You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it?)
I’ve always loved that old house, and I can’t believe it’s mine! I’m old enough to remember how it looked 50 years ago, but not too old to enjoy restoring it. My aunt knew I loved it, and no one else in the family would want to be saddled with it. They would just sell it off to the highest bidder.
Not me. Aunt Roberta was eccentric, but she wasn’t dumb. She took good care of her fortune, and I’m shocked at how much money there is. This is like the dream of a lifetime for me, and I’m going to enjoy every minute. I don’t have to work now. I can spend all day, every day, re-dreaming my childhood pleasures.
First, I need an architect. It has to be someone who loves old houses the way I do, because I won’t have the place torn apart and changed. I want it restored to the same floor plan, the same materials, as much as possible. Of course, we’ll modernize the kitchen and the bathrooms and whatever else can be brought up to date without losing the enchantment of the old place.
I used to imagine I was Rapunzel, way up high in the turret, letting down my long, long hair so my handsome prince could climb and to visit me.
Or I’d dream that I was Sleeping Beauty, dozing my life away because of the spell of the wicked witch. One day I’d be Cinderella, banished to the top of the house where the mice and birds watched over me; the next I’d be Snow White, looking for a way to escape from my Wicked Stepmother.
Hours and hours I’d spend roaming the house, poking into the attics, going through trunks of fabulous old clothes. Boxes of books, pictures, toys, keepsakes were all my playthings. Aunt Roberta didn’t forbid me anything, and I was like a shopaholic on Black Friday. No child ever had a more interesting place to play than I did. Sometimes I would take my treasures down to show Aunt Roberta, and she would spin stories of the past that circled around me like the warm arms of a lover.
I’m going to recreate all that, except of course for Aunt Roberta. But I have nieces, nephews, and grandchildren of my own now who are full of questions. I can’t wait to turn them loose to discover all the things that are still preserved in that old house.
Work first, though. Everything has to be moved out, cleaned up, and stored while the renovations are done. It’s going to be a labor of love. I can’t wait!