It's been just about a year since the saga of my home purchase began. I put the purchase offer in, and it was accepted with just a little back-and-forth, on February 22, 2009. At first, things went incredibly smoothly. Then, as regular readers know, everything went to hell and continued that downward descent for several months. It was a great relief to finally move into Herself on July 16...until I immediately began having issues with the upstairs bathroom. And so hell continued for two more months.
It's been five months since the bathroom was finished, and many people have asked if I'm settling in. Frankly, the honest answer has been no. My stuff is on the walls, my furniture is in place, the kitchen cabinets are organized to my taste. I'm paying the mortgage, the taxes, the outrageous gas bills, and have shoveled my own sidewalk a couple of times. But it hasn't really felt like home.
This is a little disconcerting.
Having just saddled myself with a good thirty years (hopefully less) of large-scale debt, not feeling comfortable in between the walls and therefore finding a new place is not exactly an option. Not like finding a new apartment, at least. So it seems rather important to get to the bottom of this general discomfort. Part of it has been feeling like I'm tiptoeing around, waiting for the next Big Repair to jump out of a corner and bite me in the ass. This is unlikely to happen, given that there are many new things in the house (i.e., roof, windows, furnace), and heaven knows the plumbing is in GREAT shape now. Part of it has been the financial aspect, but it's really OK when I take a deep breath and look at it. So why still, doesn't this feel like home?
Notice the color, please. Or lack thereof. That's my bedroom window over the summer, right after I finished those curtains. The WHOLE HOUSE is the "color" of those walls. Well, except the kitchen, because I painted in there as fast as I could, before the stove and stuff came. But the entire house is contractor vanilla, both trim and walls, and the carpet is beige. (And cheap, I might add. Cheap crap. Big surprise.)
My last apartment was white. White walls, white trim, white curtains, whitewhitewhite. But it was an apartment, meant to be a way-station, so I didn't mind. I had my stuff up all over the place, and it was fine.
Well, this isn't a way-station. This is HOME. But it just looks like a larger apartment. "My stuff" isn't enough to overpower the apartment-like blandness of the walls. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The picture with my bed in it is the truest to the color, "Polaris Blue." I wish I could get a good shot of the curtains against the wall. I'll try later. Those are prayer flags on the top dresser drawer, with Lung-ta, the Windhorse, on them. (When it feels like the ground is disappearing beneath you, ask for the strength of the Windhorse to support you and keep you steady.) The quilt is Amish/Mennonite.
"My place" is MY PLACE when it is colorful. I think I'm getting there.