Well, it seems we have found a tenant for the Apartment, a perfectly charming young person who seems delighted by its assets--sun, space, a view of the rose garden and a fresh coat of everything--and undaunted by its quirks (the facelift-awaiting facade, the shared entryway with...us). She even likes Law and Order, and seemed pleased to know that the apartment had been used to film the Mad Bomber Episode...and she belongs to a generation tech-savvy enough to master the intricacies of the alarm system control panel. May our shared enterprise be blessed, and may the cats leave the poor gal alone, since she is allergic to them. (In reality, they will stalk her enthusiastically until the novelty has worn off, but she has been warned.)
It's been sort of nice having the house all to ourselves for a few months (except for the gash torn in our cash flow by the lack of rent combined with the cost of renovations), but I'm more than ready to have that ground-floor suite become someone's home again. Big, empty rooms trigger melancholia, at least these ones do. The very vastness of this house seems like an absurd character in our ongoing drama (at about 3,000 square feet, it's dwarfed by today's McMansions, but at least twice what we need). The Apartment alone is at least 625 square feet, and the rest of the house--our part--contains at least two rooms more than we know what to do with (unless you count the entropic junk middens that have accumulated in them over the years). Keep in mind that when we first moved in, the CrazyStable was a boarding house--a mind-numbing succession of scruffy chambers weakly bonded to a filthy center-hall staircase , with the closest thing to a designated "nucleus" the grease-blackened communal kitchen on the second floor. There was no living room, no "master" or "junior" bedroom, no apparent floor plan, no "flow"...just room after dirty-white room, each with a sink, towel bar, and a cheap hasp for a padlock.
Next entry, I'll take you on a tour. Meanwhile, look how cool the stained-glass window lights look when you strip the white house paint off 'em (my spring hobby). Did I mention that Mr. Chang painted them on both sides?