Stuff you learn owning a house: Aging ding-dong edition

  1. The average lawn is made up less of spunkily uniform blades than a crazed patchwork of competing, unidentifiable green things. Letting it grow allows the illusion of something called “lawn,” but every mow reveals the weird, scrabbly jungle beneath.IMG_2083
  2. YouTube how-to videos are a godsend the likes of which our handier ancestors would have knelt and prayed for. I also have yet to truly accomplish the seemingly straightforward repair instructions contained in one.
  3. Ceiling fans should not be installed in rooms where the tallest member of the house can touch the ceiling. Say, when making a bed, for example. IMG_2085
  4. It is immeasurably more fun to scrounge at Goodwills and yard sales for the perfect furniture and assorted stuff you need and want than to buy all that stuff new.
  5. There is no such thing as too many randomly accumulated bookcases, especially when scrounged from Goodwills and yard sales.
  6. Randomly scrounged bookcases are surprisingly stackable.IMG_2094
  7. Find a source of cheap metal brackets to clamp rickety towers of mismatched bookcases together. Trust me on this. (See #10, below.)
  8. It’s really easy to just take doors right off their hinges. If, for example, you need more library bookcase space. Which you will.
  9. You can also just paint, add, remove, or simply nail stuff to walls. It’s your house. (After decades of apartment living, this is something that only dawns on you gradually, leaves you dizzy with ambition, and then subsides to a reasonable level once you remember that, if you break it, you have literally already bought it.)
  10. ReStores are completely freaking indispensable and undeniably cool. It’s like Goodwill, but with focus and lots and lots of cheap, functional power tools. And brackets.
  11. You’re gonna want that wholesale club membership. There’s nothing more oddly comforting than unloading a pallet’s-worth of toilet paper into your storage areas. (I said it.) But screw the Walton family—find a BJs.
  12. It’s possible to be bad at mowing a lawn.
  13. Yeah, you have mice.
  14. Thinking of the place where you live as an ongoing creative project rather than the box where you pay to haul your carcass to life each morning is, unsurprisingly, more fun.
  15. Who’s going to fix that thing? Oh, it’s you. It’s always you.
  16. You can’t Google “tending your garden path” without winding up on some New Age nonsense instead of practical weeding and edging tips.
  17. Turn your music up. Sing it. Do a little dance. Who’s gonna stop you? Nobody, that’s who.

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