These days, I find myself with some time on my hands. This morning I am feeling a little nostalgic. I rarely look back on my Philadelphia homes with anything less than happiness. They were good days. I never fully regret selling my houses (although admittedly, I regret selling the little condo from time to time.)
Today, I’m thinking about the Art Museum Area house . . .
It was about this time, 9 years ago . . .
I was living with my boyfriend and took a quick walk to the little corner store. On the way back, I noticed an Open House on Centennial Row. I had admired that block for some time. The row houses stood tall, three stories plus a basement. Each one painted in a variety of Victorian colors. Why not stop in?
It was a cold and wintery Sunday afternoon. The real estate agent was kind and super pleasant. Not pushy. He showed me around. I fell in love, again. I quickly called the BF and he came around to see the house. It never occurred to me that we would EVER consider making an offer on such a house. But that’s exactly what we did.
We were told that other offers would be going in on Monday. The house had two other deals that had fallen through, and the seller, no longer in the country, was anxious to sell. Our offer was the lowest, but I had written a letter to the seller. It was personal, but I hoped to touch him in some way.
It worked. By the end of February, my BF, our Turkish roommate, and I moved into the Big House! What a joy. And there was plenty of room for all of us. The house was bigger than the one I grew up in with my dozen or so siblings.
Some of my favorite things:
My parents bought there first home when I was in the first grade. Both of my parents were well into their 40s by then. Pop never wanted to owe anyone anything, so a mortgage was frightening to him. But in the end, Mom got her house and still lives there today. With this kind of start, it was hard to imagine I would by a home some day.
How lucky was I to have owned a delightful condo and a beautiful row home, both historical. Every once in a while, I think about how lucky I was to have been born an American. Anything can happen there. A poor little girl can find ways to get a good education, find a great job, and live a life of adventure!
And of course, I can’t forget that with the old house came the adventure of many many projects! I still can’t believe that my sister and I loaded all that flagstone into my truck, and then unloaded down a long path to my yard. How lucky I was to have a brother who spent months installing windows and a fan, painting my rooms, crafting radiator covers; a nephew who attacked a tree stump for more than a week after at least a dozen contractors refused; and a BF-turned husband who became one hell of a weekend warrior! My husband, family and I did everything ourselves except for the carpeting.