I was busy taking pictures of Chicago when a BIG WEATHER front moved in and that was that, at least for the moment. Monday I took a 6 mile hike from my place all along the lakeshore and around downtown but then it started to thunder, lightening and, as Dan called them at age 2, Hell Balls were flying. In fact the hail was so large that it left little marks all over my arms and legs- probably my head, too, but I can’t see them there. I do have the Opera House and Navy Pier and lots more and I’ll get those up shortly.
But first, I had to come to Florida. It had been 8 weeks since I snuffled the Snarl and that was far too long and besides, the time had come to pick out tile. You remember this little green house:
This is our small Arts and Crafts bungalow in the historic section of St. Petersburg, about 5 blocks from the Bay. (I seem destined to end up 5 blocks from any major body of water in the vicinity, which is too bad because I love big water even more than I love big weather. It will take a silver spoon in another lifetime but really, 5 blocks is close enough.) We bought this house as an investment/rental property and I was certain that I would never want to be in Florida, a place I have long thought of as the pink flamingo-waiting room- armpit of the nation.
Funny how things change. In the short weeks I spent outfitting this place to rent I fell in love with it. I love the Coopers Hawk that nests in the tree, the manatee at the seawall at the end of the street, the tiny lizards, the brick pavers that line the road, the diverse neighborhood. I really like this house, with it’s modest and simple 1930s construction. So after we furnished it I decided I couldn’t rent it to strangers. Then the Snarl started at USF and well, now I’m always happy to fly down here.
We decided the one thing that was missing was a porch (that and a bedroom for guests) and there’s nothing better than a good sitting porch. So I drew a little picture of what this house would look like with a nice porch. Then I drew a new master bedroom on the back, along with a nice big sunny bathroom. We hired a builder and we went before the Neighborhood Design Review board and, now, 4 months later it looks like this.
It’s still very rough, especially inside, but I can see where it’s going. I can see myself sitting on that porch come January, chatting with Rich over morning tea, when Chicago is bitter and cold. Today I picked out the porcelain tile for the porch and the tile and trim for the bathrooms and kitchen. Tomorrow morning I’ll pick out the new door color for the front door and new doors that open on to the porch. We’ll keep the main color and trim the same but I think a reddish door of some hue might be nice. I’ve been watching Laura and Kimberly work on their kitchens with great interest and today I felt a lot of that sort of excitement thinking about how this little green house is taking shape.
The house will conform to it’s original style on the exterior so those posts will be trimmed out to match the original trim around the front door. The new porch is offset to the side because I didn’t want to disturb the tree right at the side of it.The underside of the porch will be beadboard and there will be three fans, too.
When I pulled up in the rental car from the airport to get my first view of it since construction began I thought, “How lucky is this? A city mouse AND a country mouse!” Some other very nice people in the blog neighborhood live in Florida- FC, Beverly, etc. They complain a lot about snowbirds and I’m about to become one- but I drive better.