Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Shelter From the Storm

It's been a huge few months.

I had a pretty big surgery in December, which left me laid-up with a 12 inch incision down my abdomen, and in the midst of recovery from that (I still am) we bought a house.


I prayed for this house.

What I should have been praying for was that the surgery I was about to have went well. But a month ago I was wide awake all night praying for this house.

Since we moved into our tiny one-bedroom apartment while we house hunted, Ray had been searching the MLS every 20 minutes or so ready to pounce on new listings.

He was so frequently searching I began to worry.

Are you miserable here? Would you rather than die than come home? Do you want to move to a larger apartment until we find a house? 

He was basically like: Gina, our stove is a Hotpoint. It's electric. I can't live like this.

So the house hunt proceeded in earnest.

When this one came on the market we looked at it immediately and made an offer.

And so did several other people. Ugh. After six months of searching we finally found a house we loved, and everyone else loved it too - let the bidding war commence.

So I laid in bed thinking I should be praying for my health and a successful surgery but instead I was praying for a house. In the midst of praying for the house I was having a philosophical debate in my head on what it meant to pray for something like a house, versus something more important, like good health, or peace, or the end of hunger.

But I don't feel materialistic, I thought. I drive an old car. I buy my clothes at Target. I've been saving money for this for 10 years.

Argh! Concentrate, Daugherty. The house! Your health! Peace! Pray for all of it, whatever!

Ultimately, the night of the bidding war, if I'd have thought The Secret would have worked, I'd have tried it. (I think you just read the book and awesome things happen to you, right? I gotta get on that.) Praying, meditating, good vibes to the universe? Sure! I was throwing it all out there.

After a few days of agony and waiting, we were under contract. 

Two weeks later I was in surgery (it went well) and I spent a maddening six days in the hospital. The one bright spot was when Ray would come to see me we'd talk about the house - Where we would put the furniture. How we would decorate it. What projects we would do first. When we'd have our first party. How he and the movers would have to do all the lifting and moving because, hey, I got this giant incision and can't sit up yet. (Not having to do any of the moving was an unexpected freebie for me.) 

The house gave me something to look forward to during one of the scariest, most anxiety producing times of my life. It was the perfect distraction for both of us - house inspections, constant loan paperwork, packing, Christmas. Oh shit, it's almost Christmas?! But I'm virtually bedridden!

We closed two days after Christmas and moved the next day. I hobbled around with my giant incision and handed out Gatorade to Ray and the movers. It was an important role. 

And now here we are, the insanely proud owners of this sunny, 106 year old two-story. It felt like home as soon as the movers drove away.

See ya, movers! Oh wait, that's Ray
At a century old we anticipate all kinds of things that will keep us busy and probably cost us plenty over the years. Unlike new construction, it has all kinds of quirks and weirdness we'll have to repair and paint and worry about.

For example, it has a fireplace in the living room that doesn't work. You know why it doesn't work? Because it burns coal. Coal, my friends. You should stop by and have a look. I can bet you've not seen a 106-year-old coal burning fireplace before.

And also unlike new houses, it has history and personality and lots of people have lived their lives here and experienced untold joys and sorrows and wonderful memories.

We are happy to be the newest caretakers of this old place. It's going to be great.

And the biggest relief of all, Ray no longer has to cook on an electric Hotpoint. Though first we're going to have to figure out where to put the antique typewriter... and about a million other belongings that are in boxes or have landed in unusual places.

1 comment:

Christian said...

We actually had a coal fireplace in my family home growing up. It was the coziest, warmest, and cheapest heat ever...the downside is the coal dust gets everywhere. God, I miss that coal fireplace (we replaced it for electric about 15 years ago), but I just learned my mother recently added a coal "stove" to the dining room because it's cheaper and she missed the heat from the coal.

Congrats on the house!

Christian (other have of C&C)