|Okay... This is a bad picture, but it's the only one I have of the two of us up at the house. What's with my bangs? A little "aggressive". It's a good thing I've had my hair cut since this was taken.|
Sadly, we are back in Pittsburgh. Sadly, I will have a few weeks of keeping in touch with progress on the house remotely. Sadly, the Maine fall will turn to winter and I'll probably miss the first snowfall. Sadly, sadly, sadly.
The funny thing is that I never really thought we would be lucky enough to have a place up there in the far reaches of where rational, logical people live. In fact, I was pretty much convinced that we would just never get around to leaving Pittsburgh, even once Ted retired. You know how it is. You get wrapped up in life and time passes and then, well, the magic window passes for doing something you always wanted to do.
I used to say to Ted, "Oh, we'll never leave Pittsburgh and buy a place in Maine". He would tell me I was wrong. Well, I'll now admit publicly that Ted was right and I was wrong. We did do it. We are doing it. (Note to Ted: You may want to paste and copy this paragraph because me admitting that I was wrong just doesn't come around all that often.)
We are about to embark (and I do mean embark), on a major kitchen and bathroom remodel up in Maine. We are removing a fireplace in order to build me my dream kitchen, renovating two bathrooms, and adding one. We have hired ourselves a general contractor, and I am ready, cell phone in hand, to get this party started.
The first step is to go before the Historical Preservation Society to get authorization to remove a chimney at the back of the house. Hopefully they will see things the way Jonathan, my contractor and new bestie, and I do. Jonathan, who has experience with this group of historical zealots, refers to them as the Hysterical Preservation Society. This could be fun. Or it could be unbelievably frustrating -- or both. Either way, I'm sure I'll have lots to report to all of you.
I have finally come to really understand the meaning of the phrase "happy place". Maine is my happy place. This house, with all its weirdnesses and quirkiness, is my happy place. This house, with all of its historical limitations, is my happy place. My team of craftsmen (yes, including Tree Hugging Bob, and my antique roof specialist Victor), all contribute to making this my happy place. This is the place Ted and I see our family gathering in years to come. Our kids, their families. All of us. In the happiest of places.
Thank you Ted. You were right.