Before the purchase.
The first thing that caught my eye about this little Beach Cottage, was the location.
Just steps away from this lighthouse at Hereford Inlet, in Anglesea.
It was late August and the beach grass was in full bloom behind the house.
Do you see that little bit of fence at the bottom of the picture? I remember standing there with the Real Estate agent, and saying "Well, this house needs a lot of work, I would only be buying it for the view."
14 days later.. 9/11 happened. That sinking feeling that we were being attacked in our own land. Dropping the laundry, and driving to elementary school to get my kids. In disbelief in the car, to hear the Pentagon too, had been hit. I remember at the school office they were not even fully aware of the magnitude. When I said, "Please, I want my kids, we are under attack"! The office marm saying to me. What? ...I heard that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center but, I thought it was an accident, are you..... I jumped in here and said ...You need to put on the news! Then on the ride home hearing about the plane in Pennsylvania. And the next 3 days, the silence in the skies over our country. The following week I needed to drive across the river from my house to Philly for something, and while on the bridge, seeing a huge plume of smoke and thinking it was happening again. ( It was a fire ) For a long, long while, the last thing anyone was thinking about was purchasing a home.
The end of September there is always an Irish festival in North Wildwood, and I remember they still held it that year.. It struck me, how sweet everyone had all been to each other. Fellow Americans. Celebrating their Irish heritage, with anyone else who would join us. Our resilience, determination, pride.
Eating crab cakes on the rocks by the sea with my sis.
Looking at the back of this little cottage by the ocean for sale. Wondering, in all this uncertainty, was it even possible to buy it. Even feeling guilty about wondering, when some of my fellow New Jersey-ans had lost their lives so recently. All of October passed. Another month went by. Some normalcy returned for us. I mentioned the house again to my husband. A few times. Ok, I'll look. More time passes. That entire winter I spent driving back and forth to the shore because we already owned a rental property I was rehabbing. A place we never stayed at even once, but we rented to others for 3 years, and the renters moved out, and I worked on gutting that whole place. My daughter and I, ripped out the rugs, tore off the panelling, hired a contractor for a new heat system, my cuz and his buddy helped hang new cabinets in the kitchen, and install sheetrock. The house I was rehabbing was only 3 blocks from the Cottage. I would drive by it to make sure it was still for sale...
Finally in January 2002, we made an offer, it was accepted, and it all began. Another rehab, but this one would be for us!
The craziest thing to this story is this-- until the day of settlement walk through,--my husband never even saw this house!! I remember doing the walk through with him and him saying. It ain't much is it? You really want to buy in this area? There are a few pubs up the street. But honestly they never bother me. He used to call it "The shack" I insisted on buying. I kept telling him. It'll be great when I'm done with it. This place has so much potential. He let me do my thing. And then he warmed up to it. As did the whole family. And the times we have had here are immeasurable. He loves it now though. And in our eyes, it is great.
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L.E.N.S. Photo Challenge- "Begin the Story"