We will be moving soon. Moving is never fun. It pretty much always sucks. And, leaving this house will be difficult. But, it must be done. I wish someone had left me a letter regarding the in’s and out’s of this house before I moved in. So, in typical Kristina fashion, I have taken the liberty of writing an open letter to the new home owners.
Dear New Home Owners,
The first time I saw this house, I knew it was unusual. It looks like a toddler tried to squeeze an octagon into a square. It’s like someone picked up a haunted house and dropped it into a cul-de-sac. But, I assure you, it was here first, which makes it better than all the other houses.
I’m sure you noted its charming features: exposed brick; unusual, non-sensible holes carved into the floor; a quarry full of rocks hidden under the grass in the backyard; an extended family of bunnies living under the deck and a neighborhood cat who dismembers them all; a 500-year-old fox we have aptly named Splinter who wanders around in broad daylight because he refuses to wear glasses; a baby bat living in the basement (side note: he likes to be tucked in at night), an actual pterodactyl that screams like an actual dinosaur right before It’s about to rain (he goes by Stewart the Deradactacle—but you have to pronounce it correctly or he only screams louder); the exact same basement from the Amityville horror movie; odd geometric shapes cut from the exterior of the house to let in light; a door that shuts itself on the second floor; door knobs and key holes from the 18th century, a fancy breezeway which once housed a random dresser where we sat and smoked cigarettes at night; a pathway to the neighbor’s house where the perfectly manicured lawn ends and the overgrown weeds begin; a fence built from tree branches and glue sticks; a beautiful, high-vaulted ceiling with wooden beams that houses our pet-spider Maddy Add-Legs; a stunning bay window where LB would lie at night when I wasn’t home so the neighbors would notice if anyone tried to murder her. There’s so much more, but I’m pretty sure that was the longest sentence I’ve ever written, so…
The thing is, this house may seem like a new adventure to you. Or maybe it will seem like a nice boring place where you can plant some roots and grow your family. Whatever your intentions, I want you to know that this house is truly special. It’s an historical building, according to the state of PA. If the shingled roof didn’t give that away, the world’s oldest barn/garage door should have. It’s a large cape-cod, technically, but God or someone else moved the front of the house to the side of the house and the neighbors really can see you naked. I swear. I love this house. I didn’t always. But, I learned to love it. I learned to appreciate it as something someone else did for me. I learned to see at is a work of love. And, much like love, it’s in progress. Don’t be too hard on it. I was, and look where it got me. I hope it serves you as well as it has served us over the past six years. And, just to make sure you have all the information you need to be a successful home owner, I’ve compiled a few suggestions, below.Don’t ever mow the sloping part of the front lawn barefoot with a push-mower after it rains. I almost lost my foot doing that. Furthermore, there’s some electrical wire buried throughout the yard from when I installed an electric fence myself, forgot about it, and ran it over with the lawn mower. The seven gates of hell may or may not be sprinkled throughout the home. Don’t make any sudden movements in the doorways. Fairy snakes have been known to fall from the fucking sky. Don’t put your drum kit in the basement. It will grow mold. The piano sounds lovely in the formal dining room. But, do not relocate it. It may or may not play itself. Learn to embrace the fact that the inside is shaped like a circle but the outside is shaped like all of geometry. You will get used to the bathroom in the middle of the circle. It has two entrances so you will never pee alone again. The first floor is like winter and the second floor is like hell—so you get the best of both seasons. And, I painted the fucking cabinets with my own two hands so please do not fuck them up. Also, I realize that the light fixture doesn’t match the actual house. But, it took me six hours to re-wire the kitchen so I would just leave it as is to avoid costly electrical repairs to pretty much everything. The lights do go on and off by themselves sometimes—but that could be the spirits of the many dead people who lived here before us. Or Satan, if you buy the whole seven gates to hell scandal. I never did get LB that porch swing she wanted so please feel free to fuck off if you do.
It’s a perfect home, in all honesty. The roof never fell off, thank God, because shingles cost more than solid gold. The structure is sound. We’ve seen it through two earth quakes and a supposed tornado. The size of the yard is perfect—spacious enough to enjoy, yet manageable enough to pay someone else to mow. Three is the perfect number of bedrooms, and they go in order from smallest to largest—like nesting dolls. Whether there are spirits or the wood just expands when it gets warm, I’ve never been afraid to be alone in the house. If there are spirits, they’re not angry. If it’s actually Satan, I must be on his nice list. Do not make out in the front yard. The neighbors will not appreciate it. There used to be this perfect tree that sit in the middle of the backyard and provided the perfect amount of shade in the summer. But, it rotted from the inside out and we had to pay some asshole $600 to cut it down. He ruined all my flowers. It truly is a beautiful place to live. Even with five dogs. Even when we couldn’t afford to furnish it in the beginning. Even when the doors were halfway painted. You should consider putting a Christmas tree in every room of the house and then taking them down in March so the neighbors don’t miss us. I learned a lot in this house. I learned to wrap meatloaf in bacon. And, then I learned how to stop eating meatloaf and bacon when LB became a hippy. I learned to teach a fearful dog to trust again. I learned to be a responsible adult—for the most part. I learned to drink too much, and then I learned how to stop. I learned that nitrous oxide does not a bad day fix. And, I learned to love someone else. I learned to love myself. I learned that I can make mistakes. And, I learned that I am not defined by them. I learned that life is worth living no matter how catastrophic and shitty and awful and heartbreaking it can be. I learned that I still have so much to learn. And, I learned it all in this house. So, please, be kind to it. Because I will miss it. Please, don’t forget to weed the lawn—or pay the kid down the street to do it. Don’t wait until you sell it to paint it the colors you love. It really shines in grey. I know the doors swing in the wrong direction, but eventually you will come to love them and hate everyone else’s. It’s so far from perfect. But, it’s beautiful and big and full of fucking character. It’s loud when it rains and far too quiet when it doesn’t. It will serve you well. And, be good to our neighbors. Because they have been absolutely amazing to us, and they will be equally as kind to you –as long as you’re not assholes. If no one comes to bother you, you know you’re fucking assholes. That’s on you. This house has been around for a long time. And, I imagine it will remain for many years to come. Unless the city pays you a shit ton of money to tear it down and put in a road. In which case, I am sure the neighbors will never talk to you again.
Just know that it was loved. It was as loved as an inanimate object could possibly be. And, it will always be loved. Because it was ours.