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Kelsey Wolf


Getting Lost

Kelsey WolfI bought a house in February.  It is charming and well laid-out but not without little problem areas.  Right now, for example, I am working on the kitchen.  I have become quite skilled.  I know how to strip paint off cabinet hinges and window hardware.  I use my drill to make holes for new kitchen cabinet knobs and repair holes in plaster with spackling that goes on purple and then turns white as it dries.  The week I moved in, I replaced the shower head.  I chose the low-flow one in an effort to be good to the environment. 

In June, I went to Sears and bought a new stove.  My old one was ugly.  The two front burners didn’t work either, but mostly I replaced it because it was just so darn ugly.  I park my car in a two-and-a-half car garage at night, and I like to sit on my deck and drink wine when the sun starts to go down. 

I host parties in my house and when I do, I tell friends that the French doors that lead from the dining room to the porch are not original to the house.  My home inspector told me that.  The wood floors are quite lovely.  I had them refinished right before I moved in.  I know my living room needs an area rug, but the one I had my eye on is no longer available at Crate & Barrel.  There’s no rush, I guess.

My house is home to me.  It is an arts-and-crafts-style bungalow with beautiful woodwork, and it is nearly one hundred years old.  It is like so many other small, quaint houses in St. Paul and Minneapolis.  We didn’t have houses like this where I grew up in Montana, and I have coveted a place like this for several years.  I bought it with my own money.  “You are a saver,” my mortgage guy told me.  It is a fulfillment of a dream. 

But it is also a departure.  Nearly a year and a half ago I said to Curtis when he walked in the door “I think we should buy a house.”  The prices seemed right.  So did the timing.  We were both excited by the idea.  Three months later, I came home to our apartment and heard water running.  I walked up the stairs and saw Curtis scrubbing the sink in our bathroom.  I knew.  I touched his arm and asked “Are you leaving?”.  He nodded.  He left a few minutes later and never spent another night in our apartment.  A month later, he came back to box up his things and moved them out while I was away at work on a Monday, the day before my 28th birthday. 

So many things in my house are exactly what I wanted and anticipated.  I come home to my beautiful little bungalow and feed my cat after work each day.  The recycling goes out on Thursday morning.  The neighbors are friendly and quiet.  I am just two blocks away from my dear friend Sarah.  I have no buyer’s remorse, but I am alone here.  “Sometimes on the way to a dream, you get lost and find a better one.”  A friend offered this to me three years ago.  It hangs on the wall in my bathroom.  I see it every day.