Remember last year when Eric and I moved into that adorable, cute, charming, beachy, white picket fence house? Well, if every lesson in life is just that: a lesson, than boy oh boy was our lesson, "Not all that glitters is gold." What exactly do I mean? Well, when we first saw this house, we fell in love...and to be honest, everyone that comes to see it does, and why wouldn't you? It is charming. It has two little bedrooms (mind you: little), a brand new kitchen, a white picket fence, an out building with a finished room. It's a cute house, there's no denying it. However, we quickly learned that just because something (or someone, for that matter) looks nice and pretty on the outside, doesn't mean that the inside is going to be just as pretty. From the moment we moved in there were slight issues. The attic, which we assumed would be wonderful to store all the furniture we couldn't fit in the bedrooms, ended up being too weak to hold any of our Ikea pieces. Annoying, but we kept on. We loved the house. Then came that little issue of getting a letter from FEMA. Yes, that FEMA. When we moved in we were told to get flood insurance because the house had flooded, slightly, during Hurricane Irene (the summer previous to when we moved in). Well, at the end of February, after living in the house for a month, we got a letter saying that insurance had paid around $70,000 to fix the house after the hurricane! That doesn't sound like a slight problem to me. That's when things started to...go sour. Literally. The house is built on a slab, and for many people, that's not an issue. However, when a house floods, and is not properly cared for after (aka, quickly rebuilding in order to turn it over fast), and the slab is still wet, problems can occur. Further, after the hurricane, apparently, a new drainage system was put in, which we think runs under the house. Let's get this straight: a house full of stuff + water= oh no here we go.

Eric's speaker, his bass case, and his office chair--all moldy.
Come summertime, we started to notice a problem. A big problem. Our things were molding. Yes, our things. Not like "clothes left in the washing machine" mold, or "food on the counter" mold. For some reason, the humidity in the house had jumped to 90% humidity. Think about that for a second. Now, we had an air conditioner running (which was another hurdle to jump--we were supposed to get a new one when summer arrived, but of course, it wasn't in writing (get everything in writing!), so they tried to get away with us using the one which was leaking down the wall, but eventually we did get a new one, albeit one which didn't take the humidity out of the air), and we had to buy a $200 dehumidifier, so eventually we did get it under control (though our landlords blamed the gutters being full, yeah, no)...but not without Eric's guitars being ruined (it was like a death in the family), wooden chairs, books, instrument cases, a panini press, desk chair, speakers, shoes, LL Bean bags, sleeping bags, among many other things molding. Yes, growing mold. We had to get rid of a ton of our things!

Once we realized that our things were growing mold, we realized the problem was serious. Mold is deadly, man. Seriously. Remember how my face blew up last summer? I'm starting to think the mold in the house may have had something to do with it. Mold grows quickly anywhere it can, and there's no doubt in my mind that on that lovely slab foundation under us is mold. In fact, we can pretty much verify this because I had LL Bean totes sitting on the ground in the closet, which molded on the bottom. Furthermore, on top of the mold issue, we had a cricket infestation (as well as mice) due to the fact that the floor is seeping away from the wall in the kitchen. Yikes. You know it's time to leave a house when the floor starts sinking!

So, we decided a few months ago it was time to go. I was devastated. I loved this house! It was my first real home with Eric (home being a house, in my head, not an a lot of way I loved the apartment more!). This house was close to my mother's house, close to school, close to was indeed perfect in a lot of ways. But, there were so many issues, more than I could even type here...and we were paying a good amount of money every month, and still stressing all the time about our belongings in the house. So, it was time to break up with the house. With my sewing room, with the dishwasher, with my washer and dryer, with the white picket fence, with the hydrangeas in the backyard. Sigh. Just like with any breakup, I spent a whole weekend in bed, crying my eyes out. I was mad, angry, disappointed, embarrassed, felt stupid, sad, every emotion under the sun. When I finally dried my eyes, and looked around, I knew it was time for a change. It wasn't fair to us, a young couple, to be worrying about a rental house all the time, not to mention that our health was at risk with all the mold in the house (one teacher at school told me to get out of there as soon as possible when I told her about the mold! She was probably right!).

So, where do we go from here? Well, after a weekend in January of looking for new houses, we did find one. I'll divulge more details as we decorate and move in. But, this process has been difficult, more difficult than I's hard giving up hope on something! I had dreams invested in this house. Real ones. Ones with babies, and families, and gardens and sewing. But, we always said this house reminded us of a vacation home, and if that's true, than on our vacations someone always gets sick (Eric...I'm looking at you), so it's time that the vacation ends and we go home, even if that means it's to a new home.

Sometimes, things look real pretty on the outside. Sometimes you invest everything you have into a dream. Sometimes things happen out of your control. And you know what? That's okay. You keep on keepin' on. Sometimes things will glitter for a while, but eventually, the glitter will dissipate, fall off, wither, and true colors shine through. That's when you know it's time to move on, move on.

Leave a Reply