We bought our house, a Spanish style home with a turret, in Arizona in 2009 after it had been lived in for a year and then foreclosed on. We bought low and lucked out when we sold it. When we would tell our daughter she lived in a princess house, she thought we were stupid. When new people came to the door, they would say, “You live in a princess house.” Yep, tell it to her…
I loved our house. It wasn’t perfect; once we moved in we realized we would’ve slightly modified the floor plan if we could. It took us a long time to fill it with furniture, but it happened eventually. I felt very lucky to have it as my first house. #Blessed.
It wasn’t always that way. Keep in mind it was a foreclosure that stayed untouched for about six months before we moved in. In the Arizona desert. You know what else lives in the Arizona desert? Scorpions.
Shortly after we moved in, I encountered my first one. They are scary looking menaces who blend in perfectly with the tile. And they are so gross! More and more scorpions started making an appearance, and each time I saw one, it stopped me in my tracks.
One night I was in the master bathroom when one fell from the exhaust fan. When I looked up, there were two more of his friends just hanging out. Done. Peace out princess house, you will now officially be known as the scorpion house.
We joked about it, but it was unnerving. Especially when we heard stories of so and so getting stung by one that fell out of the air conditioning vent. Or when I brought my own scorpion to Colorado one summer, noticing it in a drawer while I was unpacking my daughter’s suitcase. It must’ve been folded up in her clothes.
It took us about two years, but we finally got the scorpions under control and in the eight years we lived there, none of us ever got stung by one. Eventually, I was no longer scared of them and I took joy in killing those nasty little creatures.
This was the house my daughter grew up in. We moved into it right before she turned 2. This is the neighborhood where we met lifelong friends. It wasn’t unusual to get a text calling for a Friday night pizza party in the driveway. While the kids rode their bikes and scooters, the parents drank and hung out.
We held amazing parties in our house. I hosted Bachelor and Bachelorette nights. Sometimes friends came by to hang out and drink wine, just because it was a random Tuesday. Everyone always hung out in the kitchen or we hung out by the fire pit. Until one day, it became the house where my marriage fell apart.
I knew I didn’t want to stay in Arizona, and there was no way I could maintain the house on my own. It was too big, and at that point, I didn’t want it anyway. The house became a casualty of the divorce.
Besides the parties and the neighbors, there were other good things about the house. One of my favorite things was decorating it. It took years. I’m pretty picky and once I want something I will search high and low for it, not stopping until I find exactly what I want at a price I want to pay.
I never did find a dining room chandelier. I had been searching for years for the perfect one, and I found it right when it was apparent the house would no longer be ours.
We sold our house last year. It sold in one day. Today, I’m very disconnected from it and I rarely think of it, associating it with the bad memories instead of the good. I’ve gone back to spend time with the neighbors, and I haven’t even had the urge to drive by my old house. I’ve passed it on to someone else, and I hope they’re enjoying it as much as we did.
As for the furniture and all the things that come along with a house, most of it was sold. The new owner took a lot of it. The rest is in storage, awaiting a new home. I still have a few things to do before that happens, but hopefully soon. Starting your life over half way through the journey is not for the weak.
However, I’m looking forward to getting my own space and not fighting with someone for three years over what type of chair should go in the corner. And I won’t have to hang paintings of dead baseball players in my dining room. **
And of course, everything’s going to be pink, and floral and very feminine. Because it can be.
**Back story on the painting: It’s Johnny Bench, my Cincinnati Reds loving ex-husband’s favorite baseball player of all time. I asked my artist brother-in-law to paint it for him for Christmas one year. I don’t even have a painting by my brother-in-law and he’s stopped painting. It’s also one of only three possessions my ex-husband wanted to keep. Rock on Johnny Bench, rock on…