Friday, December 5, 2008

Home is Where Your Airplane Is

Ever wonder what it would be like to live at an aiport? Me neither. But now I know.

This is how it happened:

When the door of opportunity in Virginia was closed, Pete and I decided to peek into some other doors. In particular, we were looking for doors that didn't belong to smallish one bedroom loft apartments with no closet space. So I called a landlord through a connection and started dreaming about a little two bedroom duplex in Grand Rapids.

Then Pete said, "Would you consider living at the airport?"

I said, "No."

Then the deal maker: "It's free rent."

I snapped my finger in that "gosh darn" fashion, because of course I should consider anything with free rent, even if it is an airport in smalltownville.

We walked through two flight offices, a little cubby room dubbed "the cave," a "parts room," an empty room with various large outlets, and a bathroom with a toilet and stall shower. These rooms were all my blank canvas, Pete explained, for (respectively): an office, a bedroom, a walk in closet, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

"But there's no oven, sink, fridge, or countertops!"

"Uh huh."

"I could maybe deal with this shower for five months, tops."

"Joy, you're going to be a missionary."

"I could fix it up however I want?"

"However you want. Except, no weird colors on the walls. Eventually intern guys will be living here."

So we went out to lunch and ran some calculations. Within a few days we had a fridge, countertops and oven for a total of $100... at which point I considered possible careers in craigslisting. A little later, Pete's family came and helped me put paint on the walls. Two weeks after that, Bethany drove up because I told her I needed help sewing. What I really needed was my best friend and a little sanity. She provided both.

"It's cute, hun. It's going to be really fun. You will totally survive."

"Beth? Did you see the shower stall?"

"It's cute, hun. It's going to be really fun. You will totally survive. Let's get to work."

And after weeks of work and a sad goodbye to apartment 302, we moved in.

Last night Pete and I finished dinner, played some cards, then settled into the living room for The Office. I turned off the overhead lights and opted for our two floor lamps, which is when Pete said, "Hey! You did it! This is a living room!" I surveyed the work of my hands, and agreed. The "oyster shell" walls glowed warmly, the bookcase was filled with colorful spines, and my favorite craig's list find--an eleven foot couch--stretched out before us. It was home. We finished our hot chocolate and our episode, and then Pete said, "Let's go to bed."

So we stepped out of our living room, passed three airplanes on our left, and walked up the stairs to our bedroom.

Home is wherever I live with Pete. And right now, home is rent-free.

(Pictures to come.)


Olivia said...

This is amazing. I just know it's going to look awesome. Rent-free is even better, how did that happen? We recently moved to a cheaper apartment and it's nice, but not as nice, so when I get annoyed, I remember how much money we are saving and it makes it all better.

So excited to see those pictures!

Sarah Barlow said...

OMG...I'm jealous!! WHO in the world can say that they live in a an airplane hanger!! Any designer would die for that! :) haha! CAN NOT wait to see it!!!

BethLaurren said...

I freaking LOVE sarah's response. It just about sums her up :) Be careful walking those stairs at night, and hopefully the curtains stayed up :)

Love you.

Laura_Ashley said...

Only YOU could make this work, Joy. I hope things are going well for you.. God will certainly bless your efforts to remain thankful; I don't walk in your shoes, but I can assure you that you are doing better than most would in this situation. Making it yours is the best idea ever! I'm sure it's a fantastic place!

I was thinking about you the other day and I told Dave that your name is so perfect for you.. Joy.

I hope your Christmas is merry and that you have a marvelous and wonderful New Year.