Here are some things I love about our new(ly renovated) house:
- Choosing what to wear every day in my closet which is: 1) adjacent to my bedroom (for three years my bedroom was on the second floor and my closet was on the third floor); 2) a closet (for seven years before that, my closet was the landing to the attic stairs); and 3) big enough that I can hang, shelve, and see all my clothes, which has opened up new sartorial vistas, so to speak.
- From my bed: seeing the sun rise through the bedroom window; looking up at the blue sky and moon and snow (not all at once) through the skylights; feeling like I'm sleeping outside, as I look out the bedroom window and skylights.
- Children going into the playroom to play.
- Children going upstairs to play.
- Sitting in the living room with adults while children play elsewhere.
- Not tripping over guitars.
- Watching TV on the couch in the variously-named room (supposedly it is my study, but E has deemed it the other living room, which does not bode well).
- Moving the glossy cookbooks to a new bookshelf in the variously-named room, so that the active cookbooks on the pantry bookshelf are actually accessible.
- Putting E's clean clothes away in her closet.
- How E's old dresser painted burgundy so nicely holds the hats (top drawer), gloves (middle drawer), and scarves (bottom drawer) in the front hall.
- How neat and manageable the front hall is, without hats, gloves, and scarves falling out of a giant bin.
- Having people over for dinner and not having to either clean up my desk in the corner of the dining room or stare at my messy desk in the corner of the dining room.
- Telling the girls to clean their rooms, and not having to negotiate them fighting over who cleans what (since each is now responsible for her own room, rather than dubious components of a shared room) (plus the rooms are more easily cleaned, being bigger and unshared).
Truly, our life has been materially transformed, and there are delightful psychological effects as well, like loving where I live, wanting to have people over, and, on the truly superficial front, feeling once again like I live in a home befitting my age and status.
The only real negative, alas, is in the bathroom. Vanity is fine, skylight is good, fixtures are attractive, but hot water is an issue, to the point that I have not yet been able to take a bath, due to difficulty of filling enormous bathtub, and those trendy rain showerheads or whatever they're called? Not so good for the enveloping showers some of us prefer (i.e. water comes straight down, rather than spreading into a cone, which means sides of shoulders, arms, etc. are waterless, which is just not OK). These problems are, however, soluble: I plan to replace the showerhead, because suffering in the shower is unacceptable, and I am in discussions with various heat and water professionals about hot water solutions (which may involve shifting the water to gas and a new tank, whose specifications I am estimating at 10,000 gallons, or perhaps 20,000).
And in other updates, I went running for the first time today--short, slow, knee brace, no sprints--and so far so good.
Edited to add: What it all comes down to is space, which is truly one of the great luxuries.