On October 28th of this year, Mr. Chick A and I will close on our new home. It’s been an extremely long road that has taken so many twists and turns to get us here, as with most people, but this step, this huge, literal move is filled with so much excitement and joy, but also, unfortunately for me, a self-proclaimed girl that has “issues like tissues”, I am having a really hard time wrapping my brain around it. Let me explain…
In 2010, Mr. Chick A and I spent almost the entire year apart. A long story that I won’t go into at this time, but we decided our life goals were too different to stay together and needed to split. During this time, I was living in my sister’s in-law apartment…I guess I was my brother-in-law’s, in-law, so it was legit. One day, I got a call from my sister who said, “There’s a little house around the corner that went on the market today and I think you should look at it!” (Was she trying to get rid of me?? No. She just being a great sister as usual and wanting me to move forward in my life.) So, the following day, after contacting the realtor, I was walking through this home. It was scary. It was empty. Many of the walls were covered in horrible fake wood panels, there were rickety old brass chandeliers that hung too low and were missing at least one or two light bulbs each. The wood floors were dark and sticky, a lifetime of a resident chain smoker. The kitchen and bathroom floors were covered in a gold and floraly laminate that were probably installed in 1926, the year the house was built. The countertop was yellow and there was little of it. Some of the rooms just had subflooring down, not even sure why. It was old. It was cosmetically undesirable. It was…my new home. I had fallen in love at first sight, the only time I believe this can happen…in real estate. I’m not by any means a DIY type of Chick. I felt as though I was someone who would rather hire someone to do work than do it by myself. I thought.
So, that night, I made an offer. It was 25k less than the asking. I was at my parents house when the call came in from my realtor that said they had countered at 10k above my offer, I boldly, like a total boss, countered again at only 5k more….an hour later, I learned my offer was accepted. I couldn’t f’ing believe it. I was a homeowner. Me. By myself. Not with a partner. Not with a man. Just me. I was like Miranda in Sex in the City. “Just Me.” It was truly, one of the proudest and happiest moments of my life.
I celebrated my new life on closing day with my family and we popped some bubbly, took pics of me in front of my SOLD sign and my Dad, ex-Navy man, who had known my new home had its very own flag pole, bought me an American flag and with all the pomp and circumstance he could muster, he raised the flag on my new life.
In the next few weeks, months actually, I worked tirelessly, with my family and friends helping me more than I deserved, to make this house, my home. Ripping down all that wood paneling, cleaning, painting, having all new lights installed in every room, having all new flooring installed in the kitchen, bathroom and mudroom, new vanity in the bathroom, chair rail in multiple rooms, new stove. With my Justice of the Peace title, I bartered with friends a marriage service in exchange for some carpentry work. I had walls knocked down and rooms created where there wasn’t before. And one of my best friends gifted me with a beautiful garden in my back yard. It was magical.
I was like Mare Winningham in St. Elmo’s Fire. Remember that scene?
One of my favorite nights, was during the first week I lived here. I was here alone, probably around midnight…and that plastic, opaque shower door wasn’t going to live through the night. I hated it. That day, I was told by the handy man that was helping me with some projects that he wouldn’t be able to get to it for a couple of weeks. No, no. I can’t live with that another day. So, I looked at it. Looked like there were screws in the metal track holding it into the ceramic tiled shower walls. Maybe I’ll just unscrew those. But then there was some kind of epoxy or something holding it onto the side of the tub. Maybe if I had a razor of some sort, I could scrape that off of there. Nope. Maybe my credit card would work. Yup. I scraped it all off with my Capital One Visa card and all the sudden the whole two sliding door unit with metal track and casing was free! And in my arms. Shit. Now what I do? Bring it out to my shed!! It’s now 2 AM. I, like the mighty Hercules, carried that thing out of my house and into the shed in the wee morning hours. I was a sweaty, disgusting mess and I felt like I had just won the Superbowl. I could do anything!! I’ll never forget that night.
The 10 months that Mr. Chick A and I spent apart in 2010 were some of the hardest days in my lifetime and also some of the most growth filled, educating and pride-filled days of my life as well.
When Mr. Chick A and I decided that we were being stupid and didn’t want to live this life apart, I couldn’t wait for him and his two kids, who were 9 and 6, that I already had loved and had had to say goodbye to months earlier as well, to move into my little beach cottage near the sea. Now OUR little beach cottage near the sea.
I had rebuilt this home for them, for us, for me. And it was one of the best things I had ever done.
This house, that I have put my heart into and made beautiful and functional and extraordinarily dreamboaty, in the place I sit right now in my lovely and cozy little dining room at the table that I’ve typed many blogs at, eaten many meals I’ve cooked at, learned to be a stepmom at, helping my kids with their homework and begrudgingly making their school lunches (Seriously, worst job on the planet…) the table that I had my parents over for pot roast and blackberry cobbler, played many drinking games with my favorite people, made millions of To Do lists and most recently, spent hours upon hours, looking online at realtor websites looking for…a new place to call home.
The 700 square feet, 2 small bedrooms and 1 small bathroom weren’t holding the five of us comfortably anymore (Sam, the dog too…) and Mr. Chick A and I had been looking for over 18 months or more to find our new home.
After 15+ showings, after a disappointment of losing one house we put an offer on, after driving my realtor INSANE, we made an offer on a home we loved and it was accepted. And we will close on it on November 4th, 2015.
Mr. Chick A is so excited and can’t wait to have a basketball hoop. The kids, now almost 13 and just turned 10, cannot WAIT to have their own rooms…and I, am excited to have a kitchen three times the size and more space than I’ll know what to do with! Even with all this to be excited about and I truly am excited and grateful to have this opportunity, I have cried many times, preparing for the moment when I will shut the door for the last time, here, in this little gem of a place that nurtured my broken heart and taught me more about myself than I ever would have ever expected and filled me with so much pride and feelings of accomplishment. I have a real, real hard time letting go. So say many therapists I’ve had. It’s not the best trait about me, but I’m learning to be better about it.
This is my wish…to have what my realtor referred to as a “Feel Good Sale”, that someone will get this house that truly needs it. That needs a place to feel as happy as this house made me. That will have at least 80% of the cleaning and upkeep OCD that I had. That won’t EVER put fake flowers ANYWHERE in or outside of this house, that won’t paint any walls red, that won’t have a cat, someone who will see that even though it’s only a tiny little house, that it’s been filled with more love and happiness than any mansion in Rye. (That’s a really well-to-do, beach area near me where there are lots of insanely opulent houses, but none as good as ours…)
I’ve been wanting to write this blog for a while. To announce our happy news of buying a beautiful new home that I know will be incredibly amazing and such an awesome step for my family, but also to share my tiny bit of heartbreak that I have about leaving one of my forever loves, this home.
Maybe you have some words of wisdom from a home you’ve left that made you sad, maybe you want to send me a huge check so that I can just keep this house as the Too Funny Chicks Headquarters!! Huh?? Huh???
Either way, thank you.
I heart you, 6WLA.