Friday, May 21, 2010

This Property is Not Condemned

It’s amazing how much a few pictures on the walls can change the personality and look of a place. Today, it’s my place that looks different. I hung some of my pictures yesterday and today. When I sat down to do some work, I looked up and noticed how the pictures I hung, at least the ones I can see from the sofa, changed the dimensions and feel of the living room and hallway.

I am a bit superstitious about some things, like where I live and how long I get to live there—or in this case, here. Two years seems to be the limit for my tenure anywhere, except when I lived next door to Lon Chaney’s house two years ago. Yes, it has been two years since I moved here and I had lived at the old apartment for three years. It’s not a perfect place to live—the roof leaks in my office and the walls have no insulation—but it has been home, and continues to be home to me. Nowhere is perfect and I’ve lived in a lot of places over the years: Ohio, Tennessee, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and here in Colorado most recently. Every time I started hanging things too soon or getting too comfortable, I ended up having to move. It’s part of the reason I didn’t hang my pictures before now, and it’s the same reason I don’t unpack all the boxes. Now, I can.

The idea of buying this cottage from Mark has crossed my mind a few times recently. It would be one certain way of getting Mark to fix the roof and finish connecting the electrical features of the stove: lights and fan. I could also get him to fix the flooring of the cabinets under the sink, the separation between the outside kitchen wall and the front of the house and install a front doorbell. The rest, I would handle. I could use a back door in the office and French doors would be nice. I like having a back entrance in case of fire. A grant should cover having the walls insulated and a solar panel. New bookcases need to be built in the office and washer and dryer hookups would be nice. I’d also like to find out what happened to about two feet of the wall shared between my bedroom and the living room. More shelves for the living room, an entertainment center and maybe a window seat. A platform for my bed and built in night stands, headboard and baseboard would be nice and it would also provide some added storage space and places for more books. I have lots of books.

This place has a lot of potential and now that my worries about how long I can live here are calmed, I can move forward and set down roots. A wrap-around deck for the front of the house with built-in planters, some patio furniture, a grill and some flowers would be nice and there’s plenty of room for a portable greenhouse so I can grow berries and vegetables all the year around. Yes, hanging those pictures and finally finding a spot for Tut and Nefertiti have changed more than the look and feel of this place; they have fired my imagination and made me yearn to put down roots at last and consider buying property, a sort of trial run before I find the land where I can build my cabin and move to my dream house. A little bit at a time, that’s what it takes to write a book and plan a life, especially when property is involved.

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