Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Growing More Ecclectic

Unfortunately, it looks like our neighbor is moving. Yesterday, while Ross and I were out doing yard work, Bob called us over to the fence and told us he was leaving but he had an old table that Jack, the previous owner of our house, had given him, and would we like it? It's an antique octagon table about the size of a card table. Bob said Jack used to keep it right next to the front door and you can still see where the lamp used to sit. Of course I said yes.

At first I thought I would put it up in the guest bedroom where the furniture is a little less contemporary, but after dusting it off I realized it might be a nice surface for my Madagascar Dragon Tree, which has been on floor ever since I transplanted it to its new, larger pot. And as soon as I put it in the dining room I noticed how much less boring it made that room.

The boring-ness of our interior design is a problem I'm slowly trying to correct. (I decided things had to change when I read a passage in a Martha Grimes novel about a young woman who, being able for the first time to furnish her flat with new things, ordered all of the pieces out of the same catalogue so that everything matched but revealed nothing about her personality - and it reminded me of our house!) Almost all of our furniture in the living room and dining room were provided by our wonderful Aunts off of our wedding registry. It's all from the same store, picked out on the same day. It's all in the same "Espresso" brown with matching brushed nickel fixtures and straight-as-an-arrow lines. We still love it, but without a little embellishment it can be a bit...square.

The trick is that decorating a house is not cheap. So I've had to bide my time and wait for the good deals.

I have two old rocking chairs that Mom found on people's curbs and helped me spiff up. One is in the living room and one is in the kitchen. Ross was a bit dismayed when these two pieces pulled out of someone else's trash were set in our house with the brand new furniture, but I love them and think that they make things so much more comfy (and less masculine, sorry Ross.) And now I have the charming octagon table, also free and with an interesting history, making things more lively in the dining room as well.

Framed art is something we've been slow to hang because a) it's expensive and b) it's a commitment. Once you put a nail hole in the wall you have to have something hanging over it, and this can be problematic if you like to rearrange furniture. But with an early birthday gift from Ross's dad I had a bunch of photos Ross and I have taken on our adventures printed in black and white and bought about a dozen black and white frames in various sizes for them. They look really cool. Now it's just a matter of figuring out where to hang them, and since, like I said, I don't like commitment, they've been sitting on the dining room floor for several weeks.

But back to Bob. He's on disability because of a work-related back injury he got years ago and he said that the cost of living is just too high around here for someone on a fixed income. And he's right. The taxes alone are ridiculous! So he and his beautiful dog, Boomer, are moving to Crystal Lake where he has family until he can find something more affordable. He mentioned that homes in some of the outlying areas are selling for $50,000 and $60,000. If I was a single person on disability that is what I would do too. He's been a good neighbor, and we are sad to see him go.

It's probably a little insensitive of us, but we've already started speculating about what it's going to mean for us, having him gone. Will the grass grow to be two feet and kids break in and fool around in there like they did when our house was empty? Will this empty house hurt our home value if we do have to put it on the market soon? Or will some developer come in, raze it and replace it with a beautiful three story home with a wrap-around porch and a great big attached garage like they recently did just down the street? We hope it's that last one.

This is getting to be a very long blog post, but I had just one more thing I wanted to mention - Ross has a phone interview in about twenty minutes. It's the first one he's had this month and it's with a good company in San Diego. If you would like to pray for him I know he would appreciate it.

Hope everyone is have a great day!


Steph Stanger said...

wow, that was a long post! Bummed about the neighbor and the dog! But that is pretty sweet he gave you the table, I love it! I hope Ross's job interview goes well!!

Andy said...

Me too. But I'm too late for the interview.