DIY DIVA

Testing the limits of our relationship.

July 13, 2008 | 8 Comments | Memorial House
DIY diva

MysteryMan and I thought perhaps this month wasn’t challenging enough, what with both of us giving up alcohol for 30 days, one of us starting a new job, and collectively having two road-rashed limbs, one flat tire, a bad reaction to some medication, a big-ass wall to finish, and two completely insane cats in our lives.

So we thought we’d add a new house to the mix.

Wait, what?!

Yeah. Welcome to the Memorial House…

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I know, I know… I’ve been getting the same 5 questions all week. They go something like this:

Q: Don’t you already have a house?
A: Um, yeah. In 2004 I bought the house that MysteryMan and I currently reside in. It’s been a kind of informal living arangement… like sometime in December MysteryMan stayed the night here and hasn’t left since. The most formal discussion we’ve ever had about living in the same space went something like this:
Me: Hey, are you officially living here now?
MM: Yeah, I guess so.
Me: So… don’t you need to, like, move some stuff in?
Two days later he walked in the house with a coffee mug that held his beard trimmer and said “Okay… I’m moved in now.” (Men.)

Q: So, wait, who bought the house?
A: That’s complicated. MysteryMan’s grandfather (aka Superman) actually bought the house, but technically I think MysteryMan owns it, and as such is the Cheif Financial Backer for this project. However, purchasing the house and attempting to do something with it was a joint decision between MM and myself, and we’re still having discussions about how and when I get to contribute financially. So far all we’ve decided on is that when he wants one thing on the house and I want something more expensive… I get to pay the difference. And when we sell my house, the equity will get dumped into the Memorial House, hopefully in the form of an attached garage or some other type of addition. (I just felt my mothers eyeballs roll all the way back into her head. Don’t worry mom everyone, even though we aren’t married we fully intend to make sure we’re both legally protected in this kind of arrangement.) EDIT: In the summer of 2009 MysteryMan and I decided in lieu of getting married we’d just take out a mortgage on the Memorial house together, thus permanent binding ourselves to eachother. We paid back his grandpa with some of the money and saved the rest for the big addition we want to but on.

Q: So you’re going to sell your house? But… you love your house.
A: I’m not going to sell my house any time in the immediate future, first, because the housing market sucks, and second, because there is only so many times in your life you want to live in a house that is under construction. In my life that number falls between the range of zero and one. Been there, done that. So we’ll live here while the Memorial House gets a major overhaul… and like I told MM, as soon as that house is nicer than this one, we’ll switch and move in there. Although we still plan to be there on the weekends to take advantage of having bonfires and planting gardens and other things we can’t do on the postage-stamp sized lot my house is on.

And yes, I DO love my house. But I’m in a relationship with a good man, and this will never be his house, despite the fact that his beard trimmer resides here. At some point you have to make a choice about building something on your own or building something with someone else. This point probably came sooner for us than we would have picked if left to our own devices, but the Memorial House kind of fell in our laps, so we’re taking the opportunity and running with it.

EDIT: I did sell my wonderful little house in May of 2010. I loved it well, did right by it, and sold it to some great people. On to the next adventure.

Q: Are you insane?
A: Obviously.

Q: Okay, tell me about the Memorial House.
A: I thought you’d never ask…

My favorite thing about the Memorial House is something I talked about a few posts back… I’m already in love with the old gas station that comes with the property.

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It needs help, I know. But, Oh. My. God. The windows!

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My second favorite thing is that it comes with three acres of property, is in the country, and is within walking distance to MysteryMan’s parents and grandparents.

See this? This is what is currently located in the back yard.
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As opposed to at my house, where the neighbor’s kitchen is practically located in my back yard.

It’s not perfect though. My dream home always included seclusion, trees, and a mountain view… none of which this poor little house has to offer. We’re working on ideas for how to block out some of the sound from passing vehicles… and of course, trees can be grown. We can’t build a mountain (yet) but having a wheat fields surrounding us is a good trade off.

View from the back porch (facing East):
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And from the side of the house (facing North):
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Even with a good amount of traffic going by, it still feels more peaceful than in these neighborhoods where houses are crammed in to too-small lots.

Q: Why do you keep calling it the Memorial House?
A: Because I have to call it something, and it’s located on Memorial Highway. I’m not being that creative with naming conventions today.

Q: Can I see the inside?
A: Totally. But it’s already way past my bedtime. I’ll post the inside tour and the first project we undertook soon.

I will leave you with a couple more of my favorite things about country living though:

Sunflowers…
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And home-grown produce. (Thanks to MysteryMan’s grandpa.)
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(I have a great Fresh Raspberry recipe I’ll be posting in the next couple of days. Look out for it because it is delish.)

DIY diva

    Comments

  • Kelli


    Aw, you’re giddy like a new parent! The new house has so much potential! Think of the yard as a blank canvas ready for your gardening and tree-planting creativity. My mind is buzzing with ideas for the gas station, as I’m sure yours is. Be sure to tell us what you’re thinking about doing with it! Congrats on the new digs!

  • tammy


    “It’s been a kind of informal living arangement… like sometime in December MysteryMan stayed the night here and hasn’t left since.”

    you made me laugh. coffee mug. beard trimmer. you’re right. men.

  • Julie


    Woohoo! I am so excited for you. What awesome potential both things have….and I love that you have raspberries right next door.

  • Jennifer


    Exciting. That garage/thing is going to be such an awesome space!

  • kim


    I totally knew you’d end up here when you first posted about the Memorial House. Congrats!

  • Lisa


    Hi-first time commenter. Your Memorial house doesn’t by any chance be over in southwest Michigan between Allegan and Holland, does it? Some details of the road, the house, and the geography make me think of that area.

  • Jenni


    Love the open space and the wheat pic is GREAT!
    (yup—all caps)

  • Amalie


    Um, I’ve been sort of in and out this summer when it comes to life and sanity, so when I read something about this place in a more recent post, I did actually say, “Wait, what?!?”

    But it’s cute and I remember you leaving a comment on one of my posts that you wanted a place with land, so I am very happy for you! Congrats!!!

    For 5 years I lived in the house Adam had already lived in for 5 years before, and it was never really MY house. Our place now is, and it makes a huge difference– a very good thing for a relationship. (And we are not married either– I got some of the same eye-rolling!)

    Congrats again!!

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