Our House, In the Middle of Our Street
Our first house, in a neighborhood called Marland Heights in West Virginia. About 40 minutes outside of Pittsburgh (where Hubby worked), the neighborhood has a Mayberry-like feel to it. The neighbors are friendly, folks wave at you as you drive down the street, people help each other out. In 2007, we bought a cute little Cape Cod-y home that had great bones with everything important (like the roof) new, but was in need of a garden and a woman's loving touch (something it had never known, housing as it had bachelors since its being built in 1951).

The bathroom sold the house to me. I hated the oak cabinets (well, okay, I hate ALL oak cabinets), the walls were all white (boring!), and the upstairs was a long tunnel of plastic "paneling" that we quickly DIY-replaced with drywall (and not long before moving, we built a gorgeous walk-in closet up there, too). But that darling bathroom—well, as you can see, it set the tone for the whole house. I've always loved vintage and retro, and things flowed from there.

We've just moved out, relocating for my husband's new job in Ohio (I'm writing this in the last week September of 2011). Leaving broke my heart. I cried and cried. The hard work we put into the home, the memories we made, the neighbors—I love them all, and truly, truly adore this little home on a mountain foothill rising above the Ohio River.

After the movers took our things yesterday, of course I swept up and polished those sublimely pretty bathroom tiles one last time, and bawled all the way through it. Cleaning this house was actually a joy—something I liked, because I loved the home and wanted to show it to its best advantage at all times. Even when I was so sick I could barely get out of bed, I'd do my best to keep it clean—particularly my beautiful bathroom!

Some people don't understand my attachment, and if they don't, I can't really explain it— but those who've fallen in love with their home, those walls and a roof that shelter us, surely understand. This home has such personality and charm now, all of those things that come with age to a house this age, something new homes will never, ever have.

Our new home is, unfortunately, newer, despite all our attempts to buy an older one. As in we'd be on the way to see a mid-mod or a mid-century and the listing agent would call our agent to tell us the house had gone under contract. We were running out of time, and with our three pets, we had to find a patch of ground ASAP, so we ended up where we are now.

I'll do my best to add personality to the place, but I'm not sure it can be done to a new house. Right now, the day after leaving my Overlook home for the very last time, cleaning the new one seems like sheer misery, where cleaning my darling home in West Virginia was actually a joy.

Someday we'll find another older home to love and enjoy. Indeed, I can't wait. "Settling" for second best simply isn't my thing. In the meantime, I'm going to miss my West Virginia home fiercely. I hope its new owner comes to love, adore and care for it as I did.
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