there. The chemistry, the “this is it, this is right” feeling, just isn’t there.
We’re gonna wait for that.