The House of Promise

House of Promise, Walla WallaLong-time readers of this blog will recall that our last abode in Walla Walla did not reach the pinnacle of success as family shelters go. It did make my Top Two in House Disasters, displaced from the top spot only by the 1-bedroom apartment in Syracuse, New York, in which a 6-by-8-foot section of plaster ceiling came crashing down after a few weeks of increasingly bowing out from a rotten joist. That debacle will be tough to beat, and the “Liar House”—so named because it looked cute on the outside but was awful inside—just sucked too much to work hard enough to be king of the ignoble hill.

This time around, in our sophomore season, we’ve taken possession of a home that was recently owner-occupied—the touches are everywhere, from the wainscoting in the kitchen to the insulated windows throughout the house, crown molding in the bedrooms, and finished basement. We’re excited to spend time in the backyard, grilling and growing a few vegetables. I’ve broken in the kitchen, adjusting quickly to the 1950s-era electric stove.

Sure, there are a few things that need doing; leaves have piled up all over the lawn for I don’t know how long, and the kitchen light fixture needs new shades. I also need to check the hose leading from the dryer, but one thing I don’t need to do is tape my plugs into the outlets, because shockingly [sic] enough, the outlets hold plug ends like they’re supposed to. I don’t fear shower water leaking onto my oven because the shower isn’t over our kitchen. Hooray!

It’s been a long time since I woke up feeling like the space I lived in reflected where I wanted to be. There are only so many divey houses on the edge of college campuses that one should live in before one begins to think they deserve less-than structures around them day in and day out. The tiny apartment in Seattle was always meant to be temporary, so I was okay with a basic, untenable kitchen space. And that makes it all the sweeter now, because every time I do prep work on the butcher block, plunk the dishes into the washer, or wipe down the new counter, I smile in a big, tired way.

Life is good.

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6 Comments on “The House of Promise”

  1. January 25, 2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Big-Big congratulations, Everett! That’s a lovely looking place to live, & I’m sure it will be a boon to your overall well being(how could it not).

    Thanks for sharing this.

    john

    • evmaroon
      January 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm #

      Thanks, John! It is lovely. I think I’ll have a good time writing here, too.

  2. Jen
    January 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm #

    Wow! This is the house where Haydn lived when we were first dating. It brings back many memories of sitting on the front porch swing and petting the neighborhood cat, Buddy Russell, as he strutted by. That’s a wonderful house — and I’m so glad that it has such wonderful people inside it.

    • evmaroon
      January 26, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

      Oh, small town life! Of course I know someone who lived here prior to our residency. I’m glad you have such fond memories–I’ve noticed already what a good vibe the house has. I’m sure you had something to do with that.

  3. Krista
    January 27, 2011 at 8:15 am #

    Thanks to Jen for passing along a link to your blog. Indeed you are in a house full of great memories. Jen and Haydn weren’t the only ones to fall in love in this house. My husband Mike and I did the same. Our beautiful baby girl arrived here–figuratively speaking. As well, a fluffy orange spitfire, Ricky the Cat showed up on the back steps. He is still with us. Still orange and thankfully mellowed with age. You should go meet Jack and Liza. They live 2 doors up on the left in a little yellow house. He is a fine-finish carpenter and responsible for all the wainscotting et al. in the house. He can tell you more stories. Not only where his children born there, but aparently at one time there was a tree growing through the ceiling in the dining room! I hope the shade garden and raised herb bed in the back are still there. As well, there is a lovely Japanese Jasmine tucked into the bed to the left of the back door. It smells so fabulous in the spring! Keep your eyes out for a fabulously huge, white iris that blooms in the spring as well. Its just to the right of the small door into the garage. It’s a traveler, so to speak. It originally came from an iris bed on Lincoln Street, close to Pioneer Park. Old Mrs. Taylor’s yard. (I think she was always old! She was old when I grew up on Lincoln AND when my mom grew up there too!) My mom transplanted it to their second home out South Third Street; then to Sequim, Washington, where my parents retired to; and finally “re-arriving” back in WW to [your house]. I hope you get to see it. It’s magnificent.
    Enjoy that house!
    PS Be sure to ask Jack about the pipes under the back of the house…no big deal, but good to know how to keep them happy when it gets cold!

    • evmaroon
      January 29, 2011 at 10:35 am #

      Wow, there sure is a lot of history in this house! At our last house there was a small plot of concrete with a little hand imprint made upon it, and the name “Helen” underneath. At least a decade ago an elderly lady came knocking at the door, and the occupant at the time, a Whitman professor, answered the door. It was Helen, all grown up. And in that small moment is a lot of what Walla Walla is about to me.

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