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From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

November 6, 2009

Our current little house has wonderful character, added by the people who created it, lived here and cared for it. It feels as if it has its own personality, unlike so many houses built these days. We’ve kept this in mind every time we renovated or made repairs. We have always taken care to preserve it and make it better, to respect and honor it. This path may not have made the most sense in terms of real estate return on investment, but it just seems like the only right thing to do. This house has been here much longer than us and will, hopefully, outlast us, loved by many other owners.

The House

So now we are starting down the path with our new place, also full of personality and history. It, however, has little interior architectural detail and hasn’t been always responsibly cared for. One person described it as having ‘nothing but potential’. It doesn’t exactly give off the warm coziness of our house. So, though excited for us, some people wonder why we are leaving this place. We finally have a terrific kitchen that takes advantage of every inch of space. It works for our everyday lives as well as some wonderful big dinners. Just about every system has been replaced. We have wonderful neighbors. We could even have it paid off in the not too distant future.

This perplexity was artfully stated by our friend, Sandy. She had recently been to the building, before we closed and before we started cleaning it up. Let’s just say it wasn’t looking particularly charming. There was junk everywhere, including a vast quantity of cans of ink, large heaps of rusty equipment and plenty of peeling paint. She then stopped by our little house and saw it all dressed up for showing. As we walked her around, we showed how we tried to stage the place to accent its best features, and discussed the work we’ve done in the 15 years we’ve lived here. We could see her comparing the structures in her mind’s eye. Sandy said “it is like you are moving from the sublime to the ridiculous.” Ain’t that the truth?

Current Kitchen

That started us pondering her accurate assessment. We could stay at the house. We even had a call out of the blue from a real estate agent with a client interested in buying the building, giving us a tidy profit in a very short amount of time. We could take the profits and take a long overdue beach vacation. Instead, we are diving into the biggest physical and financial challenge of our lives.

Our New Kitchen

The truth is, we’ve never been the kind of people that take the easy way out. We are Architects; architecture isn’t a career for the timid. We enjoy challenges, whether running a marathon or learning how to blow a beautiful glass vessel. There are many idioms to ponder, like “from the sublime to the ridiculous.” We’ve decided that we would rather “boldly go where no one has gone before” then “take the money and run.”

But we’ve kept that agent’s phone number. We’re brave, not stupid.

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