This house was a beautiful, dark brown brick ranch house, with cedar siding on the sides and rear. There are an abundance of windows, some of them in rather unique shapes and sizes. The most prominent feature when looking at the front of the house are the beautiful burnt orange double doors. There is a perfect little entryway with nice hardwood floors. From it you could get to the formal living room, and a little bit down that same hallway was the family room. The family room was my favorite room. It had the most beautiful fireplace I have ever seen. It had floor to ceiling stone and a glass front. The mantle was a very thick, rustic wood that went great with the decor. On each side of the fireplace are two floor to ceiling, vertical windows. Everything about this house was a dream. The landscaping, the back yard, the house, the square footage, the neighborhood. All perfect.
Until my marriage fell part eight months into living there. Then my beautiful home became my prison.
(This is how the house looks today (11-26-11) after being abandoned since 2004)
I won't get into all that right now, but, I will say that I loved my house. It is where we had some of the best memories when Dylan and Amanda were small. Each room has a wonderful memory...and a painful one too.
I gave up on my marriage on 9-11-2001. I wasn't brave enough to actually file for divorce until August of 2002. And I moved out of the house in April of 2004. Nobody has lived there since. He has moved stuff in, and out, but he hasn't stayed the night in there, to my knowledge. In 2009, a tree fell on the house during the crazy "May 8th storm," leaving a large hole in the roof. In fact, the tree was in the family room and kitchen! He didn't get it fixed right away, and he let water sit in there. He had the roof fixed, but, little else. The house never has looked as good as it once did.
(This is the damage from where the tree came in the house on 5-8-09; never cleaned up or fixed. It is because of this hole that water got in the house, and just sat )
Jump to today . . . . .
Amanda had some stuff at the house in her bedroom that she wanted to bring home, since they never went over there anyway; they couldn't! A 32" Flat Screen TV, a PS3, lava lamps, disco ball, strobe light, all the Rock Band equipment, etc. Just a ton of stuff. He told her that it would be fine to go ahead and get her things out of the house, simply because he was letting it foreclose and he has nowhere to put any of it anyway. He did tell her that he sold her TV. But, everything else was still in their boxes. Then he told me that I could help myself to whatever else was in there. He had a brand new couch and loveseat, and some of Amanda's bedroom furniture, etc. So, I was just fine with that. So I went ahead and grabbed some of that too, along with some of my items that I had to leave behind. My great grandmother's sewing machine chest, a pillow that she made me, some cards from my beloved aunt, a few pictures, etc.
HOWEVER, when we went into her room. ALL of her things were GONE! She had a bed, and two dressers left. And her jewelry box. That was it. He obviously sold the rest of her things. I am SO proud of my girl for not being upset. I think she is annoyed about it, but, she didn't once complain.
What I wasn't expecting hurt the worst. When we made our way to the family room, which is off from the kitchen, we noticed that the the floor was sagging. Then, in the kitchen, the floor had completely collapsed. The appliances, cabinets, were hanging down. We could see that the floor from the laundry room had collapsed with it. The clothes that were all over the laundry room were scattered down this massive hole. The washer and dryer were down too....only being held up by pipes.
I looked at the wall between the kitchen and dining room and noticed that the floor had fallen two feet from the wall. Of course, it was even lower away from the wall. Just horrible. The rest will go soon, and I do mean soon.
We gathered up all the stuff we were going to take, but my brave husband decided to shimmy his way on a very weak floor to get to the garage. In order to do that he had to walk through the kitchen, and laundry room. See, the day I moved out, it was not pleasant. He didn't even live there, but he showed up, and demanded that I leave and take the kids. Why? Well, him and my nanny were having a "relationship." And they didn't want me in the house. So I lost my house and my nanny in one day! I couldn't grab everything that I wanted to. And by the time he left the house again, they had either stolen or broke/ ripped all of my things. They broke the legs off my dining room table. They broke a leg and damaged the wood on my great granny's sewing machine, they slashed my leather furniture, they ripped pictures, broke frames, but worst of all...they stole my great grandmother's compete set of dishes that I had displayed in my dining room. They were worth the neighborhood of $3,000 - $5,000....but, to me, they were priceless. I feel very fortunate to have been able to get a few things tonight that were still there, including a card from my Aunt with a beautiful note written inside. I also have the broken sewing machine cabinet.
I can't describe the feelings of walking into the house and seeing it in it's current state. I can't help but think about how similar my marriage was to the floor, now caved in. The floor hole is like a bottomless pit, that looks as if it were gobbling everything up....or like quicksand. My marriage took something away from me too...my self worth, my ability to trust people, my contentment, my peace. Those are things that I may never get back. I fear him and what he is capable of doing to me. Nobody that hasn't been through domestic situations could ever possibly understand that even after all of these years later....I still fear him. I still cry over the things that happened in my beautiful home....that in all actuality, is just a house. A broken down, former beautiful house that harbors so many memories of my former life.