The old house

The old saying is true – you can’t ever go home again. I decided to see if there were any images of the house I grew up in online. Turns out there are a lot. I’m a little freaked out, actually.

One – the house is no longer for sale, so why are the pictures up? This benefits me, of course, but do the current owners care if the whole world can see inside their home?

Two – what did they do to the house!? It looks so spare, so lifeless. Where are the books? They ripped out all the bookshelves. I’m a little suspicious of people who don’t read. The wall colors are a bit bland and noncommittal. Maybe these are “staging” pictures, and not pictures of the seller’s furnishings. It took me a while to figure out what they’d done with the half-bath downstairs. The yard! My mother lovingly landscaped it – and it has all grown over. So sad.

Three – it sold for what!? I sold this house in 1998 for $69,900. The couple who bought it assured me that they were going to live there a long time. I’d gone to school with the husband, and as he was a real estate agent, we were able to talk before the sale. The neighbors had all expressed concern that they didn’t want someone to buy it and flip it – they wanted a neighbor, not an investor. He assured me that he was here to stay. Well – turns out that was only for seven years, because they sold it for nearly double what they paid for it, at $127,500. I feel a little cheated, and lied to. Then it sold again two years later for $141,000. Eight years later it sold again for $155,000. Stunningly, that owner put it back on the market not two months later for $163,000, but it didn’t sell.

We lived in that house for 30 years. It was home, not a house. I still have dreams that are set in it. That was what defined “home” to me, and in many ways it was ideal. I needed to move because I couldn’t afford it, and I needed to get away from some bad situations that were happening in my life. But in some ways, I want that house back. I especially would have liked to have found a house that size (3 bedrooms, 1.5 bath, 1600 sq feet) for the price I got for it. My current house has the same number of rooms and is 400 sq feet smaller – and cost $30K more!

Here’s the info from the listing –

“A comfortable and charming 1920’s Dutch Colonial that is conveniently located. This well maintained home offers character and charm with original hardwood floors and two piece crown molding throughout. The large living room offers hidden wiring for wall mount flat screen tv giving way for more spacious living. The separate dining room and adjacent kitchen offer a great flow for entertaining; enjoy double oven plus gas range with microwave hood. The second level offers 3 bedrooms, one with an oversized closet and a full bathroom. Don’t miss the 1/2 bathroom off the kitchen and the large unfinished basement, great for storage with walk out access to backyard. Enjoy days and evenings on the side screened in porch.”

I’m amused that they did all that work with the house, but the basement is still unfinished. The basement is huge – you could live in just it. But, it is haunted, so there’s that. Wonder if they know? I called a friend to exorcise it before I moved, but who knows if the ghost actually left? Sometimes they don’t want to leave. Maybe that is why the house sold four times in 17 years.

Here are the pictures of the front of the house
front

front left

front left close

Go in the front door and here’s the living room
living room

living2

living 3

living 4

Turn around from that last picture (this is to the left of the living room) to see the dining room
dining room

This is looking back towards the living room from the dining room
dining 2

Here’s the kitchen as soon as you enter from the dining room
kitchen

kitchen 2

kitchen 3

kitchen 4

They enclosed the back porch and changed how you get into the bathroom downstairs

kitchen to porch

Here is the half bath that is attached to the kitchen.

kitchen bathroom

Outside, the back porch area (this did not exist, nor did that immense fence)

back porch1

back porch2

back porch 3

back porch 4

back porch 5

back porch 6

back porch 7

The sad-looking yard

yard

Back in the living room, go right to go out on to the side porch

side porch

side porch2

Back in the living room, the stairs going up.

stairs

At the top of the stairs, looking towards the main bathroom

upstairs

In the bathroom itself.
bathroom

The bedroom on the Southwest corner (the one my brother had initially, and after he moved I took it.)

bedroom 1a

bedroom 1b

The bedroom in the Northwest corner (my parent’s bedroom)
bedroom 2a

bedroom 2b

The bedroom in the South – a dark, small room. This was the one I had, as the youngest.

bedroom 3a

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Virtual begging

How have we gotten to the point that people are begging online? Instead of standing on the street corner, they put their hand out on social media. I’ve seen this more and more in the past year, to where it is becoming normal.

I doubt that they think of it as begging, but how can it be anything but? It is more sanitized this way, but the effect is the same. They want others to pay their bills for them. Their idea of financial planning is to tap into someone else’s financial plan. They ask to use other people’s savings, rather than saving up anything themselves.

Perhaps you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about? It is when people open up a Go Fund Me or a Kickstarter account, asking friends for money for things that they need, such as unexpected burial expenses or medical treatment for an accident or a chronic condition. Another one I saw was a plea to help a lady buy lapidary equipment so that she can expand her business. The further heart-string pull is that she is homeschooling her special needs child.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all quit our jobs and do whatever we wanted, not worrying about our futures? We’d never have to deny ourselves anything, because we could buy whatever we wanted and not have to save. We’d never have to work at a low-paying job and feel chained to it because it provides health insurance. Then, when the inevitable happens, we can just go begging online.

How have we gotten to this point? Why aren’t people saving money? Why aren’t they thinking ahead? How did they pay their bills before these online begging options arrived?

I remember that it was once considered shameful to beg. Is that over now?