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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday — Coming home

Hard to believe that 17 years ago today, we moved into our house.

Given all that has happened in Greenwich, CT, home sales since, it is also laughable we just managed to afford it thanks to a special loan for first-time home buyers and the fact that this was considered an “affordable” area of town.

It didn’t hurt that the house had languished on the market for awhile. Its spiral staircase was not a selling point for most young families, save ours.

The spirial staircase was a deal-breaker for a lot of people who looked at the house. We thought it was charming -- although it has proved a logistical nightmare and wasn't real toddler-friendly! Here's Catherine headed to her choral concert two Christmases ago.

The spirial staircase was a deal-breaker for a lot of people who looked at the house. We thought it was charming — although it has proved a logistical nightmare and wasn’t real toddler-friendly! Here’s Catherine headed to her choral concert a few Christmases ago.

In the years since, we’ve watched homes in the neighborhood razed and replaced with bigger, more upscale houses. Selling prices are more than double what we paid for our cozy little Cape.

In bed last night, Basil and I remembered some of the crazy times this house has seen since our arrival before the ink dried on the deed:

  • The removal of the rusted oil tank just days before we signed the papers.

Tank2

  • Catherine’s stamp of approval on the place and how it was almost more important than my Dad’s inspection of the plumbing and wiring.
  • The ridiculous landscaping tasks we undertook in those early days — ripping out what seemed like miles of pachysandra and replacing it with grass; Basil manhandling a crappy half-dead bush by the front door, ripping the thing out by its roots; moving an old wood-basket planter by the front door that disintegrated in our hands.

The former owners had left us an old lawn mower and vacuum. We joked for ages that we’d bought them and the house came for free.

Over the years, we’ve repaired the roof; replaced the garage door, windows, appliances (twice); updated the downstairs bathroom; and helped Catherine create pink and then purple palaces for her bedroom.

The Pink Palace not long after its completion.

The Pink Palace not long after its completion.

  • We’ve hosted barbecues …
It seems Basil got the grill hot enough.

It seems Basil got the grill hot enough.

…birthday parties…

Ah, yes, the garden party cake. Making those flowers sounded so very easy. Until I was there at the kitchen counter for hours flattening those blasted gumdrops with a rolling pin, then using the kitchen shears to shape them.

Ah, yes, the garden party cake. Making those flowers sounded so very easy. Until I was there at the kitchen counter for hours flattening those blasted gumdrops with a rolling pin, then using the kitchen shears to shape them.

…and family gatherings.

This is the only halfway decent Christmas picture I could get out of these jokers. From left: Mom, Basil, Dad and Catherine, taking the edge off with some snacks before dinner on Tuesday.

This is the only halfway decent Christmas picture I could get out of these jokers. From left: Mom, Basil, Dad and Catherine, taking the edge off with some snacks before dinner on Tuesday.

  • Celebrated 17 Christmases
Catherine and her freshly displayed Christmas stocking in 2002. What a difference a decade makes!

Catherine and her freshly displayed Christmas stocking in 2002.

  • Weathered blizzards …
I guess it's true? When you say "Budweiser," you've said it all.

I guess it’s true? When you say “Budweiser,” you’ve said it all.

… and a crazy hurricane.

Some of the cleanup work that awaits us this weekend in the back yard. This is the ass end of our neighbor's tree, upended during the storm. It managed to avoid hitting their house, but left a huge crater in the lawn. Basil is thinking we should install a hot tub there...

Some of the cleanup work that awaits us this weekend in the back yard. This is the ass end of our neighbor’s tree, upended during the storm. It managed to avoid hitting their house, but left a huge crater in the lawn. Basil is thinking we should install a hot tub there…

  • Cleaned up after an overflowing dishwasher, snow melting through the kitchen ceiling and stopped-up toilets.
  • Cooked who knows how many meals.

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  • Raked, shoveled, mowed, clipped and seeded the yard again and again.
Basil and Catherine, May 2002. Now she only does yard work under protest.

Basil and Catherine, May 2002. Now she only does yard work under protest.

Anyone who visits can see the house needs a quite a bit of TLC. It’s not the most stylish abode and to be frank, a coat or two of paint and some new carpeting and furniture would go a long way.

Still, there’s no place we’d rather be.

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

Discussion

6 thoughts on “Flashback Friday — Coming home

  1. So many memories attached to a place! We’ve been here almost 41 years, and are slowly getting it to be what we want. Next project is to gut and redo both bathrooms. Now you’ve started me thinking of all the things that have happened since we moved. Wow!

    Posted by Karen Waggoner | August 1, 2015, 12:04 pm
  2. Wonderful! The homes that survive are treasures. I grew up in the Edgewater neighborhood – still many of the original homes.

    Posted by Susan Connal | August 1, 2015, 9:40 am
  3. I loved your story. Your family and your house grew up together and now you all share 17 years of memories, both good and not so good, but you are all still together and better than you were 17 years ago.

    Posted by Carole Currid | July 31, 2015, 5:20 pm

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