A Room with a View of a Brick Wall


I moved again. It was exhausting. I hired my nephew and niece to help me, thinking, “If I’m going to spend hundreds to move anyway, why not keep it in the family?” But here’s a tip for free: rent a big truck, even if your nephew has a truck. All trucks look big to me. But even though I was only moving about two miles, it took 7 hours to move most of it because the bed of his truck wasn’t all that big. I spent two more hours after they had to leave schlepping the rest of the odds and ends in my Mini. Then there was the cleaning up at the old place. Fortunately I had learned an important lesson from the first move: don’t buy cheap packing tape. So this time boxes didn’t spring open and spill all over the truck.

The highlight of the move was when they couldn’t get my diningroom table through the back door. They removed the center legs. They tried to remove all the legs, which didn’t work. They tried opening it all the way (it’s huge—it seats 12 people). This resulted in some fairly deep gouges in the top. They tried taking the door off the hinges but the screws were rusted in place. They finally loaded it back in the truck, drove around the block, and brought it in the front door, which required carrying it up about 5 flights of steps.

But I’m in.  If I am really disciplined, I can pay it off and not have a mortgage or rent payment when I retire.

It’s not just the moving that’s such a pain. There’s changing your address for everything—which I had done three months earlier. Here’s another tip: walk into a post office and do it. Don’t do it online. I’ve tried it twice now and it doesn’t work.

I took the opportunity of moving to liberate myself from KomKast. I now have an antenna and can get about 10 TV stations. I switched internet providers, to CenturyLinke, and am so far pleased with them. I named my new wireless network “I’llNeverMoveAgain.”

So now I live in a gorgeous old wreck of a place; below are some photos. Another niece, and my cousin and her girls, came over before the move to help me paint. Tip number 47: get the right height ladder. Trying to paint 10-foot ceilings when you are 5’3”, using an extension pole while precariously balancing on a counter top on a wobbly footstool … well, I feel lucky I “just” had a sore neck and back for a couple days and didn’t break either.

When I sold my last place six years ago, I swore I would never own again.  I would never spend a sunny Saturday morning at Menard’s.  But the economics of renting vs. owning changed with the Great Recession.  So here I go again, buying all the stuff like drills and putty and ladders that I got rid off back then.

Now I lie awake at night thinking of all the things I want to do. I want to re-do everything, basically, with no money and no time and no expert help. I just try to observe myself, have a little laugh at my own expense, try to be kind. Tell myself, “one thing at a time.”

My favorite feature of the place: a big south-facing window with beveled glass.


The dining room, with the troublesome table, which looks amusingly tiny now.


I think this layout, with a long hallway, is called a Pullman.


The kitchen is horrid. I have a grand vision for remodeling it but that will have to wait.


This will be Vince’s room on September 9.  It’s a work in progress, like the rest of the place.  I hope the brick wall doesn’t make him feel claustrophobic.  At least he’ll have his own room with a door he can close, and a bathroom he can use by himself, with a door he can close.

Vince's BR

1 thought on “A Room with a View of a Brick Wall

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s