01 January 2014

Merry Christmas, Welcome Home…

…called Abdul from his front porch, two doors down. He was headed out as we sat on our newly occupied porch drinking our evening glass of Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel; overlooking our quiet street.

Abdul owns that house and was working on the day in June when Carol—the Realtor—and I broke in through the window to view the vacant property. It’s neglected innards laid bare.

We slid open the large window by the front door and climbed in. The interior of the three-bedroom house, painted Funhouse-green, Pepto-pink, and Mustard-yellow, held ghosts of infestations past. Walls in the kitchen and bath were pocked with roach waste and egg sacs in every corner. Rodent grains and pebbles littered the floors of the kitchen cabinets. Overlooking that—and ancient water stains on both ceilings (first and second floor)—the place had potential. It boasted arched entryways and an open floor plan on the main level, a good sized master bedroom and a large, verdant back yard.

Later, during this first walk-through hubby showed up and immediately agreed. The neighborhood was/is what we call up-and-coming, the price was just right, and the seller was desperate to shed the vacant house from her portfolio. Later that week we put in a low-ball bid that was accepted. Within 30 days we went to closing. So, we dug out monies from savings and investment accounts and paid our original bid for our house. The keys to our handyman’s dream house were handed over on the 4th of July.

Work began in mid-July and has proceeded at a leisurely pace since then. Initially we planned to move in after the New Year but were happy to find that our fantastic contractors, electricians, plumbers, flooring specialists, tile mavericks (that was strictly him and me), and painters did their job much quicker than anticipated.

As soon as our collective  work Christmas breaks commenced, we packed up a borrowed vehicle and shifted our bed, sofas, clothes, and tables into the new space. We even got help from J&J contractors –the folks responsible for most of the work in our place. On Christmas Eve-eve we unpacked. On that cold evening we ordered in Chinese and ate around our beautiful wooden bistro table and chairs. Then we snuck out to the porch for a post-dinner glass of wine. There we met Abdul and called out our holiday greetings after his poignant phrase “Merry Christmas, welcome home.”

And just like that, it was real. We were (basically) fully moved in and going to spend every *foreseeable night under our own newly fixed roof.

*barring annual trips to the Caribbean.