I remember the first time I laid eyes on my house - a Dutch Colonial Revival. I was out for ice cream with the family and there was a house-for-sale flier sitting on the shop's counter. I picked it up because, well, I always pick up those fliers (drawing the ire of most sellers, I'm sure). But this one was different. This house seemed to be calling me. Silly because we were only talking about selling the bungalow. I showed the flier to my husband. He looked at it, and after a long pause, said, "Let's drive by." What?! OK!
That was the first of many, many drive-bys. I was obsessed, thinking someone would snap 'er up before I could list my house. Miraculously, that for sale sign was always still there.
I soon learned why. My realtor opened the front door, I stepped inside the lovely foyer with leaded glasses doors that lead to a sunny nook, and was pretty much instantly crushed. The home was, as my realtor delicately put it, in a state of "delayed maintenance." We left, and my heart hurt.
I can admit this now: I continued to drive by the house. Its siren song just never stopped. Then one day the sign came down. I tried to move on. We listed and sold our house. We looked at other houses, comically many of them were Dutch Colonials. Apparently, I have a house type. We even made an offer on another house. Mercifully, it was rejected. Wrong house, wrong location, but we were feeling desperate. Not long after, this house came back on the market, and, well, you know the rest.
We went into this house knowing that there would be a lot to do, never imagining it would be way, way more than our worst expectations. I thought that this house would inspire a wealth of material to write about. Instead, over the past year or so, I've felt overwhelmed and deflated by this house. I've alternately loved and despised it. Not to mention that flooded basements, leaking windows and broken air conditioners don't really make great blog fodder. Some day, perhaps after lots of therapy, I'll be able to write about what we discovered in the crawl space.
On a whim a month ago, I called Indiana Landmarks to inquire about my home's history. Though hopeful, I knew the chances of finding anything were pretty slim. The research librarian, echoed that and dutifully took my phone number, promising to call me if she found anything. And she did. About five minutes later. Since then I've found my house listed in a book of historic homes and had the author send me this:
It's a story about my house from a 1928 edition of the Indianapolis Star. Folks, I have hit the old-house mother lode. Way, way more than I ever imagined.