Long-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.