We’ve lived in you for more than a year but we haven’t taken a moment to properly introduce ourselves. We set out to fix you up without finding out anything about you. Your history is still a mystery and your birthday is rather vague. Your true colors are hiding beneath an outer garment of horrid aluminum and we have stripped your lovely porch and replaced it with something charming and beautiful but new and presumably not quite as comfortable. I hope you do not hold these changes against us for we are merely trying to restore you to your former glory. Little by little we are turning your grouchy and wrinkled facade to one of stately elegance. You were once a beauty and we are scrubbing away at the filth to show the graceful and elegant matriarch you are destined to become.
Some of these changes will not be easy as you have certainly experienced. The removal of the brids and squirrels has taken from you the sound of babies crying for their mothers and the timid first steps in your attic. I am sure these are the things that make a house feel full and fulfilled but the squirrels and birds are poor substitutes for a real family under your (now) sturdy roof. In time, the sounds of a happy family will return to you and you will again fulfill your role of protector from the cold. Removing these squatters was a necessary step towards this happy family.
I’m sure you were sad to see your porch go. We certainly we sad to have to tear it down but after 100 years, it was time. The new porch is sturdy and strong and will last another 100 years. We tried to stay true to your style and we sense you are pleased. You seem to be standing taller and straighter, no longer slouching forward, with the new porch in place. The new deck out back is hardly 100% your style but it does bring with it laughing guests and an owner that sighs with contentment while sipping on coffee and looking out over her garden.
Certainly, the cold has not agreed with you. Your paint is peeling and we saw the wrath of the cold in burst pipes in the 3rd floor while the house was supposedly winterized. Last winter was cold to be sure but we have walls and insulation now and this winter will be better. We will be warm and cozy living on the second floor right in your very core. And don’t worry about the paint. I’ve taken to scraping it and painting it well. Soon enough, you won’t even be able to tell there was flaking. See, it’s looking better already:
I hope you are pleased with the added structure we added in the bathroom. I know you were saggy and some more support must be more comfortable in the long run. But, like shoe inserts, added support can be so uncomfortable at first. I hope you are doing all right. You just have to break them in and then supported arches are well worth the initial discomfort.
I’m sorry we couldn’t fix all the sagging but it would be like giving an 100 year old lady a boob job. It just isn’t natural! Unless there is structural damage, a little sagging is natural and acceptable. The best way to age gracefully is to accept your age and the wrinkles and sags that come with it. That isn’t to say a good coat of paint or some wrinkle cream can’t be put to use!
I have so many questions for you dear house. You have seem many things in your many years but how many thing? How many families have passed through your rooms? How many changes and how many children? We’ve heard snippets of a large family with 6 kids and grape vines covering the back deck. We have a vague idea of a 1920s remodel and an earlier build date but no idea just how old and sordid your history might be. Any deaths? Any robberies? Murder? We’ve seen no evidence of ghosts but it certainly seems like you are the creepy house on the street. Why don’t you have any ghosts? Perhaps you protect and love your families such that they never have need to haunt. Frankly I’m more worried about the living. Is the previous owner, the one that was foreclosed on, is she still around? Is she angry? I hope she doesn’t take out her anger on you. We will protect and maintain you. That is our job is it not? You protect us from the wind and rain and the cold and we protect you and fix you when you are broken.
I so hope you are loving your new owners. Vector seems to have taken to you as well. He knows more of your secrets than we do I’m sure. He has explored every nook and cranny. He misses hanging out in your walls and floors but it can’t be helped. Cats aren’t supposed to have free reign of the insides of the walls! It must tickle to have that fluffy cat running through your floors and tickling your beams with his wiskers.
Alas, it is time to put a close to this letter. I hope I have elucidated some of our motives and adequately explained the changes we felt necessary. Not too many large changes are on the horizon. Paint and finishing touches but we’re all set on the demolition for a while. That should be a relief. I for one am certainly looking forward to a little peace and quiet for a while.
P.S. Oh, and if you decide to make any sudden changes, widening the stairway a couple inches would be super!