July 24 Editorial

This week, my husband and I had the chance to once again step foot inside our home that we first lived in when we got engaged, then married back in 2009. With our house on the market and this lovable waterfront beach bungalow back on the rental market, we decided to once again move our things in and get a little sand between our toes.
Once a cute little cottage, with beachy colors on the walls, a fabulous deck for entertaining, and a huge white sand beach in the backyard, living in this house was a dream that I had always wanted to achieve. As an older home, it was never perfect by any means, but it was perfect to us. That is until we made the mistake of leaving to purchase a home close by, allowing for a gaggle of Navy fellows to move in.
Flash forward two years, and here we are.
I picked up the keys from the realtor, and was like a kid on Christmas morning, unable to control my excitement, as I rushed over to see it. I remembered the way it smelled, our initials in the wood wall by the front door, the sound the back door made when coming through it after a lazy day spent on the beach. All the quirks that made me love it. But when I opened the door, my heart sank.
The smell was different, and not in a good way. It was dark and dirty, with holes and scuffs along nearly every wall. The roof had been leaking onto the ceiling without being reported, causing the sheetrock to fall in in the living room. The doors and blinds had been chewed by a dog that must have been the size of a pony based on the extent of the damage.
The deck outside had been burned to the ground, and the siding on the house was melted due to the heat. There was water and fire damage in the bathroom, and the floors and walls were sticky from top to bottom. Suddenly I felt disgusting just standing in there. I had to get out.
I escaped through the back door, which comforted me with its old familiar sound, and headed for the beach. As least it was still the same. I started to get a little teary eyed at the thought of how the house once was while looking at the tattered shell that was left of it. I thought, “What the heck happened here?”
I just couldn’t understand how someone couldn’t love this place like I have for so many years. Were we making a huge mistake by moving back here? Was the house always this crappy, but I was just too blind to see it? Would we ever be able to relive those amazing first “glory days” that we both cherished so much here? My head was spinning.
I called the realtor and she assured me that they had assessed the damage and that they were well aware of what they were dealing with to make it right. There was nothing left to do but put my faith in them that they would get it fixed. If the guy would just give in and sell it, I’d fix it myself…..but for now I’m at the mercy of others, and I hate it.
A few days passed with not so much as a single contractor’s visit. I know because I am obsessive compulsive and made several trips a day to the neighborhood. I’m pretty sure the neighbors are going to call the cops soon to report a lurker.
Then today, as I made my stalker-ish pass by the house, I noticed that workers were going to town. I pulled in the drive way as they were leaving and asked if I could take a look around. I couldn’t believe the progress.
The deck was rebuilt, the whole house had been repainted inside and pressure washed on the outside, new doors and windows with matching blinds were on hand ready to be hung, and the roof and ceiling had already been repaired. I felt overjoyed. It was like a new house again. Who says Rome wasn’t built in a day?
Although there is still a ways to go, seeing the house almost come back from the dead left me with that same old feeling that she always gave me….happiness.
Now if only someone would come pack up my things and move them for me. That would be bliss.