Vicky's Entrance

Thanks to my loving husband, I live in a house that I love.  But one of the main reasons I love this house is because of a memory I have about a girl I went to high school with named Vicky.

I run into Vicky a few times a year.  In all the years I've know her, Vicky never grew her hair past her shoulders, she always wore glasses and I loved to make her laugh because when she would, you could hear a slight raspy sound that always made me laugh in return.  When we do see one another, we always hug and kiss each other's cheek and depending on time, we'll talk and get the other caught up on our busy lives.  Vicky probably doesn't realize it but I have a wonderful memory of her from when I was a teenager and there is something about my life now that reminds me of her every single day.

When my husband and I met, I was renting a small two bedroom house in a section of the town I was born and raised in.  I had more room in my house than he did in his small apartment so in July of 2003 after his lease was up, he moved in with me.  After about a year and after the birth of our son, the owner of the house sold it and we needed to find somewhere else to live.  We decided to move to a another house that had cheap rent, so we could get financially prepared to become homeowners ourselves.

In the spring of 2008, we were finally in a position to start looking. Our search started slow and casual, driving through prospective neighborhoods, looking on-line at real estate websites to see what they had to offer, and asking friends and family if they knew of any houses that were for sale in our price range.  We looked at just a few houses, but nothing really impressed us enough to pursue.

One local real estate company had their sign on two houses that were right next to one another on a familiar street.  From the outside, these houses looked like sisters and it was clear they were copycat versions done by the same designer.  These houses were substantial looking homes with red brick and appeared to be three stories.  But, the prices of the two houses were drastically different. 

I called the real estate office and made an appointment to meet with an agent to look at both houses.  I remembered seeing the house Vicky grew up in and it was actually just a few doors down from the two houses that were for sale.  I had been to Vicky's house a few times when I was a teenager, especially remembering her high school graduation party and with her father and brother being volunteer firemen, they had a bunch of young, cute fellow firefighters in attendance.  We sure had fun that night!

The other vivid memory I had about Vicky and her house was the foyer.  I had always remembered about the time was about 14 or 15 and visiting Vicky's house during the Christmas season. Their house had a beautiful victorian entrance way with dark, natural woodwork for the walls and the banister that went up to the second floor.  Vicky's parents had a huge Christmas tree in the corner of the foyer, elegantly decorated with ornaments, beautiful ribbon, small, white lights and the smell of fresh pine filled the air.  The very top of the tree wasn't visible until you stepped closer and looked up because of the height of the ceilings leading up to the next floor.  It was breathtaking.   It was like stepping back in time. I never forgot how it felt to stepping into their beautiful foyer.

In front of the two homes that were for sale, I met with Donna, the real estate agent in charge of the sale of these homes.  Donna was a cute, small statured woman with short blond hair, with a clipboard in one hand and an extended arm for a business-like handshake as I approached her.  I wanted to see the lower priced home first and saw immediately the reason for the low price tag.  The first and obvious reason was that the inside had been neglected for a very long time.  Secondly, in the past it had been made into a multi-family apartment building with 3 small apartments that looked as if they were housed by very low income tenants.  Carpets were stained, there were holes in several of the walls, and the second floor was falling through the first floor ceiling in one of the rooms.  We never attemtped to go and see the other floors.  It was obvious that the home needed to be completely gutted and refinished from top to bottom.

I was disappointed because from the outside the house looked promising but the inside was unlivable.  So, we went in for the neighboring house with the higher price tag and I was hoping that the inside didn't resemble the first house.  Donna told me that house #2 was occupied by a young couple with a small daughter and the wife was expecting a second child.  I understood that to mean that it was probably in move-in condition, a direct opposite of what we had just encountered.


Donna got the key from the key box, opened the door and I stepped in directly behind her.  What I saw took my breath away.  Before me was the same, almost exact foyer that I remembered seeing years ago at Vicky's house.  Dark, shiny woodwork framing the walls, a beautiful carved banister going up to the second floor, high ceilings and instantly I heard myself say aloud "Oh, I want to live here".  Donna looked at me over her shoulder and with a pleasantly surprised look on her face, she said "Wow. This is gorgeous".

We walked through this beautiful home, wide-eyed and excited at the large rooms, beautiful paint on the walls, hard-wood floors on the main level, pretty berber carpeting covering the steps and the second floor, lovely light fixtures throughout, and a covered porch on the back with a breathtaking view of the bridge and the rolling hills of the Allegheny Mountains.

I felt my throat start to ache a little bit.  I was so impressed by how beautiful everything was and by such a strong feeling of excitment that maybe, this could be ours.  When we were leaving the house, I had one last look at that beautiful foyer and I had visions of a large Christmas tree, garland draping over the dramatic banister and visitors coming and instantly being impressed with our entrance way.

I went home to our small rented house and with excitement in my voice, I must have talked for an hour to my husband about the house.  "Oh Honey!  Wait till you see the view!  And the floors are just gorgous!  I couldn't believe it when I saw that foyer!  It was so beautiful.  When can you go see it?  Huh?  When?  This week?" and he just looked at me, smiled and said he'd call Donna and try to make plans for the weekend to look at it.

The very next day, without even seeing the house, my husband called the bank and made arrangements for the loan.  He was determined to buy me that house just because of how excited I was telling him about it.

A month later, the house was ours.  Our new address.  Our home.  The house that my son would grow up in.  The house that I was sure would impressed everyone who entered.  The house I so desperately wanted belonged to us.

We signed the appropriate papers and retrieved the keys on a very hot and humid August afternoon. I let myself into our house, stood in the foyer and I could feel a familiar ache in my throat.  I was on the verge of tears standing there and letting my happiness of owning the house sink in.  I stood in the middle of the entrance way, looking all around and the only thing I knew standing there was, I couldn't wait for Christmas...

 
joyceluvsjames joyceluvsjames
46-50, F
1 Response Dec 4, 2012

Sounds like a wonderful home Joyce, so what time is the Christmas party and may
I bring you a bottle of wine to help celebrate?