Sunday, March 24, 2013

3 out of 113

Tomorrow, I celebrate three years of owning the LFITBC. It feels like a long time in my little life, but it's only a heartbeat in the life of this old house. That thought humbles me. 113 years is a long time. This house has seen 20 presidents, two world wars, the first female voters, the dawn of the personal computing age, and almost every Minnesota winter recorded by the National Weather Service.

And at the end of another long winter, I'm rejuvenated just by imagining the garden in its spring and summer glory. I make lists of spring cleaning projects and the prospect of cleaning windows is more exciting (sun! warm weather!) than daunting. And cooking in my kitchen brings as much joy as ever.

One thing I couldn't have predicted three years ago was the job change I made 18 months ago, and the amount of travel it has brought. I love it for that -- I get to visit friends all over the country, went to London and Paris last fall, am going to China this spring, and more international travel likely this summer and fall. But it adds a challenging layer to maintaining a house on my own. It has forced me to be much more organized about appointments and chores, and to suck it up and ask for help from friends and family when I can't be here to shovel snow or water the garden. And it does make me more appreciative of the days I get to spend here. It's a blessing and a curse, but mostly a blessing.

So, tomorrow I'll feel a small weight off my shoulders -- the first-time homebuyer's credit required me to live in the house for at least three years, or I'd have to pay back that awesome $8,000. But other than that, it's just another day in the tens of thousands that this house has stood to shelter people from the cold, biting winds of the Minnesota plains. My mom and dad will read this and exclaim, "I can't believe it's been three years!" (hi there, miss you.) I'll hang my head a little when I look at the still-unfinished-trim in the kitchen, and promise to get to it before the fourth anniversary. And I'll look forward to many more dinners with people I love around the dining room table. Come and visit, friends!


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