Buying an old house is a little like the first vacation after you get married: you’re not really sure what you’ll discover there.
But that hasn’t slowed my husband and me. I am referring to buying old houses. Our first vacation is so far behind us that we can actually laugh about all those expectations.
We bought the house on Beaver Avenue through an eviction/foreclosure. The contents of the house had been hauled out to the garage with the door left open. The idea was that people could rummage through the stuff and take what they wanted.
In the six months before the house was sold to us, nobody went through the stuff. Not only do we live in a small town, we live in a pretty honest small town.
That meant that the garage contents were ours. Yippee. If the previous tenants didn’t want them and the neighbors wouldn’t loot them, we knew we’d find some real treasures.
So we began the sorting process.
Would you believe we found a tattered wedding album and an x-ray among the treasures?
It was like an archeological dig but without the little brushes and tomb curses. As the slave labor (OK, they were our kids but that’s what they called themselves) dug their way through the pile, they picked up a scent.
“Maybe it’s a body,” said the boy. He was always good for a new explosion or creative bloodshed.
His sister wasn’t intimidated. “Hope it’s on your side,” she said.
They tossed aside more trash and dug deeper into the garage. The smell morphed into a definite stink.
When it crossed over from stink to stench, they bailed.
That’s what mothers are for, right?
So I donned mask and gloves for the final exploration. Some yo-yo (and I’m being really nice here) had pulled a frozen turkey out of the freezer at the eviction, wrapped it in a plastic bag, and left it in a trash can at the back of the garage. For six months.
Buying an old house isn’t a vacation after all. It might be about tomb curses, though.