Dreaming of a Future in the Past

The Gingerbread Diaries

My plans for this week have been derailed. Deliciously derailed by the sliver of a chance that Todd and I have any hope whatsoever of owning a 100-year-old home in Thomasville. There are actually two candidates for our TLC and Todd’s handiness with tools. Two Victorian treasures that we could spend the next several years of weekends patching and painting and making into a home.

Either would be lovely, but I really love the Pink Lady better at this point.

Either would be lovely, but I really love the Pink Lady better at this point.

I am writing this both to get some of it out of my head and to really just put it out there to the Universe as a wish, an intent, maybe even a demand?

No, I wouldn’t be so presumptuous as to demand it, but I’d like the powers that be to seriously consider this request.

True, we weren’t actually planning to start the home-buying process for at least another year, so we don’t even know if it’s feasible from a financial standpoint. (Of course, the mortgage on either home would be a small fraction of our current rent, so I hope that works in our favor when the whole picture is perused.) Or, rather, we know we could swing it, it’s getting a bank to agree with us. True, both homes up for consideration need more than just cosmetic work. But they’ve both been lived in before being listed–these aren’t foreclosures–which tells me that they are each livable, though with some potential for major repairs needed in the not-so-distant future.

And, true, this has the potential to turn our life collectively on its ear. I take that back: there’s no potential, it would definitely turn our lives upside down seven ways from Sunday.

But that’s not such a bad thing.

Todd and I have been together for 6 years. We’ve lived together for 4 1/2 of those years. We exist in a happy little rut of work, friends, and small pockets of downtime. And it is happy. Getting married was, honestly, a nice little party to celebrate 6 years together, but it didn’t change our lives very much.

Change can be a good thing!

And as far as changes go, this one would be mild as far as the day-to-day is concerned. Todd already works in Thomasville–it’d be my turn to have a commute, which I’m okay with–and since it’s just over the state line it’s not like we’d be leaving our friends and family in the dust. True, it wouldn’t be quite as easy to pop over to Hobby Lobby or Trader Joe’s (both currently 5 minutes or less from our front door), but they’d still be on my way home if nothing else!

For those who don’t know me well, when faced with a new proposition I go into research mode. Back in the day that meant a trip to the library or, later, the bookstore. Now the Internet is my research playground and for something like rehabbing a century home I’ve been on the hunt for blogs written by people who are doing the same things. Not the professional preservationists, but the everyday average humans who are muddling through it. So I can learn from them before Todd and I get knee deep in plaster dust, crown moldings, and who knows what’s behind the odd panel in the wall.

It’s going to be hard work, but that’s okay. It could be is going to be expensive, but if we’re smart about it and invest in sweat equity we can keep some of the expenses down. And if we’re not in a hurry this could be the project of a lifetime.

I want that chance.

I want it bad.

Bad enough to write this post for a bunch of “invisible friends” (as the Blond Duck would say) to hope right along with us and cross their fingers.

On Saturday we’ll actually get to see the insides of the houses for ourselves. See if Todd thinks either of them is fixable by us (as he has far more construction know-how that I) and worth the risk/adventure (me? I’m already sold, termites or the like notwithstanding). We’ve started the process with the bank, I’m just waiting on the next step (and hoping that their response to the initial information isn’t to laugh us out of the building).

Of course, being the “practical optimist” that I am (i.e. the self-proclaimed queen of the worst case scenario), I fully realize all of my dreaming and scheming could come to absolutely nothing. I’m trying to keep a silver lining in mind, though. If nothing else, this has given us a definite direction to look in for the future, if this go-round doesn’t pan out. And if it comes down to a financial issue, then at least we’ll know what we need to work on so we’re ready when the right opportunity does come along.

But until the Universe gives us an unequivocal ‘no,’ I’m going to go back to planning for the ‘yes.’

Cross your fingers for us, won’t you?