I'm a real estate junkie.
Every weekend I look for open houses to visit.
I'm very judicious, though. I personally think it is poor form to bother realtors every weekend just to look at houses. I'm sure they'd catch on and get a bit miffed or weirded out that this lady keeps showing up but never buying.
But, if a gorgeous vintage cape cod or bungalow shows up on the market, or a pretty farm house, or colonial with many originals still intact, you bet I'm going to be there!
This past weekend, my neighbor's house had their open house.
The house is a 40 year old small ranch that fell into sad disrepair since the elderly who lived there couldn't keep up with it, were sort of hoarders, and had dogs that kind of did what they wanted where they wanted.
A real estate company bought it, gutted it, and fixed it up and I just HAD to see the transformation.
It was quite the treat to walk in, smell the fresh paint, and see everything brand new and professional done.
No crayon marks on the walls.
No scuffs on the floors.
No stains on the carpets.
No dust bunnies behind the appliances.
No dirt on the welcome mat.
No scratches on the cabinet doors.
No fading, discoloring, yellowing, candle soot, dirty diaper smells, leaks, or pitting.
It. Was. Perfect.
Later that night, I was washing my kitchen floor and noticed my discolored, scuffed, stained, dripped on lower kitchen cabinets.
They are original to the house...1950...enameled metal.
Not easily repainted, and after decades of use, not easily cleaned to gleaming, either.
We have a little red chair in the kitchen for the children to use to put their shoes on, but it often gets dragged to the counter, and banged against the cabinets in eager hope to stir the batter and lick the spoon, leaving red paint streaks on the dingy white enamel.
I was tempted to be disappointed in my scuffed cabinets.
My house isn't perfect.
Far from it.
I can see the wrinkled noses of any future real estate agents should we ever sell.
But this little cottage is our home, and every scrape, scuff, and gouge has a story to tell.
No red marks on the lower cabinets means no little helpers to stir the batters for more.
Some day we'll repaint and repair.* Perhaps we'll even be able to remodel.
For now, the best part of the glorious imperfection of our little cottage is that it isn't a big deal if the kids do mess something up.
*Now, don't get me wrong. Our house isn't in such a state of disrepair it is disgusting. Just well-lived-in.