Buying an old house is like gleefully signing up for manic depression. There’s so much good….and an equal amount of bad. For every beautiful piece of original hardware, there is a run of brittle, crumbling cloth wire lurking in your walls and for every gorgeous turned spindle on your front porch, there is a rotting deck board reminding you every day when you leave the house to go to the job that pays to fix that place up, that it needs to be replaced before the mail carrier falls through and retires shortly after in the Bahamas.
When neighbors stop by to tell us they have always loved our house and have lived in the area for 50 years – that they are so glad to see someone thing care of it and fixing it up – it makes us happy. BUT, when I buy all new really awesome push button light switches for the first floor only to find out we have some (thankfully not all) cloth wiring that is probably original to the house and we should probably not touch lest it disintegrate and teach our insurance company a lesson, it makes us sad. Our electrician told us to make sure we have smoke detectors and to listen for noises in the wall that would suggest something is about to burn this m-fer to the ground (not in those words). Here you go, take all my money.
House, you’re expensive.
(Update: the electrician was back this past weekend to install our incredibly cute barn light fixture above the garage and some outlets for the basement and said a lot of work has been done over the years and the electrical is actually probably in a pretty good place for the age of the house.)
That would be an example of good. An example of bad would be spending 2 hours taking apart one of the old windows to fix the broken sash cord only to realize the weights don’t fit through the pockets and the whole window has to be disassembled. I want to take another look at it since I thought I broke my finger that day and it could have clouded my judgement. According to the city, our windows must be fixed so they don’t decapitate anyone, to be continued.
We turn to retail therapy when the going gets rough in the house…
Mike and I share a love of plants which is a little dangerous, but if I get to look at these instead of all the shit that needs fixing/cleaning/replacing/trashing/painting/maintaining, it helps.
…because who cares if our back yard is a compacted mass of bare earth and the front bushes are about the swallow the house when you have a HEAD planter!
Other than our plant shopping spree(s), not much has changed. We finally put up a light fixture in the living room from the old house, but I almost hate to post a photo because I haven’t been able to take down the tulip wallpaper border, fix the peeling paint, put art on the walls, raise the curtains, etc….etc…
Chloe is unimpressed, as usual.
Hopefully more to come.