Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Castle in the Air

There are three things I have long wanted to do but at this point sort of figured I maybe never would: one, kayak the entire perimeter of the Salton Sea, two, get a breast reduction, and three, buy Jo and Don's house (when they're finished with it, of course).

Numbers one and two I'm still working on. I just never seem to be able to find the time and energy to do the first and the second scares the bejesus out of me even though I think it would be the best decision I ever made. But three? Three is now a definite possibility.

I called Jo today after snooping around the County Assessor's office for some information about the little house a block down that's been vacant since I moved into this wretched Peyton Place. It belonged to a doctor and her husband and was foreclosed on when they divorced and left town, and it has extensive water damage throughout due to the freezing and breaking of every single above-ground pipe. I found the open mortgage to be valued at way more than the house is worth, so I called Jo to whine, and she had something serious to say.

"Can you wait a year and a half? Then you could buy our house. After Don's heart attack I've been thinking that we'd better move closer to one of the kids, probably up by Deed in Rapid City. We'll take the fifth-wheels and the boat and be snowbirds in the winter. You'd really be ready in a year and a half."

I almost cried. I can't tell you how much I love their two-bedroom house two blocks away from here, and Jo knows this. They bought it cheap and run down and poured their hearts into it. The small galley kitchen has an East window, so the morning sunlight pours in, and the window looks out onto the covered redwood deck where Jo hangs waterfalls of petunias in the summertime. The bedroom on the first floor faces West, so the afternoon sunlight floods in. The whole upper level is hardwood floors and beautiful touches, since Don did the work himself. In the big bathroom he walled the tub in with ice-cube glass blocks he salvaged from the State Hospital, and he installed the counter higher than normal. (He was so tickled when Morgan noticed this during one of several tours. "I just got tired of leaning," said six-foot-something Don.) There's an enclosed porch on the front that is a pretty tight squeeze but I'm sure I could find something useful to do with it. I wouldn't know what to do with all the closets and cupboards, since I've never had any storage at all in my apartments.

The basement is the coziest place I've ever seen, with pine panelling and a wood-burning stove. They just finished it in the last few years and Jo scoured the world for the perfect antique sideboard in the corner, where she keeps all the liquor. They installed egress windows in the long basement bedroom and a basement bathroom to change the legal description of the house to two-bedroom, two bath. Don built a fitted-slate corner patio in the front yard, and there's a tiny basketball court behind the two-car garage, which sits back from the street on a new asphalt drive.

They own the lot next door and Jo quoted me the price Don wants for the house and both lots. I told her it was way too low. She said she knows, but to sit tight and see what happens in a year and a half. I can hardly wait. But I am also realistic, and I know that things might change. So for right now, I'm just going to daydream a little. Because that's never hurt anyone, has it?


Blogger JOB said...

Good Show Adriane,

I hope you get the House. I wish I could say the same out here. Prices are still climbing and interest rates have been killing me, well for now. My new job is fantastic and I finally made a purchase I have been talking about for years. I bought a silver plated Marching Baritone from eBay. So we will see how things go ! I really want to get back into playing music again. I know my time is streched but I can always make time for the things I love and enjoy. I hope you are doing well.



February 23, 2006 at 12:02 AM  
Blogger A said...

Good show, yourself. Let me know how picking up the ol' instrument goes. I haven't played MB in a while now; wish I had a decent group to play with. I'm always doing well.

February 23, 2006 at 1:23 AM  
Blogger dorothy rothschild said...

Oh, to buy a house! If I stay in NYC, I will likely never own property, what with me working in nonprofitland and Mr. Benchley in his government job. A real house. With a yard. Where a gal could have a garden. Sigh.

February 23, 2006 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Shepcat said...

A liquor cabinet and a basketball court… Sounds idyllic. You know, except for the whole "12 degrees, feels like 2 degrees" thing.

February 23, 2006 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger A said...

Oh B, you'd survive. You've survived wasps and ice storms, right? A little neoprene and you can take on the arctic, too.

Such gardens, Dot! We may have a paltry three-month growing season, but the things you can grow! I'll upload some pics of Jo's garden in July. Fantastic.

February 23, 2006 at 12:34 PM  
Anonymous K said...

Hey I know one hell of a mortgage guru that can help you out.

February 23, 2006 at 1:41 PM  
Blogger A said...

It had better be you, Bubba.

February 23, 2006 at 4:07 PM  

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