We snuck in on Sunday. In anticipation of having a key to start moving things in this week (1 week before our closing, agreed upon with the sellers), we drove out ‘just to check it out’ and found it vacant. The tenants had left.

We parked and walked around. Walked around and peered in. Peered in and walked in — things are never really locked in these parts.

Without all the furniture, food, clothes and LIFE in the place, it looked … Old. Worn out. Dingy.

Sure, it had always been this way, but we just hadn’t looked THAT close. Especially when we could ogle at their furniture …  the strange cheeze-it box that had made its way above the fireplace… the huge seed-starting operation that was set up in the Library. We didn’t notice every knick, ding, scuff and bulge —  all we could see was magazine-worthy potential.

There was a moment … an are we   sure   about this? moment … surveying every single thing we had to do — the ceilings, the floors, the walls, the YARD, the roof, the windows….the barn, the extra acreage we were elated to purchase. I mean–  we’re armed with a push mower and an battery-operated weedwacker.

Are we in over our heads?

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We went back on Monday … and Tuesday and Wednesday. We walked through with a contractor. It seems the roof (while asthetically unpleasing) has at least a year left. And much of the plaster ugliness can be fixed with a quick DIY skimcoating. The beams in the ceiling – well, they’re there, which is good news. And like the whole house project itself – we won’t know what the end result will be unless we just start working at it, see what we’ve got, and see what we can end up with.

Inspired by Trina’s gorgeous house, I think I’m going to paint everything bright white. I held up some samples yesterday against the current color (which I believe is called dingy), and it was like looking at night and day.

I started pulling some weeds yesterday, plotting some trimbacks of our very overgrown lilac, hydrangea tree, and rhododendrons. And I walked along the front stonewall, pulling out dead branches and piling them up (in a pile that was started long ago and never burned.) I found a huge bush of wild blueberries, mentally noting to mark it so it doesn’t get whacked with the rest of everything.

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It’s going to be a process, and I need to accept that it won’t look like this in the first month… or maybe even year. But it’s something to work toward. So this blog will turn from focused on house-hunting to house renovating, like so many other renovation blogs out there. I’m feeling better about it – kinda pumped, actually. When something is this old and this far from fresh looking, the before and afters are going to be drastic, and I’m totally excited for that. And so I guess I’ll probably need to find a new name for the blog.

We are truly almost home.

We close on Monday. Officially.

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