Top Ten Things I Will Miss:
10) The living room picture window. They don't make them like this anymore--snow-covered pines by a red barn just outside a window like this has fed my soul on many cold mornings.
9) The enormous kids room. They also don't make bedrooms that are 19' x 17' anymore either. It has been a great joy and an awesome bonding experience for all five kids to live together while they were little.
8) The antique hardware. This house has lots of character--so many nice touches you won't find in a new home.
7) Having a cast iron furnace with a coal door, and an axe-hewn central support beam for the house. They're unique. Not many people can still see the axe marks from when Pa Ingalls chopped down the tree and shaped the trunk to support the house. Besides, it's fun to show visitors our furnace and tell them that we shovel the coal into the furnace through this handy door.
6) Knowing every one of my neighbors. Living in the middle of a mobile home park that I manage means that I know all of my neighbors well. Everywhere I go people smile at me and wave, and I smile and wave back. We like seeing each other. We trust each other. We look out for each other's kids. I don't know if my new neighborhood will measure up to that or not.
5) A backyard that is constantly full of kids. Being the only common area for the whole mobile home park means that my backyard is always full of playmates for my kids, and almost always has a soccer game happening. For a homeschooling family, this has been amazing.
4) The magnolia tree. Because if you have to wash dishes, at least you can have this stunning view.
2) My neighbors George and Patricia. You can't always find neighbors who stop in almost daily just to check up on you and chat while you make dinner, who will mow your lawn just because, or run over to watch your kids when you're in a pinch. They have been priceless.
1) The sunsets. The tranquility of my front porch. The ever-clear view of Venus in the dusky sky. My thinking spot and my writing spot. The Skyview.
Okay, now that we're all wiping tears, I would like to end on a happier note, and so I present:
Top Ten things I will NOT (EVER) Miss:
10) Overloaded electrical circuits. Electricity was a major afterthought for this house that was built around 1890. And when they finally did think of it, they didn't think big enough. I need to choose which appliances I want to run when, because one circuit will not support the window air conditioner, the dishwasher, and the washing machine at the same time. I can't count the number of fuses I've replaced from forgetting about that. Our new house has been updated with many new circuits that have all the power I need available to me, without me having to make mental calculations of how many amps I'm drawing by cooking, cleaning, and cooling the house.
9) Window Air Conditioners. They were better than nothing. That's about all the good I have to say about them. Matt and I will not miss the yearly ritual of installing two window ACs in the spring, or packing them up for the winter. I will not miss my hot, hot summer kitchen that was never properly cooled by the window ac in the next room. I will not miss the extra noise or the fans we had to run constantly to try to circulate the cool air. Sign me up for the house with central AC!
8) Rotten Windows. I am almost positive these wooden windows have been in this house since 1890. Most of them are permanently rotted shut. The window in the kids' bedroom is so unsafe that I had it boarded up just to make sure no one fell out of the second story. The window in my bedroom had to be opened in the summer for the window AC, but had to be caulked shut during the winter because it had half-inch gaps all the way around that let a literal breeze into the bedroom. Our new house has all new vinyl windows! I bet they even open and close with no winter-caulking necessary.
7) Poor energy efficiency. We tried to seal the house and add insulation. The power company sent some people out last year to do their best to help us. This house's efficiency just stinks. Did I mention we're moving into an all-brick house? Bring on the lower utility bills!
6) The 1950s kitchen. Having a nice kitchen that looks like the 1950s might be in style now, however having a kitchen that is actually from the 1950s has significant drawbacks. There is just not enough cupboard or counter space for a family of seven that cooks every meal from scratch. My self-designed wall shelf and hanging pots system helped a lot, but it was still a squeeze. Literally. Just not cutting it.
5) Squeezing between the dishwasher and the cupboards to open the cupboards. See the picture above? Imagine how fun it is to get pots out of the bottom left cupboards. Not fun doing that dance.
4) The portable dishwasher. It was better than no dishwasher at all, but dragging it over to hook up to the kitchen sink was getting a little old. I'm ready to cook and clean in a roomy kitchen with an installed dishwasher.
3) Having a washer and dryer on opposite sides of the basement. This folks, is why you should not design laundry facilities when you are drunk. Not only does every single load of laundry in this house have to be carried down two flights of stairs from the bedrooms to the basement and back up two flights of stairs when it is clean, on top of all that fun you also get the joy of lugging every wet load of laundry across the entire basement to the dryer. Maybe because the people who designed this needed more exercise in their lives? Maybe. But I am ready for main-level laundry where the washer and the dryer actually sit BESIDE each other.
2) ONE. TEENY. TINY. BATHROOM. It started out looking like this:
Then was remodeled last year to look like this:
This was an incredible improvement. But the dimensions didn't change, nor did the number of toilets. Seven people now use this toilet. Seven. We hardly even have time to close the door. Might as well just leave it open. My new house has TWO FULL BATHS! Holy moly. I might even be able to teach the children what "privacy" means.
1) Squirrels in the basement. Squirrels in the attic. Squirrels in the walls, scraping, scratching, chewing, scurrying down the wall just behind the toilet you are innocently sitting on. Hello, brick house on a block foundation! When can we move in?