Friday, September 9, 2011

The Foundation

our house

The first time I ever saw this house was on my first date with the man who is now my husband. We'd taken our dogs for a walk and gotten along well enough that he suggested we drop our dogs off at our respective homes and then walk up to a nearby pub for a drink. We dropped my dog off first and then drove to his house.

At that point in the date I was pretty sure I liked him. But, given my previous dating experience, I was also sure there must be something wrong with him. As we pulled into his driveway I thought I'd found it. The house beside the driveway was so decrepit it looked like something from a horror movie. The paint was peeling, the walls were sagging, and the porch roof was being propped up by some haphazardly placed wooden posts.

My date (who on my other blog is called The Man of Science and would probably like that to continue here) leapt out of the car while I was studying the falling-down house to my left. He walked around the front of the car and went up the walk to the house- on the right. Not the horror movie house, but a perfectly reasonable, liveable home on the lot beside it.

crappy cabinetry

Years went by. I moved into this house with my dog and my cat and my record collection. I married The Man of Science. I developed a pretty strong love-hate relationship with the house. I loved its lofty bedroom ceiling, it's giant lot with space for gardening, its mature trees and its view of the park across the street. I hated its lack of central heat, its crumbling carpentry, its mouldy smell, and its cracked foundation. We started to think seriously about what we were going to do with the house.

Building inspectors and architects were called in. They all said the same thing. We'd be better off tearing the house down and starting from scratch with a brand new building. This news made me want to lie down with a cold compress on my head. My fairly unflappable husband shrugged and said he'd expected as much. We selected an architect and started watching the plans develop. We had land surveyors, engineers and appraisers walk our property. My economically savvy husband met with bankers. I started saving all my spare money, cleared away all my debt and signed loan documents.

terrible bannister

And now, it's all starting to actually happen. Tomorrow we move to my parents house (a situation worthy of its own post, stay tuned) and next week they start shutting off the utilities. By Halloween, the house I am sitting in while I type this will no longer exist.

Here we go.


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