Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dream House

What I really mean is that I had a dream with this house in it.  This was our Pasadena house that sold in 2011 and was the central character in my dream.  In the dream, I was inside the place I called home for 15 years with the buyer's family, who I met briefly in real life.  In the foggy sequence of events, they hadn't moved in because the person who was squatting in the back bedroom had not really moved out.  It was definitely a dream of the past, present, truth and fiction all in one jumbled mess.  Why dream of a house or an owner who I never really knew?  And who was the squatter in my dream?  Is this a case of seller's remorse where I wish I never really sold the property?  But like a person, our Pasadena house was there every day for 15 years.  Sam spent the first decade of his life there and JJ's first memories were formed in that modest 1500 square foot home.  I guess some memories are just hard to let go.
When the house sold, I had put in a new front lawn and updated the sprinkler system.  For years, we would water manually as Pasadena seems to be in a constant state of drought.  Mario, our gardener who came every Saturday morning didn't really have to do much mowing as it was for the most part, brown and dry St. Augustine grass.  When I set the automatic sprinklers with the new lawn, I ended up paying over $80 a month on water -- and no one was living in the house for at least a few months.  The exterior also had been painted to get a more modern look and curb appeal.
 The old woman who previously owned the house, Elsie, obviously had drapes from the 60s.  The first thing we did in 1995 was to take down all the fabrics and removed the carpeting.  Throughout the whole house was dirty, brown carpet which to our surprise covered these 1 1/2 inch oak hardwood floors, which when refinished was absolutely beautiful.  The crown moldings, which were all over this 1935 house, was repainted along with every room.

The last two photos show the living room in 1995 and in 2011.  In the time between these two photos, this living room witnessed my kids coming home from the hospital when they were born; a few dozen family gatherings; quiet evenings and countless movies; and of course, Maura take her last breath.  I had put in new hardwood floors in 2010 in all the rooms (except the 3 bedrooms and 2 baths) in order to help sell the house and obviously, add value.  The memories of this house will probably stay with me for as long as I live.  I will probably continue to dream of it for years to come.

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