So just as we were really falling in love, Dunes and I did something completely crazy for a newly formed couple—we purchased real estate. For months we kept it under wraps from friends and parents, holding our breaths, willing it to happen. You see, I simply had to have it. For me, the house was love at first site. It was a neglected heap forgotten in a pile of weeds that I was (and am) determined to save. It also had history. Given this history, it was not unknown to the outside world. Let me explain.
Just a few days after signing a purchase order agreement for the house, Dunes and I found ourselves enjoying a sleepy Sunday morning. We had gone to buy the New York Times at the local gas station and I settled into Page 1 while Dunes toasted English muffins and poached eggs. About fifteen minutes later I let out a scream and a bucket’s load of expletives worthy of any salty sea captain. Dunes thought I’d been stabbed and rushed over to the table.
There, on page A22, soaking up almost an entire page of print, was our house. It looked a little weepy in the photo as if the picture had been taken on a gray day when the house was feeling particularly depressed because of its current state. One of the shutters flanking the front door had drooped on one corner and the shingles were so worn they looked like fringe.
Our little house was famous enough to warrant about 1,000 words on its history and condition. We hadn’t been interviewed for the piece—we hadn’t even bought it yet—but we were mentioned, although not by name. A few months later, there was another piece about the house, this time on National Public Radio. I listened to it while on a photo shoot on Nantucket, knowing my proud little house now knew it had new owners and a future.