never again

moving is horrible.  we’ve officially crossed the brink past the age where it’s appropriate to wrangle friends and family into helping you move years of accumulated stuff.  i will never again fall for the allure of saving a bit of renovation dollars to go DIY on the move.  we had fooled ourselves into thinking this wouldn’t’ be so bad.  elysian needed so much work done it didn’t make any sense to move everything in.  so weeks in advance we took everything non-essential to a storage unit.  our little house felt bare, and we thought we were smooth sailing.

it’s funny now, but in the final moments at king we were running around throwing stuff in bags, emptying the fridge, and begging neighbors to let us store garage run-off in their half of the driveway until we finished closing.  the Uhual we rented ended up being way too small.  i made at least 5 trips to the new house dropping off lawn equipment, outdoor furniture, rain barrels, you name it.  that stuff is big, and takes us way more space than you anticipate.  as if it weren’t bad enough to have to move in my subaru late at night by ourselves, the yard had become so overgrown in mid-June that i had to machete my way down the sidewalk into the back yard to drop stuff off there.  i crossed my fingers and hoped that the various items strewn throughout our future backyard didn’t end up missing by morning.

I don’t think we would have survived if we hadn’t called in the calvary that evening.  we sheepishly asked my parents, sisters, and two dear friends to rescue us.  to make things worse, we were moving into a place without running water or working plumbing and were faced with the sad reality that on our first night of ownership we couldn’t even stay in the new house.

just a few weeks before closing, someone broke into elysian and stole much of the copper.  on a whim after perusing the regent square yard sale with my mother, she asked to see the new place.  we were peeking around and noticed a door ajar.  never good news with an empty house.  i opened the door to the sound of running water and my heart sank.  i ran through the house to make sure no one was inside, and then tried to shut off the main in the basement.  no luck.  we called the realtors and the owners daughter, and left the place with water gushing all over the basement ceiling and floor.  It could have been so much worse, but already dealing with a house that we knew would push us to the brink, i’m still surprised this didn’t turn into a deal-breaker.

moving night we caught our first and just about only break in this process.  while the plumber was patching water lines in the basement, my family was dragging our mattress upstairs so we could spend our first night of ownership in the new house- truly exhausted, and yet still somehow excited about the potential.

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it’s so hard to say goodbye

leaving our house on king was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do.  it was our first home, our first renovation, and served as host to our wedding reception.  we had the BEST neighbors.  it’s only been a few weeks since we’ve both come to a place where we don’t want to take it back.  although my partner was love at first sight with elysian, the romance didn’t last.  it wasn’t long before she hated the move, the renovation process, the house, and although she won’t admit it – i’m sure sometimes even me.

i first walked through King in October, 2008.  before the end of the day, i made everyone join me to walk through again and we wrote the offer that night.  there was some convincing to do, but not much.  it had great bones, and we spent the next five years slowly renovating each room in the house.

although a bit weird, we take any opportunity and excuse to drive past the old place.  i hope the new owners love it as much as we did, but i’m sure that’s not even remotely possible.

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link to listing photos of the old place

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1021-King-Ave-Pittsburgh-PA-15206/11620323_zpid/

a long journey

It’s been about a year since we made the decision to sell our cute little American Four Square in Highland Park, PA.  For years, our realtor had taken us through homes, we stalked listings and open houses, and even wrote a few offers.  We never quite got to the point of committing to the sign in the front yard though.  Until we did.

I’d like to think it was my persuasive powers or logical arguments in favor of selling that finally got us there.  But in the end, my partner fell in love with another house.  Of course my immediate reaction was NO!  However, understanding this might be my only chance of moving, I reluctantly agreed to purchase a VERY run down 1885 Victorian, and hoped that I would come to love it.  This is our attempt to document and preserve the process, memories, and progress we’ve made in restoring Elysian.  We’d been ambitious enough to think we’d start this as renovations began in June, 2014.  Our timeline was short (6 months) and renovations are long, but now is as good a time as any.

214 Elysian St-paint