Tuesday, April 6, 2010


We toured a house today, a spectacular remodel worth several million dollars. It was very fun...the dramatic stairways and light fixtures, the rooftop patio with the view of the city skyline. What a house.

I love looking at houses, new and old ones, the infinite variety, the way light alters hallways and rooms. Observing other people's decorating is always interesting also. People do such cool things...or misguided things, and that's entertaining too.

I realize though, part of why it's so much fun is because I'm content. I have no desire to live in any of these houses. They're interesting and nice, but stir up no longing. I'm living in the only house I've ever loved.

Below is something from last summer on that topic:

"Today the spirit moved me and I bought supper for them from the deli and then put on my painting clothes at 5pm. I found the old bucket of paint labeled "livingroom and hallways" and the other bucket of white enamel, the brushes, pans, roller. I rolled up the hallway rugs and shoved them in Maria's room.

I spent the evening in the hot upstairs hallway painting. It's been at least 18 years since it was last painted, and it was long overdue. The scruffiness of the woodwork and walls has been bothering me for at least a year. But I got it done. Tomorrow I can put the second coat on the woodwork and sew some curtains to match the living room. I have extra fabric from those curtains. I have a can of paste wax for the floor.

It's looking so much better, clean and bright again, not scuffed and neglected. While I was rollering the stairway, where the plaster wall curves above the stairs and the cove begins, trying not to drip paint on the flowered carpeting in the stairway, I thought how much I love this house. The hallway is shaped like an L with funny 40s light fixtures on each side, and an extra door in the hallway goes out onto the flat roof.

All the time I'm in other houses selling real estate. But even when I'm in million dollar houses I have never wanted a single one, never wished it were mine. I've got the funny old house I want, the maple floors and inefficient original windows and doors, the shiny plaster and flowered curtains, the quirky patio and gaudy tile in the bathrooms. The house feels like an old friend.

Julia had to make a dozen trips through the wet paint gauntlet. What IS it with five year olds? Just a destiny to pest? Demonstrating how she can crack her own toes next to a full paint pan? Unh. "Oh, and I need Yo-J." Of course you do.

After I was done painting I went to my case of diet Coke and discovered they'd drank at least six cans while I was distracted. I'd overheard James telling them not to eat guacamole chips in Jay's bed.

"Please, for the love of God, get out of his bed with the chips." (Jay was at his girlfriend's.) They ignored James until he mentioned the bad karma involved. I should linger in the hallway upstairs and eavesdrop more.

I'm going to go scrub the paint off my arms and out of my hair now. Tomorrow is Friday and a party on some friends' patio. Whee. They're way out of our league and I feel this whenever we're together--their youngest children are like 25. They have fancy new homes, not funny old houses. They have no five years olds demonstrating toe cracking while they paint the hallway.

Heidi's wedding dress came in and we picked it up last night. We laced her into it, and it fits beautifully, the color is so perfect with her skin, shows off her dad's pretty shoulders and elegant collar bones. She looked like an angel. Her 25th birthday was yesterday. I looked at her modeling her wedding dress and thought if I only could have known 25 years ago, with that tiny round newborn with my dad's lips tucked under my chin, that 25 years later we'd be picking up her wedding dress... all the beautiful moments being Heidi's mom." Love, Val

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