Today I went to show our rent house to a potential new tenant. Since we've started renting it out, I never get to step inside; but today, I took full advantage. Walking through the empty house was like a walk down memory lane for me. Andy lived in this house when we first met and all throughout our dating years. I can still remember where all the furniture was set up, I remember his dishes and hysterically boyish pantry items. When we married, he moved. But it was only after many hours spent together laboring in love to make this charming little house what it is today.
When Andy bought the house years ago, it was already a project waiting to happen. As a single fella he took his time working on one bit at a time. He redid the kitchen, added a laundry room, ripped up the floors, among other things before he met me.
My favorite story is of Andy opening up the giant box in his front yard one day to find his latest ebay purchase: a claw-foot tub to match the 1940s vibe of the house. It was well after dark and he was just getting home after a late night at work followed by some music at S. Congress clubs. Knowing he wouldn't be able to move it alone (and no one would help at 2am), he decided to at least climb in (fully clothed) to see how comfy it was. The answer must have been "pretty comfy" because he fell asleep and didn't wake up till his neighbors were all headed out to work the next day, pointing fingers at their crazy new neighbor who sleeps in bathtubs in the front lawn.
Once I became his girlfriend, I was looped into the project too. Thus sweet and funny memories were created. As I stood in the "red" room today, I remember the first time I realized what a perfectionist Andy was when--as I helped him paint the room red--my lines along the trim were not quite straight enough. Standing on the back deck, I remembered his absolute need to paint the ceiling white-- at 11pm one night. So there we stood, illuminated by a single flourescent bulb from a floor lamp, cricking our necks back and roller painting the ceiling--with drips falling all over our faces.
As I tried to explain the color of the exterior to the renter in question, I found myself laughing at the debacle that was our paint choice. We had hoped for a nice soft green for the siding and a complementary grass green trim. But after hundreds of dollars of already purchased paint and several hours of hard labor, we took a step back only to realize the house was now a lovely tennis ball/highlighter yellow-green with pea soup trim. But we were already committed at that point and so it stands today (luckily it has faded with time). Then I remembered the day before we left for Australia, furiously trying to finish the last minute painting, when Andy droped a bucket of paint on my head from the ladder above my designated painting spot. I had flourescent green paint in my hair almost the entire month we travelled abroad.
I certainly love where we moved after getting married. But I do love the memories of that old house.