Posted by: Kate | January 14, 2009

The House

It’s actually out there.  I know where it is; I’ve seen it on Google Earth and read about it on  I’ve walked through it, packing up the family so that Willem could steer us through a winter storm to get there on time for the Open House.  I’ve stood alone in each room, for a few seconds, while the rest of the party wandered through other rooms, and just breathed.

And hoped.

It’s not perfect, but perfection would make me nervous.  If it was perfect, with the ideal floor plan and no weird-shaped rooms or struggles to be had over layout, then it would be as good as it could ever get starting on the day we moved in.  It could only go downhill; I couldn’t improve upon what I found, I could only hope to maintain it.  A a series of failures and disappointments waiting to happen.  Too much pressure.

Instead, it has faults.  A too-small kitchen, and a challenge with the bedroom layout.  The guest rooms for the B&B-to-be are obvious, but then the parceling out of the family bedrooms will require negotiation.  There are six fireplaces, four of them operational, and thus arises the prospect of small children learning to coexist with open flames.  The lot is small, and there is no garage.

These faults encourage me, though, because it gives room for creativity and effort.  For compromise, and leaving our mark on a special place.

And, oh, it is special.  It’s 200 years old – with history buffs as current owners, so much of the details and stories have been researched and documented – but not on the Historic Register, meaning that we could make small changes as desired, instead of moving into an untouchable structure.  It is two blocks from a beach; not the huge expanse of Crane Beach or the charm of Wingaersheek Beach, but still, a clean, 12-block expanse of sand and ocean water and beach glass, because it is on a harbor.  It is within a half-mile of downtown, the train station, the library and a park.  And inside, it has been well cared-for and has may of the tidbits from the original house: slightly warped window glass, very old locks and doorknobs, woodworking details.

It could work.  It really, really could.  There’s even space for Willem to install a bar in the back family room, for a pub sort of feel, and a huge front room that would start off as a shared office for Willem and me but could eventually morph into a yarn shop.  It’s in a good school district, and the kids would grow up with regular trips into the city, to soak up different ways of thinking and speaking and doing than they would even pass on the street in rural New Hampshire.

Oh, yes, I have fallen in love.  Willem is more reserved, but willing to admit that it is a really great house, and within our price range.  It will take some time and some juggling, but we’re hoping to have more information soon.  Maybe enough information to be able to put in an offer.

And even if we don’t get this particular house, because fate and luck and timing dictate otherwise, then I know that the right house is out there.  I know that we can take this next step, toward an entirely new life that I have been dreaming about for years without truly believing it would actually happen.

I have hope.



  1. Ohhhh, good luck 🙂

    Hope is good. Hope is really good.

  2. It sounds like your house hunt is producing some interesting and plausible results. I secretly hope that this is the house, because I would love to stay in your B & B. Keep us posted!

  3. Ooooooooooh! Hope is exciting. I love the yarn shop idea most of all. How cool would it be to stay in a B&B with a yarn shop downstairs???

  4. Yippee! Oh Kate that’s exciting. Even if your “real” house is actually around the corner from the one you described, just the promise of such a venture must have you feeling energized beyond belief. What a contrast from the past couple of months, huh?

    *sending you all that and so much more…*

  5. It sounds so imperfectly lovely! Big decisions await you and I hope that even if this isn;t THE house, that this new energy, hope, and sense of possibility sustain you until you do find the right place.

    And oh YES to the yarn shop!

  6. This sounds like the Universe is finally rooting for you! My mom always uses the affirmation, “This, or something better.” I’m sending lots of good vibes your way!

  7. Awesome

  8. I can say with certainty that I *know* how you feel. I still feel that way about our place – every single time I walk in the door! I’m so excited for you because it’s such a great way of life!! I’m glad you know that your house is out there, even if it doesn’t turn out to be this particular one! Hope looks good on you! ❤

  9. I’m so excited for you!

  10. I hope this happens for you — and turns out even better than you think.

  11. Oh, how I love old houses. This sounds so exciting and so like something I would also love.

    The nice thing is that there’s a plethora of houses like that in Massachusetts, so even if this one doesn’t pan out, there will be others. But I do hope this one happens for you. It sounds so lovely.

  12. Oh, Kate! I have hope too!!!!

  13. I can totally sense your excitement about this one – my fingers are crossed!

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