Thanks for stopping by. Please buy my damn house!
People must have come to yesterday’s open house, because there are dirt and pebbles on the floor of every room. Usually, I wouldn’t notice, but the place has never been so clean and believe me, I CSI’d the shit out of the crap people left behind. My realtor said it had been slow at his other showings, and that the only people looking at houses on father’s day were “fatherless bastards.” So maybe the mud hitched a ride in on his lonely soles.
Whatever. It’s done. Or begun. Getting the house ready is the hardest I’ve worked on anything, and now it has to stay this way. I can’t leave any fingerprints, no signs of my messy work-at-home-with-dogs existence. It’s a little like the kids who ran away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basic E. Frankweiler, only there are no janitors here, and no priceless art. Instead of suits of armor and the Temple of Dendur, we have the engagingly grannyfied wicker chairs on the porch, on loan from my parents’ neighbors:
And the ugly, but appropriately-sized fake fern arrangement on the landing (my mom is great at proportions; she knew what it would take to fill the space without distracting potential buyers from the leaded glass windows):
Speaking of mom, I nearly broke her in the process of preparing the house. She was in charge of staging, since she’s got the eye, the skills, and the backlog of accessories from which to pull. Mom went on a high-stakes strafing run for decorative items and greenery on Saturday, bent on beautifying the back porch and several other not-so-hot spots. She arrived back at my place with sacks of treasures, then promptly went into atrial fibrillation at my kitchen table, as she was sticking candlesticks into holders. Hobby Lobby will do that to a girl. I enlisted dad to make her go take her medicine, but she refused to go home until her porch vision was realized:
And look at how she transformed the small room at the top of the back stairs:
This used to be the kitchen when the place was a duplex, but you’d never know the curtain is hiding a junction box, and the Grandma Moses print is strategically placed to conceal two—TWO!—off-centered outlets in the middle of the wall. Shhh, don’t tell, Internet!
Mom’s an artist. She always has been, but she’s less shy about calling herself that lately, now that she’s got a studio of her own down in the basement. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m glad she finally has a place where she can make stuff (and store her great legions of artmaking stuff, as well). I’ll post some pictures, so we can all be jealous together. Her eager eye shaped and defined my own, which is one of the biggest gifts she could have given me.
Although her style is not easily defined, I can see an object or an artwork and immediately guess whether mom will love it:
Is it black and white, or perhaps the color pops?
Are there stripes, polkadots, or other stong geometries?
Does it have rhythm and texture and scale?
Is the shape pleasingly unique?
Is it strong and engaging?
Does it quirk and invite?
Can you see its maker’s hand, the wear of use, or the tidal actions of time?
And I know that whatever this thing is, she’d group it with others in a way that starts a conversation between the objects. Many people claim to be eclectic, but that’s my mother’s mother-tongue.
Thanks for the bringing the polish and flair, mom. Everyone who sees the place says it’s never looked better.