Sunday, July 15, 2012

The New Toilet Seat

When we bought our house it was not new, or pretty.  Besides being quite dated the previous owner had a drug and alcohol problem which led him to start but not finish several projects in the house.  So the ceramic tile in the front entry was half chopped out, some of the wall paper had been partially stripped, the previously finished basement had been gutted and then about 3 sheets of Sheetrock had been randomly nailed to the ceiling. There was a door missing on the bathroom vanity and the sink dripped. He tried to burn trash in the fireplace and there was soot marks going all the way to the ceiling. And don't even get me started on the cleanliness of the place.

But, long story short, we bought it.

Then we cleaned it, painted every wall and ceiling, re-did the hardwood floors, tiled the kitchen and bathrooms, re-finished the basement, new counters, new sinks, new light fixtures, new toilets, amen.

And we moved in to a beautiful new house.

So you can imagine my surprise when John tells me his toilet seat broke the other day.  I mean it is brand new!  We just bought it...oh, 10 years ago.

How did this happen?  How have we been here 10 years?

Did you know you are supposed to update your house every 10 years?  I mean I just re-did my house, don't you think it is fine?  I still think it looks good.  I suppose I can see that the paint could use some freshening and the floors are a bit scratched up, and the door on the cheap vanity in the bathroom keeps falling off, and the kitchen faucet leaks, the basement carpet is stained, and the toilet seat just cracked...OK I may see their point.

It isn't like you have to do a complete remodel every 10 years but, little updates which, if you do on an ongoing basis, maintain your house.  And all those things that need to be done to our house to keep it in good condition could be easily done one at a time to keep our house from getting dated. We could grab a new kitchen faucet one of these days while John still gets a builder discount.  And paint is relatively cheap.  One thing at a time.  Or one room at a time.  Some projects are bigger and some projects we make bigger.

I am dreaming that when we are ready to re-do the bathrooms that we can do a total re-structure of the main and master bathrooms.  I imagine stealing space from a closet and hallway and creating a bigger master bath with an electric outlet (which we currently don't have in that bathroom) and a second sink so I can move in there with John before Isabelle hits her teen years and I am having to schedule time with her to get into mine.  That will take some money though.  I won't be able to squeeze that out of a fuller summer paycheck.  That will have to be planned for.  Like the paint job we need to do outside the house.  For years we have been talking about how we would like to re-do the brick and maybe wrap the columns in something more modern.  However, we finally realized that the paint is chipping and we don't have the money for the big project so it is time to just slap some paint on this bad dog and move on.  It will need to be re-painted again in a few years and maybe then we can think bigger.

John is in school, Jake is headed to college, I am trying to start a business and Isabelle really wants to take some lesson or be in some sport.  Suddenly I understand how my parents still had the same gold carpet and foil wallpaper in their house long after anyone thought it was in style.  And I am impressed that they were able to occasionally paint the inside and out while we were growing up.  Some days even a can of paint feels like a challenge.

Luckily, I was so cutting edge with my green kitchen cabinets that I still occasionally see the color in home decor magazines.  Along with everything else.  But the tides are changing and I suspect in a couple more years I will wake up to discover my house is the new version of gold shag carpet and foil wallpaper.  And our kids will be wishing we would do something about it and wondering why we can't see how horrible it is.  We will just smile, look around, see the life we have lived here and tell them how much we still like it.

Until then I guess we will just focus on work, school, raising kids and putting out the little fires. Like a $5 toilet seat.

How does your house look?

1 comment:

  1. Well, we live in military housing that was built before my dad was even a thought... Not much we can do, but I'm proud of what we've done with it :)