Saturday, November 26, 2005

Opening the House

I started a post earlier about how I was going to resist testing again today. Then, somewhat goaded on by a comment from Lorem, I decided to go ahead and do it. Negative of course. What else did I expect with major cramping and moodiness hitting me today with a vengance?

Well, on to more interesting topics. Tonight J and I walked the neighborhood and handed out invitations to our "Second Annual Open House". So, a little background on the story is in order. Let's start with the house.

Our house was built in a smallish town in Central Ohio (I've been relocated here a couple years now so I now know that the C in Central is Capitalized) in 1929 as a 2 storey, 2 bedroom cottage. In 1939, a young couple with a baby purchased it. They lived in the house until we purchased it from them last year. Amazing, huh?! They raised 2 children and numerous grandchildren here. Originally the house was on the outskirts of town. In the late 40s/early 50s, the town began to "boom" as a local industry took off. The executives of the industry ended up building really nice houses in a new neighborhood which eventually encompassed this house. Around that time, perhaps prompted by all the building, the owners of this house decided to expend it. It's now a 4 bedroom/2.5 bath house.

When we bought the house, the decor had not been updated since the 70s. I'll leave that to your imagination. Also, the kitchen was the main thing added on in the 50s and it had not been touched since then. Our first "project" before moving in was to rip up all the carpet and remove the decades of wallpaper and repaint. We found really nice hardwood floors under the awful green shag carpet and someday we'll go back to those, but I think plush carpet is much nicer for cuddling up with a book.

Shift gears slightly for another explanation. We moved to this smallish town because I wanted out of the "big city" for a nice place to raise a child. This house is one block from the elementary school. The main reason we chose this town is because J's twin sister lives here. She's a pediatrician and my BIL is a doctor as well. They're both very active and well-known in the community.

So..... given that we were new to a very nice neighborhood and everyone in the smallish town already "knew" us as relatives of the local docs, J decided that hosting a holiday open house was the right thing to do. I'll have to hand it to him - it was a good idea. The neighbors liked being able to see what we'd done with the house and some of them liked being able to meet us and size us up. One guy down the street wrote us off immediately because 1. we don't have a huge TV on which to watch sports (no TV at all in fact!) and 2. we don't have a snow blower or leaf blower. Most of the neighbors, however, evaluated us on much fairer terms and I suppose we measure up on the whole. And we found most of them to be very nice as well.

Our project this summer was to completely gut the 1950s kitchen, insulate it (what a world of difference that made!), and put it back together again with a look that is somewhat modern (stainless steel appliances) but seems (I think) to retain the feel of the older part of the house. So of course J insisted that we have another open house this year, making it the "second annual" one with, one presumes, promise of more to come.

I'm not the party type, really. If you get more than 3 or 4 people together, I usually sneak off to a back room to read a book. So the party last year really pushed the limits of my comfort zone. We probably had well over 100 people come through my haven last year. I suppose if I need something to get my mind off certain things, this is the thing to do it! It's planned for Sunday the 4th so I anticipate this being a busy week of preparations. We're just going cookies and coffee. The real work is in getting the house presentable enough for people to view. And keeping the Little Miss entertained with other things long enough to keep it that way through next Sunday!


Lorem ipsum said...

I'm sorry I goaded you. I'm so excited about people testing. And I finally noticed your counter (I usually ignore them out of bitterness, you know how so many reflect how far along people are in their pregnancies) and saw that you aren't even due to test for three more days. So my deepest apologies. Really.

K. said...

Oh, it's okay really. I didn't need much goading :-)

lauralu said...

your open house sounds lovely. my mother always did one when i was growing up. at our house now, new year's day has become more of a tradition, though - too much going on around christmas already.

i read your blog from the beginning and cannot believe how much we have in common: gulf coast native transplanted to ohio, minister in the family (dad and uncle in my case), evangelical roots, not too sure about god since the loss of my child, dabbling in quakerism, husband in the airline industry (mine's a service manager, though, not a pilot), trying again to get pregnant - it's kind of spooky.

i hope this cycle works out for you.

K. said...

lauralu: Wow! We do have a lot in common. I just added an email address to the bottom of this page. Feel free to drop me a line (and anyone else reading this!).