My next blog will be from scenic Asheville, home of our Goddesses Anonymous friends. But meantime where in the world is Emilie? Well, Michael, Nemo and I are packing up our entire cottage in Western NY, storing everything we’re keeping in one room that was renovated last year and doesn’t need anything else done to it.
The rest of the cottage? Well, that’s a different story. In addition to our one-room-amnesty we also have a 10 by 10 storage unit down the road. And we’ve taken a few feet on both long porches to store our summer furniture. Other than that, the house has to be cleared because, for the most part, it’s going to be gutted.
We looked for a house at Chautauqua Institution for fourteen (!) years. That’s right. Fourteen. We gave up the year this one arrived on the market and decided finding a house we could afford was hopeless. Then a friend told us about this one. “Best deal on the market this year,” she said. We walked by and fell madly in love. From the outside it was exactly what we wanted. In the center of all the activities on a historic street, and three porches. But there was a contract on it already, said our forever-patient realtor.
The summer passed and I kept seeing the house advertised in the local daily. I would call and Lou would say, “there’s a contract on it.” Darn.
Finally the day before we were leaving for the summer I saw it again and on a whim I thought I would call one more time. “Contract just fell through, do you want to see it?” Did we?
A fifteen minute walk through and we were signing on the dotted line. The bones were good. We had seen so many houses that weren’t. The price was low for Chautauqua. Which is a whole story unto itself. We didn’t have to dicker for long. The house was ours and the home inspection turned up next to nothing.
We knew it was livable while we decided what to do to it. We started with a wish list. Take the three rooms masquerading as laundry room, utility room and kitchen and make them one. Add a bathroom in the back where there was room to do so. Take off the insulation board on the walls and put bead board or wall board where they’d been. Remove the painted plywood floors and put something better on top of them. That was huge. We weren’t sure we could do it all, but we sure planned to try.
We’re doing it. And we’re also moving and rebuilding stairs, changing the roof line, adding TWO bathrooms one on top of the other, putting in wood floors downstairs and maybe refinishing the old pine floors upstairs if they’re salvageable, adding air-conditioning and some heat so we can stay longer in the fall each year.
The project begins, well, when folks get around to it. We had to wait a year for our contractor who is wonderful. Our architect is a peach. What an experience this will be. Tune in for updates.
Today a few photos. Remember, we’re moving furniture and packing. Not a pretty sight. Enjoy anyway. And I’ll meet you back here next week from Asheville.