Saturday, July 25, 2009

It's a Love/Hate Relationship

I love our house. I hate our house.

Let me explain. We live with my father in law in his 100 + year old farmhouse. After Tommy lost his job last year, we struggled and lived paycheck to paycheck on my salary. We did ok for the most part, but it was hard. It still is some days. Once the bills were paid and groceries bought, there was very little to last until the next check. Howard, my f-i-l, came to us and asked us to move in with him. His reasoning was that his health was declining, he could no longer take care of the house, and he wanted to spend more time with Skylar and Alex. We weighed our options and finances, and decided it was really a no-brainer to move in with him.

After much cleaning up and cleaning out, we moved in. The house was built in the late 1800s. It has 12 ft ceilings in all rooms. It has the original heart of pine hardwood floors. There is a globe light on the newel post at the bottom of the stairs. There are 4 bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs and 1 bedroom and another bathroom downstairs. There is a living room, den, dining room, kitchen and laundry room/back porch downstairs. There is a sitting area between two of the bedrooms up stairs.

That's the great part about the house. Now, for the not so great parts of the house.

The foundation has shifted, so that when you are walking in certain parts of the house you are actually walking down-hill. The floors slope in just about every room of the house, both upstairs and down. There is no central heat or air in the house. We have 1 window unit that has to cool the entire house, or at least try to. We keep the doors to the dining room closed and the door to Howard's living room closed to try to keep it cool. (Howard has a separate window a/c unit in his bedroom that cools his bedroom, bathroom and living room. He also has a separate gas heater for the winter.) There is a gas heater in our living room that heats it and the upstairs. The dining room and kitchen do not have any heat or a/c at all. The walls in all rooms, except for 2, are plaster. Know what plaster does when the foundation settles and shifts? It cracks. Not little bitty cracks, HUGE cracks. Across the entire walls. Not to mention, the original wiring and plumbing. Oh, and we have a few ghosts wandering around as well.

I am grateful for the home that Howard has provided. I truly am. I love him even more for what he has done for us. But, holy cow, is he ever a pack rat! We can't throw anything out because when we do, he'll be looking for it 2 days later. It never fails. Ever.

Thankfully, the house is big enough to hold all of his stuff and most of ours. We still have boxes stacked in corners in various rooms.

Earlier this week, Tommy declared today to be a cleaning out day. We tackled the back porch/laundry room. I.AM.FREAKING.TIRED. Three trips to the dump. We can see the whole porch now, though.

I would love to have enough money to totally remodel the entire house. From top to bottom. But for now I will just have to continue with my love/hate relationship with the house.


  1. I have done the moving to the in-laws big old home thing and it was both a blessing and a curse. Such a money saver and such work and repairs too.

    Hope Tommy gets a new job soon. Meanwhile Howard needs you girl.

  2. We live in a Victorian house and have the same love/hate relationship with it. But we know that we aren't "new" house people. We love the history and feel of the old house. It's like a favorite t-shirt.