In our two weeks (plus one day) of home ownership, we’ve already learned a few things. Mainly, how to do stuff. Last night, I watched my husband, who was convinced just six weeks ago that we would need to hire someone to do every little repair around the house, fix a toilet that wouldn’t stop running. He spread the instructions to the replacement parts out on the sink, got out his toolbox, and got to work. An hour later, the toilet was working correctly and the satisfied, proud grin on his face made me laugh.
Next up on our “to do” list is to install a strike plate to the door in the guest room. It’s a vintage door (see below) but doesn’t have a strike plate, meaning it won’t close properly. Thanks to ThisOldHouse.com, I have a list of the supplies we need (a particular drill bit and a chisel because we already have the strike plate), and we’ll get to work.
After that is touch-up paint. The previous owner painted the house before we moved in and, since she was a fan of color and had amazing, vintage taste, I don’t want to change any of it, so touch-ups from the perils of her moving out and us moving are in order. I’ve already purchased my selection of paintbrushes and am ready to go when time (and my profound fatigue since Humira isn’t working) allows.
The other thing I’ve learned is something I didn’t really expect after being a renter my whole life – that I would feel so protective and proud of my little home. We didn’t buy a palatial estate. Sure, because we purchased a home in western Washington, the price of our mortgage would have bought an incredible 3,000 square foot house on five acres back home in Indiana instead of my tiny house on a quarter of an acre, but I couldn’t be happier. This place is mine, paid for by answered prayers and hard work with long hours.
I’m typing this blog entry sitting on the ferry, which is the main part of my daily commute now. I take a small foot ferry across Sinclair Inlet from Port Orchard to Bremerton, and then walk up the stairs and over to the next pair to get on the ferry that sails to Seattle. Other than the fact that the ship is bobbing like crazy today (bad weather in the region because…well… it’s November in the Pacific Northwest), I love it. Never in my wildest dreams growing up in southern Indiana, when my main frame of reference for maritime living was the Ohio River that snaked past my hometown, did I imagine that two ferries across an inland ocean would be my daily commute.
As I looked up just now, the sun is coming up and the Seattle skyline is in view through the windows of the ferry. It fills me with gratitude that I can even experience this, but most of all, it makes me feel blessed.
Even when we’re digging through dirt and ripping out old decks to replace and repair them, I’m going to remember to take a moment to be thankful. I’ve resisted putting down roots anywhere for my entire life, and then I found Washington. I found home.