Monday, February 8, 2021

Big Changes

Covid has done us a solid. When working from home, can home be anywhere? In our case, it turns out that the answer is yes.

The next question is huge. If home can be anywhere, where do you want to be? Somewhere warm? Somewhere on water? How about some land? Maybe a big city? For someone whose location has always been dictated by work, these are heady questions.

The answer was simple for me. If Covid's taught me anything, it's that I need my family. We went an entire year without seeing our grandchildren. It wasn't until we saw them at last at Christmas that I realized that home is where they are. Or at least a whole lot closer. Our kids are spread across the country, but they all still have ties to lower Michigan, so, come fall, that's where we're going to be also. We have absolutely loved living in Green Bay these past few years, it's a wonderful place to be, except for that darned big lake between us and our family.

The housing market is insane. Essentially, we're looking for space for our hobbies, with a kitchen and bedrooms. That's three car garage for Kent, and daylight studio space for me. After seeing house after house fly off the market in minutes, we decided to look into building what we want.

We found just the right place in Hastings, MI. It's a one acre lot. This picture is taken from near the back of the lot and shows the house across the street. Our lot backs up on a common area and a catchment basin that will never be built on. We'll have walkout daylight on the entire south side of the basement, and that will be my new studio space.

Last Friday, in the middle of the season's worst snowstorm, we made all of the choices for our home's finishes. All of them. Every freaking last one of them. My head still hurts.

We hope for this home to be our last until it's The Home for us. No pressure for making choices that we will live with for the next twenty years. We don't have an unlimited budget, so every choice can limit the next.

Some choices were easy. Builder's grade lighting and plumbing. I can change those fixtures at my leisure as I find the things I really love. Some were ridiculously hard, like door trim. Seriously, door and window trim broke my head. How is that hard?

Kitchen and flooring were also tough. I like all kinds of styles. I like wood, and I like painted. I like light counters, and dark, as long as they're not busy. We have a very busy countertop now and it's hard for a certain person (who cleans up after I cook) to remember to wipe it down. The only thing I really wanted was stone. I've had a granite countertop here in Green Bay, and I really love it.

We ended up with quartz with subtle veining in gray and tan. It should go with everything. And I have a sudden urge to weave a few brightly colored hand towels to liven up the place.

The hardest decision is when to sell our Green Bay home. Our new place won't be ready until October. Houses are selling very well right now, but where do we go for seven months? Home can be anywhere we can get a decent internet connection, right? Maybe even an RV. Or a house boat. Or a cabin in the woods.