ME: Ahem...is this thing on? Hello. Attention. Attention.
Snow boots...packed...I guess I didn't think I would need them when I arrived. I was hoping to have made my grand entrance while the weather was marvelous. Poor planning. I also ran over my wonderful snow shovel with the tractor, then left my replacement at the river house.
Well, we made it here...finally. I didn't expect it to take so long nor be so painful emotionally, financially. On the bright side, in the long run, we will be better off and I can be a normal mom. Just the short run of things have been costly and emotional up and down. Yet, despite all the setbacks, I'm not afraid of blazing a new trail.
Let me back up to November 29 and go forward from there...
The weather had been so mild I didn't need a coat, nor my long underwear underneath my uniform. It was the last night of living on the river. It was the last time I would own my horses. The house was finally sold and the horses were staying with the new owners, a very nice family. They would be well taken care of and they would stay in the home they had known for over 8 years. I still miss them today and often have tears when of think of them and the Old Man we had buried the day before. I hugged on them and gave them kisses while coating them in my pitiful sobs.
The days were rushed and the boys packed up my moving truck. Not only that...they accidentally packed up all my clothes I had set out for the next months and toiletries..oh, and some things got broken in the move. However, I was blessed to have those that showed up to help because it was way too much work for me. Two days later I was on the road several miles away to put my things in storage and look for a new place to live. My heart was heavy from leaving my horses, my place, and burying my dog.
In the midst of my bittersweet mood, there were rays of sunshine...70 degrees to be exact in the place I was looking for a new abode. It took months and I was down to the final 8 that I would finally choose from or go home empty. When I meant "go home", I meant a cardboard box. I really was homeless.
We named all of them and it was the longest
The Crackle House
The first one was built in 1899. The outside was promising with a quaint stone porch and a groomed front yard, a garage, and fenced backyard. As we entered the original leaded glass front door, I heard my realtor say, "This one needs a lot of work." My shoulders sadly fell as I looked inside to see the walls were in disrepair and in the middle of the old staircase, the 2nd floor had shifted two inches and a poor
The Children of the Corn
The next one was one I had actually been calling on frequently, asking for more information from the homeowner. The yard was huge with big trees, the porch was wrap around and only needed minor TLC. The square footage was over 3100 feet with a screened porch "yippee". The staircase was something out of an old Fred Astaire movie and was spiral, about 5 feet wide and absolutely the most amazing thing, a grand staircase. The large foyer had inlaid wood flooring and the parlor fireplace was beautiful. The house boasted 3 fireplaces with original mantles and tiles. The kitchen needed a lot of work, all the floors needed to be refinished, and all the carpet needed to be ripped out. We had been told the house had served in the underground railroad during the Civil War. The tunnels were still all throughout the town and some leading to remote farms. The one in this house had just been sealed. Knob and tube wiring was still present even though the owners had told me they had rewired the whole house...uh, yeah, right. When I went upstairs, I met Glennifer running down. I asked him why he was in a hurry and he said, "Children of the corn." I laughed and went upstairs. It was in TERRIBLE, nasty condition and I was just appalled anyone could live as they did. When I went into what appeared to have been a child's room, I entered...and it lead to another room ...and another room inside that...and then the last one. It had drawings on the wall and gave me the heebie jeebies. I met my realtor downstairs and she said, "WAY overpriced. Too much work." I said, "Children of the corn." Well, it did have some amazing historical factors and at one time was probably a very grand home. Too much money would need to be sunk into that one.
The White Elephant
In another town, we looked at a large white regal home which towered in the spruce trees. It had a wonderful garage/shop, a pool, and a nice yard with more potential. I wasn't fond of the town. The house had had some rehab work, however, it needed another 100,000 dollars or more. It was a drive-by only because I knew the amount of work, but we went inside anyway. Someday, should it be completed, it would be a nice home. It was built in the early 1900s and had some wonderful woodwork, lots of character, leaded and stained glass, and good structure.
The Roller Coaster House
This house was totally remodeled. The front porch was divine. The yard was immaculate. The outside was freshly sided. As we looked up...we saw a spongy roof. Strange. Why not redo the roof? Crazy. Inside, the front room was nice with freshly refinished wood floors. It was two bedrooms but bragged three. The parlor had a closet in it so they disclosed it was a third bedroom. NOT. It was small. The garage was great. Well...the catcher was the kitchen. They stuck vinyl squares over a wood floor that humped (non sexual kind) in the middle like a freakin' grassy knoll. OMG. The vinyl was peeling up and I literally was in China while my realtor was in California. We could not figure out why they wouldn't have ripped up the floor, put new subfloor down and fixed the problem. Then we went to the crawl space and found there was a lot of moisture. However, the price was very, very low. I didn't care for the town either. Pass.
