Monday, September 30, 2013

Can I Take That House Off Your Hands?

Today's challenge topic: What would you do if you you won the lottery?

Much like most people, I would use my winnings (assuming they are large) to pay off all of my debt, buy some things I want, like a new car and a fancy blender, and I would most definitely take some much-needed time off work. But in the instance that I was to come upon a large sum of money, there are a couple of key things I would absolutely do...

Travel. As you've read in prior blogs, I want to go places, see things, do things. I don't want to spend the rest of my life in Oregon. I would find someone to split my traveling fund with and I'd hit the road. Or the airport. Or probably both. Money being no object, I would take a long trip through Europe, stopping each and every country you could think of, doing all the touristy things and staying in fancy hotels instead of the bug-ridden hostels Jenny and I are accustomed to. I'd drive cross country in my new car, stopping to visit family and friends, and also seeing the dorky Americana I've never seen, like Yellowstone, the Redwoods, Crater Lake, Mount Rushmore, and Niagra Falls. I'd be on vacation for a long time if I was to win the lottery.

And when I came home from my trek around the globe, I'd take a wad of cash and walk right up to Grandma Whitmore's house - the one on Monroe. I'd offer cash to whoever was living there because I am in love with that house. It isn't on the best road, so maybe if it was possible, I'd relocate the whole house, but that's just a total pipe dream. I love the house not only because of my memories in it, but because I find it beautiful.

When we were little kids, the whole main floor had this awful red carpet in it. I didn't know any different, but looking at photos now its like, Grandma what were you thinking with that hideous (and scratchy on your knees, by the way) carpeting? There were built ins in the living room on either side of the fireplace, with a huge mirror above the fireplace where you could watch yourself "perform" on the big piano in the living room. The basement was terrifying, the laundry chute was so fun, the closets were amazing, and the bathroom was tiny. In Diane's bedroom was the best part of the entire house: a built in desk. I will never not want a built in desk, I loved it. I love built ins; I think they are the best part of any old house, and part of the reason I want an old house.

Just a couple of years ago, the could who had bought the house from Grandma Whitmore put the house on the market. I called Grandma and asked her to go look at it with me; she told the couple I wasn't able to buy it but really wanted to see what they had done inside. I was so grateul when they invited us over to take a look. I picked Grandma up one morning and we headed over. I was really glad to see that most of the house had been left as it had been - down to the pencil sharpener at the bottom of the basement steps. All of the original little details were there, which I was thrilled to see. They had bumped the kitchen out onto the covered patio to add a little breakfast nook, and they'd turned Grandma's bedroom into a family/tv room (that part I didn't like). But everything else was just as I remembered it. What really made me fall in love with the house all over again was the flooring - they had torn out the red carpet and underneath was beautiful, original wood floors. So pretty!

Going to walk through her old house was a really good moment for me to share with Grandma Whitmore away from the chaos of where she lives now. My dad's family has continued to fall to drama and with that has come a big gap between myself and the majority of them. I am not emotionally sound enough to hang out in the midst of it all without stating my opinions, but my opinions aren't really welcome, so its hard to sit in the midst of it all. So having that time where I could get Grandma out of the house and all to myself for an hour was really great.