We're officially, unequivocally* out of our old house. (*Except for the load of food we accidentally left in the freezer, but we're putting that in the category of "moving expenses" and moving on.)
The rental house we left was a real mixed bag. Over 100-years-old. Brick exterior. Awesome 12-foot ceilings. Enough wallpaper to make you feel like you were living inside a Creative Memories Scrapbook.
We left because the landlord wanted to move in. One of the biggest perks of renting is that you can pick up and leave at a moment's notice, like we did in San Francisco. The downfall? At a moment's notice someone else can pick you up and leave you without a home. In the end though, indulging our commitment phobia outweighs the periodic threat of homelessness*. (*I am only joking here. Thankfully, we've never actually been homeless and I'm well aware that getting "kicked out" of a 2,500 square foot historic home is nothing compared to what many people with actual problems are facing on a daily basis.)
I'm sort of the sentimental type and tend to get a little sad each time I move, even if the new place is a total upgrade. In this case, there's going to be a lot to miss about this house. It's our first home in Virginia. It's our first married couple house.
A few other things we'll miss...
...The backyard patio. In our little urban neighborhood, yards are hard to come by, but this patio offered a tiny hidden oasis. We loved to eat dinner here on warm nights. We created extensions on the white fence things so that we could hang the lights high enough for Mike to walk under.
...My this-is-exactly-what-I've-always-dreamed-of craft room. This is perhaps the hardest thing for me to say goodbye to. For the first time in my life, I didn't have to apologize for my sewing machine needing a spot at the dinner table. (I did still have to apologize for my paintbrushes in the kitchen sink and my yarn all over the living room, but a girl can't really contain all her crafts to one room, can she?)
...The house's original details, like this claw foot tub and the antique glass door in the bathroom. This door leads to a little upstairs patio, in case you'd like to sip your tea in your bathrobe and enjoy some morning sunshine. (Which sounds amazing, believe me, yet, like many things, I never did it.)
...I will definitely miss the house's five (yes, FIVE!) original fireplaces. So often with these old mantels, they're so painted over, all the detail is lost in the wood. But each of these mantels were meticulously maintained and three of the fireplaces had been converted to gas. If you're thinking that I knit by the fire every night that was under 82 degrees, you're spot on.
We've been apartment-dwellers for a long time, so this massive old house was a quite a novelty. On the other hand, before this house, we had grown used to always being close enough to hear each other breathing, swallowing and blinking so at times this house was disconcertingly lonely. Another disturbing feature of the home was its wild wallpaper and a couple other bizarre features which we couldn't do anything about because we were renting.
A few things we won't miss...
...The Appalachian Trail powder room. Where to even begin? For a 2x3.5' room, this bathroom was quite the conversation piece. The mural covered every square inch of the walls. So we decided to just go with it and add our own woodland creatures and pine-scented candles.
...While we're on the subject of crazy, let's talk wallpaper. Moving from California, at first Mike and I were a little taken aback by the Southerners' appreciation for putting paper on their walls. We've now seen some beautifully tasteful examples of what can be done with wallpaper. This is not one of them. These Candyland-inspired pink and green stripes have been the biggest visual annoyance in my life for the last 18 months. I hate them. Haaaaate them.
...What was I saying about wallpaper? Oh yes, it's everywhere. Or at least everywhere in this house.
Looking at this collection of wallpaper samples from around the house is enough of a nudge for me to set my sentimentality aside and say, "Goodbye old house. We've had our fun, but it's time for me to let you and your dizzying buffet of wallpaper go."And I can't think of a better way to say that than with a blurry, weird, timer self-portrait: