It was huge. Built in a manner that suggested duplex, but far before it’s time. Pretty much a turn of the century farmhouse if the 1960s had thrown up all over the first floor, but left the upstairs untouched. Between the cracking plaster walls, and the linoleum floors that mimicked (poorly) Persian carpets, it was a piece of work. A lot of work. More work than we could handle.
So we expressed our interest.
The way home went as usual. When we left the house we were optimistic, but after 2 minutes we had already talked ourselves out of the potential and faced the cruel mistress of reality. It wasn’t worth the work. As huge and wonderful as the building was, it just wasn’t practical for us. The oil heaters wouldn’t go for anything, the roof wasn’t up for another heavy snow winter, and the mold on the plaster wasn’t going to take its self away. It would require work. It would require dedication.
It would require funds I didn’t have.
I would have loved a little vintage house. A place to put all my things. Especially my tacky collection of thrift store art, which would have perfectly matched the feel and style of such a house. And what a house it would be. Can you even find shag carpet like that anymore? I don’t know.
I contemplated how our house looked 15 years before. The 1964 wood paneling, the red shag carpet and gold flecked mirror recreational room on the second floor (complete with room length wet bar). The indoor stone planter half wall in the living room, and built in vinyl covered cabinets in the living room. The bright prance counters in the kitchen. Man it was good stuff. It took us 15 years to convert a move in ready home into an updated house. Was I really ready to take on the task? No. I didn’t have the finances for an old home like that. Especially not one of that size. A 5 bedroom was just too much. No matter how good the price was.
When I came home I contemplated my life. It would be one thing if it seems like I had plan me to stay in the area all my life, but the way things looked, it seemed like that’s wasn’t going to be the case. What’s left here?
A few broken childhood memories. A few houses I happened to live in at some point. Some family. Less than a handful of friends, of which two had no intention of staying here forever. There wasn’t the magic in my community like there had been long ago. It was lackluster. Sleepy.
Maybe it was perfect.
It’s a lake side town. Small and unassuming. Tired and a bit worn out, but it’s comfortable. Everybody knows almost everybody, and very little seems to happen. The downtown holds a historic charm. The older parts of it strewn with beautiful Victorian and brick houses that seem pretty no matter what time of year it is….especially Christmas. There are plenty of community events. A large library. A few artsy places and privately owned book stores. Thrift shops and farmers markets. Local festivals. Art fairs. The beach and bike trails. A pretty state park campground not too far away. It was quiet. Peaceful. It’s the kind of town that practical people with practical dreams could happily live. You didn’t need to be a somebody, because everyone was already a nobody. People were kind in their blue collar working class way, and places your frequented you were quickly recognized.
I like it. I love it. Perhaps part of me will remain here when I am gone. No perhaps about it. Every time I have left, I came back. This has always been home. I’m not sure how it will feel to leave it again. I’m not so sure I ever want to.
Then there is a part of me that feels restless. Feels I need some kind of adventure. Like becoming too comfortable is something to be afraid of. My heart wants to be rootless. Nomadic. Undaunted and fearless. Not holding anything back.
Then I’m reminded of my limitations and it all goes back to staying put. Oh, how the humanity in me desires security.