Monday, August 20, 2007

Shouldn't have done it.

On my walks, I pass by a house that has stood empty for several years. Neighbors told me the story of its owner, a 100 year-old woman who is now in a nursing home. After she had to leave, her son (probably in his late 70s) had been dropping by to check on it.

Recently, I've noticed work being done to the house: new windows and doors, patching and fresh paint.

Today, I walked by and the old gentleman was out doing something to the fence. We started chatting, and I found him very interesting and remarkably friendly. We talked for a bit, and he asked if I wanted to see the inside. Expecting nothing special, I agreed.

The house was built in the mid-1930s, and is more solid than the local rocks. His father, a naval architect, designed and built it. The outside is nondescript, but the interior is remarkably original; though repainted, the originality can't be hidden.

It is the first house I've been in for many years that felt like a home. There is a warmth and honesty to the design that modern pads can't match. Just wandering through the rooms, with their large windows, was relaxing. It's an honest old house.

It is also uncommonly large for the area. Essentially, it has three stories, and more rooms than anyone without a largish family would need.

I asked why all the fixing-up, and he said he had decided to have it ready to rent out or, when the inevitable day arrives, sell. He has his own home, in a far fancier location, and wouldn't live here.

Even though I have a good idea of what the house could rent or sell for -- you don't want to know -- I somehow felt compelled to give him my card and ask that he call when/if the situation changed or resolved.

I could no more afford this place than I could come up with the loot for a penthouse in Manhattan. Not, that is, without the kind of financial boost that only a lottery win could give someone in my position.

All I know is the house seemed to be telling me I belong there, and that's a rare thing.

Besides, my 1930s-vintage painted metal dining room set, with its stainless-steel legs and trim, would fit right into the alcove next to the kitchen....

After having so many dreams crushed, this is one I can enjoy until someone else actually ends up with the place. I wouldn't even feel much sadness then, so long as the next owner doesn't tear it down to built a grotesque "McMansion."

A nice little miracle wouldn't go amiss....

11 comments:

joan said...

Lottery dreams are fun. I buy the odd ticket if a street person doesn't sweet talk me out of my walking dollar before I pass the convenience store. Somebody has to win! Might as well be us.

MrScribbler said...

joan -- all the tickets I've bought (not that many) have been "odd...."

picaboblu said...

good luck!

Birdie said...

hmmm, maybe they need someone to be a live-in house watcher/landlord? payment could be free rent at least .... sound good? :-)

John said...

Maybe if you tell them you belong there they'll sell it to you for a dollar.

I saw something close to that happen with a sailing yacht, once.

justfly said...

Sounds like a wonderful house.

paulafrances said...

I wish I could see it, it sounds beautiful.
I so hope that you get a call. To some people it would be worth a lot to know the house was loved and cared for. Maybe that is why he invited you in...

paulafrances said...

Good grief, I just saw that the blogger account I opened is showing up. I should have named it Sophronia, I really like that name!

No entries there though....

sugarcane said...

Isn't it wonderful when it just feels right? There is so much new building going on here, and I long for a home that has some character. Oh, and a backyard would be nice, too.

Buy a lottery ticket, cause you never know what can happen.

becomingkate said...

It sounds wonderful! Maybe you could do what Bill used to do when he first got back to Calgary. He offered to mow the lawn and do the odd maintenance job to keep his rent below $400. I thought that was great - mine was over $700!

Anonymous said...

Odd tickets. Mine too, mine too. But for 24 hors or so I can dream.