lundi, octobre 03, 2011

Living that townhouse life

It was 52 frustrating degrees when I got into the house this morning.

I have a heat pump, but it doesn't work well without insulation.

Realistically, that's a month or so down the road.

This morning, my hands chilled against the keys, I'd rather be in Exton.

The kid's father is letting us stay down there while he's in the hospital.

That's given me an exposure to townhouse life that I've never really had prior to this.

I've never been a big townhouse fan, and it's mostly due to life experience.

They weren't popular in Park Slope, Brooklyn, when I grew up -- our 1902 brownstone (though similar on the outside to its neighbors) was the antithesis of a townhouse.

When I moved to D.C., the suburbs made me so crazy, with their bland sameness, that we picked a late eighteenth-century Bryn Mawr home to rent when we moved back, to the Main Line.

As I've said in previous posts, my realtor, a friend, told me it was hard to figure out WHAT kind of house would be appropriate -- I didn't fit the single mom, townhouse profile.

Of course, there is no profile. People live in townhouses for all kinds of reasons. Maybe they don't like mowing the lawn?

But I'm learning that townhouses have advantages.

Heat, for example.

Seriously -- the kids can walk to their friends houses (though my son doesn't have friends near his dad's home and my daughter has radar for inappropriate older male renters).

I see teens move from court to court on the path that circles the development -- and standing waiting for the morning bus, where they can get to know each other.

There's a tennis court and swimming pool.

As I walk or run the loop (close to a mile and a half) I look fort signs of individuality. Someone has LED pumpkin light faces on their deck, another has flowers in the back.

The smell of steak rises from one home, the odor of woodsmoke in another court.

Very different lives go on within the very similar walls.

I know that. And I'm grateful for the chance to experience the townhouse difference.

I just wish, sometimes, when I'm walking, that someone driving by would stop and say hello, or recognize me.

Then I realize that I'm not at home, and these folks don't know me.

I'm a stranger in an odd, in-between land -- and grateful for the shelter.

Back here, it's edging up to 54 degrees. Off to look for mittens.

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