It's Summer Solstice, one of my favorite personal holidays and I'm very pleased to officially announce the news: We bought a house in Astoria! We are beyond excited with the event and this has been in the works over the last 5 months. I'm sitting in my room, looking out, across downtown of our favorite little river/sea town (a town with a giant heart), out across the Columbia and it feels like a dream come true. I've taken this week off of everything, work, dance company rehearsals, to just be here; to do some hardcore nesting.
Finally, after the heartache of the end of last year, finally I feel like I'm coming back into myself. It feels really good to be me again. Not that I went anywhere. My heart suffered a couple of blows that I allowed to take a big toll on my wellbeing and really set me back. Here we are in the present, on this, the longest day of the year. Here I sit, in my beautiful old home, in awe of life, marvelling at how beaufitul this life truly is.
Ok, so you want to know about the house, I know!!! She is a beautiful, old, Victorian lady, built ca. 1885 and is a mere two blocks from downtown Astoria. We are in the urban core, on a small hill, overlooking town and the river. The type of view that does not get old. We came to know of her sale privately, as the prior owners did not want to put it on the market. Our friend (& now neighbor!) Kris Haefker, told us about the house when we were staying at his house across the street from our now-new-old home back....wow, on the very first weekend of the year. It's amazing how events in your life can be so pinacle, and this was one of those.
The weekend that Portland (and the rest of the Pacific NW) got a decent snow day. We were in Astoria teaching tango as usual, staying at our friend Kris' house (and let me say, if you are looking for a unique bed and breakfast style experience in Astoria, look up the Historic Fisher House on Airbnb - amazing!), and woke up to a bright, sunny morning, when the call came in from Jesse who was headed in to Portland from the farm via Hwy 26: it was coming down in big flakes, and sticking fast and we might consider not driving back home that night. This was Sunday morning. Sure enough, we checked some news and weather, and it was snowing across the Pacific Northwest, all over....except Astoria. Our little pocket of the state was comparably warm. It never got below freezing that day. In short, we ended up staying an extra night with our friends, as we didn't need to risk our lives and were quite happy to be "stranded" an extra day in our favorite little river/sea town. The clouds rolled in sometime after noon, and it drizzled during a walk around the neighborhood. Anywho, had it not been for this day, and this set of circumstances, we would not have had that conversation with Kris Haefker about wanting to look for a house in Astoria. We only just started talking about the fact that it was time. Estelle and I decided about 6 years ago, when we moved back in with each other, that we were likely going to buy a house together. We are so married to each other, it is our twinly way, why not? So, we started talking about buying a house out here in Astoria. Estelle has done a fantastic job at founding the Argentine tango community here and over the course of a year, we have a lovely and solid group of dancers and friends. It was our general plan to settle out here, as we have extended family out here via Jesse too. It all just felt so right. What do you know, as soon as we spoke those words to Kris, he mentioned his friends across the street were interested in privately selling their house for the right offer. What, WHAT?!?! You mean, that gorgeous Victorian across the street?!? Yep. We are convinced, the Universe is truly on our side. Thank you, Universe!!! We walked around the perimeter with the the owner, who was renting at the time, and fell in love with it immediately. We arranged to meet again and have Jesse join us to see the inside. Jesse is an integral part of our lives, being Estelle's life partner, but also having a keen eye for this type of thing. We trust his judgement implicitly and would not have made the decision to purchase without a green light from him. He was as awestruck over the house as we (still) are. You see, the former owner teaches historical preservation at the college here in town, so he has been a great custodian to this old lady. She has a new roof, had all the lead paint stripped and the house repainted, has been completely rewired and replumbed, all the windows have been rehung. Really, all the major stuff has been done. Incredible. Though not on the National Regiser, she is a Historic Landmark of the city.
Aside from some window frames that need doing and a couple other cosmetic items, anything funky? Well, we do like a little funk. She has a funky 70's style kitchen with bright orange-formica countertops, which while functional, will probablybe the first thing we renovate. However, the first thing that needs attending is the landscape. We've got some rather tall trees that pose imminent threat to the house and some power lines, and thankfully, that is Jesse's business with our master arborist friend, Barry Brown. So, that will be first and foremost. Besides this, I'm happy to have this week to hardcore nest! ...and it's Solstice week! ....and I'm happy to announce I got a job offer with a Pacific NW natural products brokerage that will allow me to work remotely and have the financial stability I as seeking. WOW. Again, I say, THANK YOU, UNIVERSE!!!
You might have noticed, we've kept the news a bit dark, being selectively and highly discreet about this announcement until now, because a) it's a small town, and b) there were renters here until the end of May, so out of respect, we didn't want to broadcast all over the social media platform places, you know? I know how it feels to rent a house that you know the owner wants to eventually sell. I've had to move because the building I was in at the time was being demolished/renovated. I know what that feels like. I'm comforted by the fact that this was a privat sale, totally off the market. That feels really good to us. It's how we all wanted it to be, and so it was. I'm comforted to now call the former owners our friends! Ute is a local yogi and Lucien teaches at the college. They are marvelous people. I'm overjoyed that Kris Haefker, his wife, Pbong and their adorable songbird of a daughter, Minntah are our neighbors!
It's official now: we moved all my stuff from Portland out here last weekend (wow, what a process that was! Could not have done it without the help from our friends both in Portland and in Astoria!!), from the mansionshack, a property that I adore and will still be my home-away-from...through the Summer, as I assist Jesse with some property managing in exchange for my boarding in the crow's nest. I will continue my rehearsals Mon-Fri in Portland through the Summer as well, as I have a show the first two weekends in August with Top Shake Dance, and through about mid-July, I will continue working at Vitanica as get a replacement um, placed and trained.
I'm excited for the future, but most importantly, I'm excited for right now.
Gonna go hardcore nest now.....we have our first guest arriving mid-this week, our dear friend, Roger will be our inaugural guest. So excited to be here! ...a few more pictures follow my sign-off. Enjoy and visit soon...
Astoria, we LOVE YOU!
Happy Solstice & Peace Outside,