Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If These Walls Could Speak

I'm drawn to cracked paint, twisted shutters and creaking floors.  It's true. Our first home was built in the 20's.  If not for the neighborhood I'm pretty sure we'd have stayed years longer. But after 10-years and a new baby we thought it was time to 'upgrade'.  A newer home, a concrete foundation and walls that had seen so very little life.  All new and shiny and not me.

The first 6-months after leaving my job to stay home with our daughter I painted every room in that house.  I landscaped and helped build a deck(s).  I did everything I could to make it feel like I belonged.

I never did.

It was ideal from the cul-de-sac it was on, to the 1/2 acre fenced in yard, the wooden play-set,  the deck(s), the set up of the house.  Even the landscaping was finally how I wanted it.  But it wasn't home.

We've been here for 4-years.  Our 1940's frame house.  The two car garage too small for our over-sized vehicles.  The crumbling driveway, the paint with it's bubbles and oxidized trim.  Trees that are going in to their final stages of life.  And grass that looks green in spring, but by summer is brown and brittle.

The chipped window seals, the beat up baseboards, the hardwood floors scarred from chairs and Matchbox cars.  The one bathroom with it's rusty porcelain sink that the previous owners; even though they had replaced the cabinets and counters, just couldn't part with.  Along with the porcelain tub.  I have a special place in my heart for them.  They got it.  The importance of a home.  The strength of character in a 'thing' that though it's value has been diminished by time it's purpose has not.

There is beauty in the old.  A reflection of our self seen in things we use daily.  It's life in the un-living and I cherish it.  We may move away and leave it behind for someone else to hopefully love and cherish.  But just like our first house, the new owners didn't know the number of hours I spent on the nursery stencil.  It's multi-layered morning glories and hand painted dragonflies, but I still have pictures and memories.

And all the hard work we put in to our first and second homes have shown in this our 3rd.  From building awnings and decks to fences and playhouses.  We don't fear the challenge and enjoy the work.  It's our home after all.  The place we spend most of our time and share all of our meals.  It's small, especially for a family of 5.  Matter of fact it's the smallest home we've owned.

(Besides the RV we lived in for 14-months before the twins... 
a whole other story.)  :)
Our next project might be expanding the house.  And we'll do as much of it ourselves as possible.  Or we might just buy bunk-beds and have the kids continue to share their room... just as we have to share ours.  ;)  But no matter what we do next we'll do it for ourselves and not the next owners.  I'll not wait till I have to, to sell the house.  I'll do it now so I can enjoy my home.

...and if we ever do sell, and no doubt we will one day.  Perhaps our efforts will help us sell it as fast as our others.  I think when people can see the love and care put in to a home they are more likely to want to share in that.  I know when we saw this one we saw the care and attention on the inside and had to have it.  We're just putting our imprint on the outside now.

Our 1st house:
1920's 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, 1 car detached garage.
10-years we lived there.

I hate lattice work.  Long story, but this was one of our first projects.
A new porch railing and stair rails.  (I had to break out the math on that one.)  :)
*We sold the house in 3-days for cash.

This was the first fake fireplace we removed to get the extra floor space.
And we pulled up 1,500 sq. ft. of carpet one night to reveal the original hardwood.
But it took us 9-months to refinish them ourselves.  :)
Still my favorite piece of furniture.  The bed belong to a neighbor.
The first time I saw it I was a teenager and told her I'd own one like it one day.
I bought it from her 15-years ago.

Our 2nd house:
1990's 3 bedroom, 2 bath, office and 2 car garage
Lived their 3- 1/2 years.
White plastic shutters replaced with homemade cedar ones.
Rocks from my parents place and removed the front porch rails to open the tiny porch up.
*We sold the house in less than a week.
(2nd day we had an offer but turned it down...
as well as the 3 additional counter offers.)

We built an 18' X 16' deck with 24 concreted support beams.
It might outlast the house.

I've never been afraid of color.  White walls... now those are scary.  ;)

Our one and only real fireplace.  And like the first house we pulled up the carpet,
but no original hardwood found... of course.  So laminate it was.

The day we put the house on the market.

Our 3rd and current house:
1940's 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 2 car (too narrow) garage ;)
We've been here 4- 1/2 years.

Told y'all.  Fake fireplaces don't stand a chance with me.  ;)


  1. You put your heart and soul into all of those homes (well, maybe not the RV, but I'd like to hear that story) and it shows. Not just in the beautiful pictures, but in the way you talk so lovingly about them.

  2. I am still convinced you put batteries in your coffee... Your energy amazes me! The upgrades look great!


Thanks for takin' the time to read my stuff. :)