“No man but feels more of a man in the world if he have but a bit of ground that he can call his own. However small it is on the surface, it is four thousand miles deep; and that is a very handsome property. “ ~Charles Dudley Warner.
I am buying a house.
It isn’t the first house I have owned; in fact, it is the latest in a long string of homes with my signature on the mortgage. But this house is different. It is the first house I have bought as a single woman. This is my “start-over” house – post-divorce, post-cancer, post 50-year milestone birthday.
The land around my former marital home had held me tightly in its rocky fist. It was a homey little spread on a hill on the New York side of the Green Mountains, where I expected to grow old working the land and raising my bees, and enjoying retirement with my then-husband. I planted fruit trees the first year we lived there, and I poked over 100 tiny plugs of lavender into holes and willed them to grow like good little soldiers. Lambs became lawn mowers in the hayfield; hens of all colors picked and scratched at the ground. Gardens were tilled, and the bees I tended at the top of hill soon filled the air with that gentle Buddha-like hum that I loved so much (and we’ll talk about bees on this blog, too, although I don’t expect to maintain any hives at #14 Vine). But the day after Christmas in 2007, I said goodbye and headed down the hill knowing it was over.
I had a number of adventures over the last three years, but this blog is about the little house at #14 Vine St. I hadn’t planned on looking for a house just yet; the ink was barely dry on the divorce decree (or should I say “degree” as it was an education in itself!) and I had piles of bills to contend with. But the Universe had other plans! Last October brought a chill in the air and new upstairs neighbors in the apartment building. Let’s just say the energy of the building changed dramatically – and I knew it was time me to find a place of my own.
So that’s where #14 Vine St. came in. On the outside, the 96-year-old house was faded, and green paint curled and clung to the old clapboard siding, unwilling to let go completely. The three of us (my agent, a friend and I) stepped into the front entry and felt a welcoming pull; a whispered “hello” from the quiet structure. The house had been empty for two years, and it almost seemed as if the walls leaned inward to greet us in its loneliness. “This might be the one,” I told my real estate agent. It had no yard to speak of – it was tucked in shoulder to shoulder with other houses on a city street. But the vibe was right.
I’ll reach back into the past along the life of this blog to tell you about that first day, and about making offers and negotiating contracts, so that you may learn along the way. I’ll tell you about the home inspection that was conducted a few weeks ago, and I’ll fill you in on the actual closing that is coming up in February. You are invited to follow along as I get to know this old house, make repairs, and give #14 Vine a new start – and myself a new adventure! But for now, I’m simply saying hello, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride!