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I’m a homeowner now, and so many things to think about…

November 14, 2017, 2:12 PM

Good news: I closed on the house on Thursday, and I am now a homeowner.  About a thousand signatures later, my longtime fantasy just became reality.  There are certain occasions in life where an event leaves you mentally drained at the end of it, and closing on the house was one of those things.  And now that the closing is done, there are so many more things to think about.  There is some minor electrical work that I need to have done.  The paint needs to be updated in some places.  I need to buy curtains.  I need to buy a new bedroom set for myself, since Elyse is getting my old one.  I need to get an air mattress to sleep on until I get the new bed.  The cable gets installed on the 15th.  Moving happens the following day, on the 16th.  I need to change my address in a zillion places.  And it goes on.  Such is the joy of homeownership, I suppose.

But in any case, the house is now mine.  Check it out:

Wheelock 7002T on the breakfast bar
Wheelock 7002T on the breakfast bar in the kitchen.  I used this photo for a “Welcome home” post on Instagram.

The living room, almost completely bare.
The living room, almost completely bare.  Elyse is sitting on the only piece of furniture that I currently have in the house: a beanbag chair.

I’m excited to get my furniture and my stuff in there on the 16th, because then it can really start to feel like home.  As it is, I’ve already moved the wallhangings:

The various wallhangings in the living room, awaiting placement

I never thought that removing all of the wallhangings from the apartment would be as difficult as it turned out to be, though.  I lived in that apartment for ten years.  It had become quite familiar, and I finally decorated in 2014, making every wall a reflection of something about me.  Taking all of that down and seeing the nail holes, and the emptiness of the walls was harder on me than I expected.  It vaguely reminded me of a Stripping of the Altar ritual that I had seen at a Maundy Thursday service one time, when everything was taken down and carried out of the church.  As I removed everything, I piled it up in a corner, and then the next day, I loaded it into the car and carted it up to Montgomery Village.  The removal was something that I didn’t want to do, but I knew that I had to do it.  Removing the decor that was added in 2014 felt fairly straightforward, since that was completed as a single project.  Removing the mirrors over the bed was difficult for me, because they had been there since 2008, and felt like part of the space.  But the hardest thing to bring myself to remove was the Metro map.  I hung that up within the first two months of living here, and that, more than anything, felt like part of the space, especially since that wall was the perfect size for it.  It seems fitting that when I removed the map, you could see a mark on the wall where it used to be.

Elyse, meanwhile, found the removal of the decor to be a bit too much for her, even though she understood why it had to happen.  The removal of the decor was hard on me emotionally, even though I didn’t show it outwardly.  Her solution, however, was something that I didn’t realize that I needed until I saw it.  While I was away at work yesterday, she took some paper and a box of crayons, and redecorated.  This is what I came home to last night:

The mirrors over the bed are back - in some form.

The mirrors over the bed are back - in some form.
The mirrors over the bed are back – in some form.

This drawing stands in for Dinosaur Canyon.

This drawing stands in for Dinosaur Canyon.
This drawing stands in for Dinosaur Canyon.

Replica of an Amalgamated Transit Union poster that I had in the hallway.  These posters were printed with "I AM A MAN" and "I AM A WOMAN" on the back, and I admit that I peeked underneath to check.
Replica of an Amalgamated Transit Union poster that I had in the hallway.  These posters were printed with “I AM A MAN” and “I AM A WOMAN” on the back, and I admit that I peeked underneath to check.

I was particularly impressed with Elyse's replica of the "sick copier" drawing that I did back in 2009, which I had hung over the printer.  She drew this from memory, and it's very faithful to the original.

I was particularly impressed with Elyse's replica of the "sick copier" drawing that I did back in 2009, which I had hung over the printer.  She drew this from memory, and it's very faithful to the original.
I was particularly impressed with Elyse’s replica of the “sick copier” drawing that I did back in 2009, which I had hung over the printer.  She drew this from memory, and it’s very faithful to the original.

The Metro map.  Unlike the original, which is from 1996, this map has Rush+ and the Silver Line on it.

The Metro map.  Unlike the original, which is from 1996, this map has Rush+ and the Silver Line on it.
The Metro map.  Unlike the original, which is from 1996, this map has Rush+ and the Silver Line on it.

This was such a wonderful thing that Elyse did.  While she was rather vocal about the lack of decor’s making her uncomfortable, I knew that things felt off, but these temporary wallhangings restored a sense of balance for me that I didn’t realize that I had lost when I took everything down the night before.  The night after I removed everything, I didn’t have a good sleep, even waking before my alarm clock.  Even though it was the same apartment and the same bed, it felt like unfamiliar surroundings.  Last night, on the other hand, with these temporary wallhangings in place, I slept quite well.

I imagine that the lack of wallhangings won’t be an issue in the new house, though, because I have nothing to compare against there.  I have a blank slate upon which to place a new decor design.  Plus I’m waiting until I paint some of the rooms before I start putting things up on the walls, since the paint in certain areas needs to be redone either because it’s no longer looking spiffy, or, in the case of Elyse’s room, it’s just an ugly color.  The way I figure, I didn’t take much issue to having nothing on the walls in the first seven years in the apartment because there was nothing to compare against, therefore, delayed decor at the house won’t be much of a problem.

Now, though, I need to get things ready to move in.  I’m going grocery shopping on Wednesday night after the cable goes in, since I deliberately ran down the food supplies in the apartment in preparation for this move.  I have almost no food in the house right now, since that would just be one more thing to have to transport over.  Plus, who wants to carry all of that stuff up and down the stairs to and from a third floor apartment, when the kitchen is on the main floor in the house?  Considering that I have both a Giant and a Safeway within a mile of the house, and a Walmart and a Target in nearby Germantown, I ought to be okay there.  I think that I put it best in 2002 when I moved into the dorm for senior year, and then went on a shopping run that night.  Even if you just moved in, a shopping run isn’t moving.  Moving sucks, but shopping is more enjoyable, even if you still have to lug it in at the end of the day.

So that’s that, I suppose.  All goes well, next Journal entry should be the first posted from Montgomery Village.

Categories: House