Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In which we recognize that owning a house is a bit like Stockholm Syndrome.

Owning a house is a bit like Stockholm Syndrome.
"I love my house," one says. "It is full of charm, and it is Mine."
This keeps up until one has an opportunity to leave said house, to end the mortgage and find a better place to live.
"I hate this house," one says. "Nothing is level, and that cabinet sticks, and it's cold and tight and cramped, with no closets or basement or storage space, and an inefficient heating system and insulation, and I had to hang the curtains crooked just so they would look level!"
We're selling the house this year and moving across town to the house I grew up. (Well, we're hoping it sells quickly, that awful Thanksgiving snow storm tore down several large limbs on our flowering pear trees and crushed our rhododendrons, and honestly I'm pretty annoyed that that happened to some of our selling features only once we had decided to sell.) My parents are building an in-law apartment behind the house, downsizing from the two-story house that is ideal for raising a family but not ideal for the long-term plans of retirement (this works out ideally for Liam and I, as we are, indeed, at this moment, raising a family). It's a return to multi-generational living that was the societal norm before the 20th century brought the Postwar construction boom! We get the space, they get the security of independent living with family right there to help out (I'm sure my father is thrilled that he'll no longer be solely responsible for the front yard and the driveway). We're delighted to have the opportunity to have Calvin grow up with his grandparents right next door, convenient for sneaky cookies and play. We are also excited for a house with closets.

Here is a picture of Tomoe being cute.
This decision couldn't come at a better time, as we just got Calvin's routine one-year lead levels bloodwork back, and his lead levels are at the highest possible measurement that is still technically in the "normal" range. Did we mention that our current house is 140 years old, and probably full of lead in all sorts of spots that we didn't realize? All those "charming architectural details" that dazzled us when we were naive first-time homebuyers are suddenly a lot less charming now that we've lived with them for three years.

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