Friday, August 27, 2010

About five years ago this time I was packing up the home I had just purchased and unpacked into. The home has a main house in the front and a small mother in law apartment in the back. The mother in law apartment is why I chose this house- it was 1000 square feet of wonderful space to put our burgeoning art business into and it had auspicious roots as a secret gaming establishment on the edge of New Orleans in the 1930s. The owner, a third generation family member who had lived in the home for fifty years and her husband's family for fifty years prior, told us many stories about the home- of climbing to the attic during Hurricane Betsy, a fire in the downstairs of the studio where grown men gambling had jumped out the windows on top, many of them injuring themselves rather dramatically(her husband, just a boy at the time, injured his leg permanently in that fall and was never able to walk properly- he was autopsied at death and the leg had not been properly cared for and was crooked below the knee).

So with all of the seriousness that comes with a first home purchase, I warily eyed a small storm hitting Florida a few days earlier and took my new Home Depot Charge card and window measurements to the orange behemoth for plywood. The store was pretty dead for a Monday afternoon and I marveled at being there for less than an hour to get all of that wood cut. It took much longer than an hour to load and unload all of the plywood into by 1985 Jeep Grand Cherokee (with pristine wood sidewalls,sigh), tearing the upholstery even more to bits in the process. My girlfriend laughed at me, saying she was going to end up using all of that wood for the kitchen subfloor.

We had spent several months working on the front house's interior. It took us three months to move in and we had two rooms finished- both bedrooms- and the rest of the house was completely empty. One bathroom had been completely dismantled and was in the dining room ala Holly Golightly- claw feets and all. Everything we owned except for work clothes and a newly purchased microwave was all in the back studio building, safely tucked away until room by room, everything was done.

Little did we know we should have boarded up the little studio in the back and not worried too much about the house...

To be continued