The Home and Garden Show
In yet another town, we looked at an 1867 brick at a wonderful price. The owners were contractors and had purchased the home as a flip. Katy bar the doors. This home was absolutely amazing. I stepped back in time with a large master with 12 foot ceilings, original leaded glass features, all new windows except for the stained glass and old leaded glass ones. The floors were perfect. All new wiring and plumbing, central air. The fireplace was HUGE and original in a nice sized living room. The office was cozy. The kitchen was out of Martha Stewart and they had retained the original brick features with top of the line appliances, new cabinets and 15 foot ceilings with a large dining area. I could have lived in it. Glennifer didn't leave it. He was clicking pictures and sharing them with his wife. She was wanting to move in. The upstairs had two large bedrooms and a balcony with a great view of the town. The yard was huge with a garage and two brick buildings. Wowser. Even though the price was right, I didn't want to live in the town. I could have commuted, but I don't know why I didn't jump on it. My realtor thought I was crazy.
The next few were drive-ins. What I mean is, if they weren't going to restore them soon...someone needed to drive into them with a wrecker ball. I was really feeling defeated.
Two acres. Immaculate yard. Large trees. Circle drive way. Built in 1888. Brick castle. Steeple. Turret. Iron fence. Perfect. I hugged this house. I wanted to move in right then. I couldn't leave. It was like a dream. Everything inside was original and had been kept in museum quality, pristine condition. Fireplaces, mantle. Woodwork. Butler's kitchen. Claw tub master in steeple overlooking the meadow. Three bathrooms. Carved mahogany staircase and hidden stairway also leading to the steeple and to the butler's kitchen. Large main kitchen. Martha Stewart show room kitchen. House all rewired. All re-plumbed. Stamped tin ceilings in three large rooms, including the steeple area. Caufered ceilings. Marble mantle in living room. Stained glass windows. Pocket doors. The list goes on. The house deserves to be featured in a magazine...with me as the owner. I can't say enough about this one. Oh and blue slate tile on the upper steeple outside of the house was original and in mint condition. Beat me. I didn't want to pay the price. The setting was perfect. The price was even cheap in today's market, but I didn't want to pay it with the economy the way it is. I thought I had to save back more money. Beat me. I still want to live there even as a mouse. I sobbed but left. Poo.
The Fargo House
As we drove toward the town, my realtor told me I would love the town as it was perfect out of a Kincade painting or Norman Rockwell series. My mouth dropped at the restoration the town had done. Artisans shops lined main street. All the outside facades were restored with iron lamp posts and immaculate sidewalks, storefronts, historical signs. Pleasantville. When I got out of the car to look at the home, I thought the porch was quaint and loved the original screen door and front leaded glass. It creaked just as I like it as we swung the screen door and entered the heavy wood door. One foot inside and I knew the house was ME. Carved wood staircase with a landing. Refinished hard wood floors. New brushed berber carpet in the living area. Parlor with a half octogon seated area surrounded in windows. Stained glass window leading upstairs. The kitchen was nice sized and fresh. I would change it a little but it was nice. Two mud rooms...one large, one small. The downstairs bedroom had a hard wood floor and a high ceiling. The laundry room was large and the downstairs bathroom was a nice size and new sink and toilet. I even liked a lot of the paint colors. Upstairs, it was not hard wood as I hoped, but new carpet. The landing was large enough for an office and the rooms were nice sized. I knew it was the ONE. The price was super cheap and I asked the realtor why it hadn't sold. She showed me the paint outside. It was chipped on one side and she said several banks, FHA, and WCDA would not loan on it. Weird. The front yard was perfectly groomed and the grass, yes -GRASS in December was freshly mown. The back yard was a good size, perfectly groomed and lead up to the stone barn. YES, stone. The red barn, 3 floors, YES, with a hay mow, not loft as my Ohio friend says, was beautiful. It also had a one car garage. Inside...immaculate. I am sure someone shop vacced everything before we came for the showing. The cement floors were in great shape and they had a bathroom in there and wiring throughout the rest of the structures. It was ME. How many times can I say it? We spent 3 days in the town and I went to every shop. None of them sell anything like my ideas and I could bring something fresh to the town...besides my snarky attitude. The Christmas tree lighting in the town square was fun. I learned that a lot of the shop owners were like me...from other areas. The townsfolk were very accepting of outsiders as long as they keep up the historical restoration and festivals the town was proud to host. Yes, it is ME. My daughter squeeled with joy when I sent her pictures and said I had better get it. No, it doesn't have a lot of acreage for the dogs, but they will be OK. The school is new and wonderful and I have high hopes my daughter will thrive there. After a long journey of financial quirks in the sale of my river house...this house is mine. Yes, it was built at or before 1900. It's in the historical district. I have big dreams. Details to follow.
The days went by slow and then all at once, December 16th arrived.
Again, no coat required. Uniform...no long underwear. Cop heaven weather for December.
DISPATCH: 96 go ahead.
ME: I am in service, unit 79, roving the city-no assigned area. This is my last night on duty as a peace officer. Good morning.
DISPATCH: Good morning.