Because I spent all of Saturday afternoon playing catch up on everything that had piled while out of town last week, holed up in my office with the air cranking, folding and washing loads of laundry, cleaning out my car, restocking the pantry, and tending to long overdue emails, I felt justified taking it slow and easy Sunday. Without any concrete plans to anchor our day. Which was nice for a change considering how rare that seems to happen for us.
We woke up and drove out early morning to look at a house I'd been eyeing online in the canyon (because I am always trying to get my family to love and embrace the canyon the way I do) all week and met a sweet, elderly couple there on hand to show us this pretty yellow farm house with a wrap around (albeit sinking) wood deck on 3 acres of land with the upstairs loft set up of my dreams - to house four boys, dorm style, with a lush surrounding treehouse panorama.
Per usual, I became easily distracted by all the small (appealing) details. The wood framed skylights, green claw tub, unique storage, and basic back road country charm while Mike zeroed in immediately on the rotting oak trees uprooting themselves on the sketchy slope against the property. Foreseeing mud slide scenario catastrophes straight out of my nightmares. Undercutting all my fantasies of renovating a home from 1929 without proper permits to boast of and plenty of other problems there to outweigh my amped up ideals of slow life in a remote canyon still close enough to treck down to visit family or surf on the weekends via convenient toll roads.
We spent another few hours driving aimlessly around Orange County, enjoying a break from the brutal Inland humidity, stopping for fish tacos and then the San Clemente skate park before checking out a few open house invitations where we stumbled upon one dilapidated mid century gem just a few blocks from the ocean with stunning views, an overgrown pool, and a semi affordable listing price. The possibilities of which we could both agree were endless. Then, into what appeared to be a quaint Spanish revival dream home that I walked through while Mike sat in the van with the kids and lost my mind in entering the expanse of 2,400 square feet of perfection. Where original rustic wood flooring mingled with wide terracotta tile and hammered hardware custom made in Mexico. Split wood barn style doors and arched entry ways into every room, wood beams, a center court yard and more windows than I could ever count. The main kicker being an enormous basement and a surf board shaping room out back. I was so overwhelmed that I never even managed to inquire about the listing price. Which I suppose was a good thing seeing how I pulled it up later online and saw it listed for well over a million.
The end of the day we spent cleaning up the back yard, taking advantage of the lingering heat by scrubbing my newly thrifted rug (as advised by my friend who recently cleaned hers) with dish soap, water, and a serious dose of shout that I scrubbed and hosed off before taking a squeegee down the length of it to pull out all the excess water and dirt. It worked brilliantly. Dried easily and spared me the cost of a carpet cleaning guy. Plus it proved a pretty good work out considering how sore I am today. After the fact. It came out looking brand new. So the 30 bucks I spent on it because I had a "good" feeling about a certain Salvation Army run that day is enough to keep me trusting the callings of the second hand gods for years to come.
Unless of course I run across 1,255,000 dollars. Then I'm doing nothing other than sitting all day long sipping sun tea in a shaded Spanish courtyard by the sea. Laughing about the old houses under the slinking slopes in the strange canyon down the hill I use to dream about.
Here, my backyard helper spilling, washing and counting his way along a 6:oo Sunday hour.