Wednesday, June 22, 2011

No Movement, Nighttime

Courtney just emailed me: "Why aren't you updating your blog anymore, slacker?"  Well, unfortunately there has been nothing about which to blog.  Well, not nothing, but the most newsworthy thing that has happened this week was that I spoke with Patty, the woman at the obscure Delaware-based firm that will be managing our FHA Mortgage until we (hopefully) refinance in a year or so.  Patty informed me that we'll need to have monthly inspections of the house to make sure work is progressing, which will be interesting considering the first couple months will likely have nothing concrete to show for them, save for building plans and the necessary submissions to the various historical boards in order for those plans to go through.  Especially with our next-door neighbor, the Dutch Windmill, going full bore ahead with exterior renovations right now, it's gonna make us itch to sit and wait.  We do have to remember it took several months for the Windmill to get the go-ahead to start construction, but it's gonna be hard; with our current house, I was on the stairs pulling out carpet staples before we even closed, and it wasn't long after that when we invited my coworkers over for a day of free labor, bashing in all of the old ceilings and walls.  It's definitely going to take patience to a) go at the required snail's pace that is the historical review process, and b) allow for the fact that most of the work is going to be done by contractors and subcontractors, on their schedule.  We rest assured with the fact that everyone sees this as an approximately one-year-long project, and we all know how long it took to rehab the current place.  (Bid October 2003, Closed December 2003, Moved in September 2004, Heating January 2006...)  At that pace, Isaac'd be in third grade or so by the time we get in there.  Not gonna happen!

We did get to see a new face of the Bungalow last night, when we took my second-cousin Donna to see the place at night.  I realized I had never been there at night before.  The lighting around the house is actually not nearly as bright as I thought it would be, which is nice.  Directly behind the house are four parking spots-- two for us and two for the Windmill-- and a streetlamp, which I assumed would light the place up as much as the streetlamps directly outside our current place do.  Instead, it's much more subdued lighting; the kind that would be romantic/eerie in the fog.  Out front, there's no lighting on our house yet, of course, but the circle is pretty much dark, but for the lights on the front of the main condo building, which are pretty subdued as well.  That's great for me, because I'm a big front-porch-light guy, but I wouldn't want to overdo it.  (In fact, Bonnie from the Seminary just let us know she had saved the original light from the house, and will give it back to us when she next sees us.  It'll be interesting to see whether it's salvageable... and whether its design is something we're gonna want to salvage!)  Other than lighting, the place is pretty neat after dark.  Enough ambient lighting that it's not completely black, but with all the tree cover, there's a definite barrier between Forest Glen and the rest of the DC Metro area.  Okay, so you can hear the cars on the Beltway, and the occasional freight train crossing the bridge nearby (Abby & I both noted it was the first time we had heard a train while we were outside of the house, and although it was louder than expected, from inside the house you hardly notice it), but neither are enough to annoy.
The main Seminary buildings, directly across the street from our house, at night.

Inside the place, the first floor gets decent shadowy light at night, thanks to the (over)abundance of windows.  There's no electricity, of course, so we were able to get an idea of how bright the house might be at night with the lights off.  Definitely can walk around without bumping into things, but that's the same as our current place, thanks to those aforementioned streetlamps outside.  Downstairs is a lot darker, but will probably lighten up some because of some changes I'm proposing to the downstairs layout.  (Oh no! Changes!)  Nothing huge, but our current plan is to have Isaac's room run lengthwise, along the rear two-thirds of the house, with Lola's being situated where the current kitchen is.  The change would basically be a 90-degree shift of the two rooms, having Isaac's now run along the side of the house (with one wall along Dewitt Drive) and Lola's running the rear-two thirds, albeit the two-thirds closer to to the Windmill, not to the street as Isaac's room's current positioning is.  (Got that?)  Regardless of whether you can picture it, it would take 3 big windows away from Isaac's room (which currently has 6) and add three small ones, and would add 3 big windows to the family room / den area, brightening it significantly.  It would also make me feel better in that we wouldn't be wasting as many windows by putting them in closets.  (We'll still have a few of those, just not as many.)  I'll see if I can put some plans up on this site for you all to peruse... although our architect may have something to say about that as well!

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