N.B.: This is going to be the most unfocused entry I've ever foisted on you people. I wrote some of it about an hour after the movers left, more of it at 11:00 last night, and even more the next day. If it seems riddled with continuity errors, sorry. I have a lot I want to say and can't seem to get it out in my usual orderly fashion. Snort.
Currently Listening To: Tom Waits. Whatever else I can scare up on the iTunes playlist. Thank god for iTunes. As I write this, the movers had just brought over all our stuff, and I was able to set up Lil' Indigo and have music playing down here in no time flat. No hooking up a CD player and no looking for CDs to unpack.
Currently Reading: Oh right. Gimme a break, would ya?
Actually, that isn't quite true. I've been on a tear buying up all manner of home decorating books and magazines. I picked up a copy of "Home & Garden" magazine from Borders, and I read it the night I was cat-sitting here. (We brought them over a day early to get a little acclimated to their new digs.)
Har. What a freaking joke. Granted I probably won't end up doing much decorating anyhow because I'm so damn lazy, but "Home & Garden" is the most misleading magazine title I've ever seen. It'd be better dubbed "Homes And Gardens For You People Who Have A Kicky Art-Filled Apartment in Manhattan And A Big Antique-Laden Country Home In The Hamptons And More Money Than You Could Ever Know What The Hell To Do With, You Rotten Lucky Bastards."
If someday I simply can't figure out what to do with all these Picassos and Warhol silkscreens and Biedermeier chests because they clutter up my view of the Atlantic Ocean from my modest 40-room vacation cottage, I'll be sure to pick it up again.
Geezus. The one redeeming feature was an excerpt from an essay Dorothy Parker wrote about her old stone house in Bucks County, Pa. Apparently, she and her husband scandalized the neighbors by buying a stately old farm home and then painting the shutters pink and lining the old windows with mirrors and doing other things that were distinctly not what one was supposed to do while living in a stately country house.
Hee hee. Attagirl, Dorothy.
Random Picture of the Day: Our patio swing.
On Monday, I was waiting for Bill and the movers to get here, and the battery in my iPod was dead and I myself was dead tired of sitting on the floor, so I came out here to wait. And the sun was shining and warm and because of the cool breeze, I could hear my neighbors' wind chimes going. It was divine.
Home. (It's A Done Deal.)
We have a house. And we're here.
April 1 was moving day. (Yes. We picked April Fool's Day for our moving day. Obviously, we were feeling lucky.)
I have Lil' Indigo situated in a nook of the finished basement, close to the screen door and the windows that run along the back and right side of the room. It's a beautiful, breezy, cool spring day and it's so airy down here. The laundry room door is open and I'm getting a wafting scent of the detergent and fabric softener the previous owners must have used. It's a nice smell. It's a homey smell. And that's good. Because we're home.
Home is a three-level townhouse in Centreville. A McMansion it certainly isn't, but after twelve years of being crammed into various apartments that could never quite contain my ever-increasing amounts of stuff, I think the townhouse looks huge and vast. Having three floors to run around in is blowing our minds.
We thought the cats would be overjoyed to find themselves with more space than their little kitty brains could ever figure out what to do with, but so far they've been cowering under our bed upstairs, venturing down only for brief recon missions and tearing back upstairs at the first unfamiliar sound. Dummies.
I just love the layout of this place. We settled on the idea of buying a townhouse pretty early on, but I've never been especially fond of tall, skinny townhouses built like a Saltine box set on end -- and those are all the rage in good old NoVa at the moment. We saw one model still under construction in a snooty Fairfax development. Even without any furniture in the rooms, Bill and I could barely keep from smacking into each other while we walked through the place. Ugh. No thanks.
It didn't help that we were getting a buttload of attitude from the hoity-toity agent responsible for showing the model homes. Bill and I and our realtor had busted tail to leave work early and meet up at the Metro station and get there before 6:00, which was when the models were supposed to close for the day. You'd think 4:30 would be time enough, but no. First Miss Snoot didn't want to take us to see a model because she claimed it was too dark outside. Ridiculous -- it was barely dusk. Then all the houses in each style were already sold out except for one style, and the model for that one wasn't finished. Then she didn't want to show us an unfinished model. Isn't it amazing when a person whose job is to sell you something goes out of her way to not sell you that something? She did a great job of convincing me I didn't want to live there even before I saw the model Saltine box. Hope the bitch is enjoying that big fat juicy commission she didn't get.
Oh well. One snotty sales associate is about as bad as my real-estate stories get, so I think I'm pretty lucky.
Here all the rooms are nice and wide. And the ceilings are high, especially on the upper level where they're done in a cathedral style that slopes upwards so far it's just plain ridiculous. (I am not looking forward to the first time we have to change a bulb in one of the hanging lamps up there.) You enter on the main level and the stairs to each level are set off from the sides of the kitchen and the dining area rather than being the first thing you see when you open the front door. I like that.
And we have a basement! I've never lived in a house with a basement before. I have my "office" set up here and Bill's claimed the nice-sized spare room down here as a music studio. I can only imagine what any neighbors must have thought if they happened to see my long-haired husband hauling his guitars, speakers, and enormous amps into the house. I'm thinking they probably cried. Or crossed themselves.
One more brag and then I'm done: I like the layout of the neighborhood. There are only about eight townhouses in each row, and the rows are spaced well. Remember that townhouse development that burned down across the street from our apartment last summer? It's been rebuilt. Not only are they fashioned in the dreaded Saltine box style, but they're packed in unbelievably tight semi-circular groupings that loop around and flank each other. The developers obviously wanted to jam as many people as possible into the relatively small space. I think I'd go nuts in one of those. I wouldn't want to look out the window and be able to count the pimples on my neighbor's ass.
It's not that bad here; the spacing of the decks in the back is a little tight, but since Bill and I aren't big deck dwellers I can live with that, and a tree in our backyard breaks up the view a little. From the windows in the front of the house, I can see trees and the main road outside.
I never thought this would happen. I never thought this day would come. Having never been through a settlement, I spent the month of March convinced beyond all reason that something was going to get fucked up, because something always does, doesn't it? Not this time. The loan was approved without a hitch. No inspection disasters. No title problems. No trouble with the sellers. We went to settlement last Friday (the 29th of March), and after 45 minutes of signing paper after paper the sellers pushed the keys across the table to us and the house was ours. The movers showed up on time yesterday and although they seemed to interpret the word "Fragile" to mean "Lift this box several feet off the ground, drop it, and repeat," nothing appears to be broken yet.
And we're here. And we're walking around like grinning idiots and saying "We live here" because we still can't believe it's ours.
And I'm going to go out on a limb and say that we deserve this. We went through a lot of painful stuff the first couple of years of our marriage (see here if you're new and don't know the backstory), and I'm ready for something good to happen to us.