Holly Sha molly!! I am sitting here taking a break with my ice water and brewing a small afternoon of coffee delight. I have spent the day washing dog bedding, throw rugs, shampooing area rugs, vacuuming and washing all the floors, washing stinky dogs….I guess I’m doing the spring cleaning but today I was motivated by the landlady. My soon to be former landlady and the last landlady or lord I shall ever have God be willing.
She asked to show the place today and I am thrilled since we still have a month and a half on this lease and the thought of paying a mortgage and rent next month is not my happy place. I want the place to look its best. This home has really served us well and I’m sure I will shed a tear when we leave this old friend that has been so sweet and cozy. This little cottage is where I started my humble writing career (still humble but less humble, eh hum).
I moved in here and as soon as I was unpacked and had toured the neighborhood with the kids and the stroller, I sat down and wrote the first of 15, now 16 books as of the other day. Praise God and praise Him for this wonderful home of inspiration.
And now I pack daily and wash walls and floors to prepare to hand over my little home that I’ve been borrowing and go on to my very own tiny, tiny castle in Yuba City by the old town and the river and all those walnut orchards.
I am also preparing to start homeschooling after the summer and had an orientation at Core Academy last night. Before our journey over to the Charter school, I dropped by the little castle and I have to say, it looks a bit Puerto Rican these days.
I was debating a yellow exterior or a little Periwinkle blue (I don’t know that what I have in my mind as Periwinkle is really what the color truly is but the name sounds swell). After having a bit of a tuft with the paint man at Sherwin Williams…and losing, I went with a blue. I picked a random but pretty blue out of desperation. My children were acting crazy, one was being a dinosaur and the other was grabbing fist fulls of paint samples and throwing them like confetti and the paint man looked hung over and like we were working his very last nerve. He said they didn’t have yellow in an exterior paint. I assured him that the house next door had found a yellow exterior paint and the house down the street and many houses in America. He said he couldn’t do the paint I wanted and so I grabbed a random chip and said, “Fine, do this one then.”
The color is vibrant and blue as the Caribbean. I don’t think there is a house in Yuba City that will be able to match that color. Helicopters will be able to see us from the sky. As for the other rooms within the house, well, those are all different colors too. I love it! I can do my house any crazy way I want! I can plant as many trees and hang an old fashioned clothes line, plant my big vegetable garden and have a hundred bird feeders and chimes off the eaves. For me, those are the pros of owning a home. And housing security during these wild housing times.
For those of you who have just joined this story, my home was a HUD home I won in a bid, simply because no one else bid that night. I paid a small sum of $135,000 for this little 1941 house. I then learned the history. It had been housing squatters, drug dealers, and prostitutes, oh my! I was warned by the elder across the street to not leave any blue shoes out on the porch (that meant the drugs were in) and now I’ve gone and painted the whole house blue. The poor house was a bit of a mess and very depressed. The energy was horrible and I felt sad each time I visited as we worked on the place.
We found a skilled old carpenter and have been cleaning, painting, and repairing since. The house feels so good now and has no funky smell left. The birds are gathering in the yard and the neighbors come out to greet us when we show up. Everyone is grateful. Including us. The house is a blessing to us and we are blessing to it and the neighborhood.
We are spending nearly every pretty penny that we have saved for the last 6 years to bring this home back to life. I believe that we will have a bit of saving left because we are being frugal about the work. For example, some of the electricians wanted to tear out all the wiring and redo it because it was knob and tube. The thing is that knob and tube is actually some of the best wirings from the old days when they made stuff to last. If it hasn’t been chewed through by mice or fried then it’s great. To replace it would cost at least $13,000 or more and the walls would be destroyed. My walls are lathe and plaster and I don’t want those touched so we just did what actually needed the attention. We did the plumbing that needed it and not all of it. The house has good bones and what it really needed was a lot of soap and lipstick.
So, I sit here and think about my new blessing. I have dreams at night about having babies and weddings all the time now. My friend thinks it’s all subconscious stuff about this house. Rebirth, a commitment. It is funny, I had a dream about getting married and having to borrow a “very blue” dress. And just like a marriage, I’ve had the quiet freak outs at night wondering if this was going to go well. Yuba City is a very different land compared to Sacramento. However, we drove through there yesterday evening and everywhere you go are Punjabi’s with their brightly colored dress and turbans and chickens and it is about the most charming thing ever. Yuba City has chickens everywhere you look and they all know how to use the crosswalks. Sigh.