Sunday, March 9, 2014

house home

I've written many posts about this house, mostly about our difficulty in leaving it. This is the story about how I acquired it.

I bought my house in the city when I was 25. I was between marriages, though I didn't know that at the time, and was back living with my parents. I was jobless due to the fact that I had quit my job to move out on some land in east Texas with my now ex-husband in some sort of half hearted attempt to rekindle my affection for the rat bastard.

It didn't work.

So here I was at 24, back in the city, back in the house of my parents that I had married the rat bastard for in the first place to escape. And although they didn't hassle me about going out and finding work and my own place or maybe even going back to school and actually getting the art degree I had started on, I really wanted out again. They didn't keep their disapproval of my lifestyle secret.

They did allow me the space to figure out what I wanted to do though and for that I am grateful.

By the time I had got the idea to see if I could buy a house instead of renting an apartment, my most likely future abode, I had started my fledgling etched glass business and was even making a little money.

I don't remember how the idea of buying a house came up, if it was some cock-eyed thought of mine or came from a friend or my parents, I can't say, but my parents supported the idea. A friend of the family in real estate found half a dozen or so little cottages in the run down Heights area that I had selected to live in based totally on a regret mused by a friend of mine at the time who had bought a place in a different neighborhood. It turned out to be one of those serendipitous utterances that had a major impact on my life, much like the one that sent me on my career path.

I had a budget of $15,000 in mind, which at the time was a huge amount to me, a scary amount, and we looked at 3 or 4 run down cottages and then we looked at this house. It was beautiful, beautifully kept with 10' ceilings and hardwood floors and wood frame double hung windows with a pattern of diamonds across the top and a porch and deep eaves, nearly a hundred years old, but I liked that. The owner was firm on the price, $19,000. But this was the house. This one. I could live here and work here.

If you have ever bought a house, you know what a sobering experience that is. My father agreed to co-sign the Fannie Mae note which is a good thing because I'm sure they would not have given me the time of day otherwise. Being a young, female, self employed artist was as good as being unemployed as far as they were concerned. Hell, I couldn't even get a credit card.

a little rundown but in it's heyday

And so that is how I got my house. This house was my home for 35 years and our shop is still there. Over half of my life was spent in this house. It was my own safe place, Marc and I got married in the living room, we worked hard and built up our etched glass studio there, we raised our kids and pampered our grandkids in it. And though we moved from it, it has never really stopped being 'the' house and in a deep sense, home even though we like living out here in the country very much and we like this little house we are in.

The plan was to build a shop out here and move the business but we have not been able to, so far, get that done.

Our son and daughter-in-law have been living in the city house for the past nearly two years, taking care of minor repairs and, most importantly, occupying the place, breathing a little life back into it. We have our little apartment in the back corner and we seem to have settled in to returning to the city when we have fabrication to do.

We've always known we would sell the place eventually, but that's always been 'down the road'.

Only, maybe the road is shorter than we thought.


  1. oh, i can feel the anxiety of letting go of it and can totally understand why you'd feel that way. what a sweet place it has been for you for a long time.

  2. I was divorced at 26, but I found myself in a crappy one bedroom apartment next to an airport.

  3. I understand completely. When it comes time to move from this house where I live now I am going to be in horrible grief. I have been happier here, and more at home than any place I've ever lived.

  4. Even though I don't understand home owning, I would hate to see you let your house go. Just cause you've had it for so long maybe but probably cause it sounds like such a big part of you.

  5. Oh I feel for you. I totally understand the anguish of giving up a place you've lived and loved in. Along the way, it becomes an essential part of who you are. Times change.. this too will be right if and when it happens.

  6. I've never lived more than 10 years in any one house so have never become emotionally attached to any one place in particular - apart from my Grans house ... and when I visited that the other year (over 25 years after she had died) I felt sad - the place had changed beyond recognition.

  7. Now *I'M* feeling anxious about the house! I'm so glad you have your country place to help soften the blow once you finally sell the city place...


I opened my big mouth, now it's your turn.