Have I ever told you about this little house of mine? The hubs and I got it for a steal when the market was on cruise control, and we’ve been loving it ever since. The original owners only lived here a year and it was Jon and Jan that resided here until long into their retirement years. We walked into this home knowing it was loved. We actually got to meet the owner the day we walked through the open house. We must have been early, and Jan was picking up a few last minute items before she ran out the back door adding “buy our house – it’s a good one!”. During that open house, I could see the potential, it had great flow. But I fell in loved with it for it’s character and charm. The built-ins, the vanity in the guest bath, the decorative hardware, the plantation shutters, they all spoke to me. We could walk our future children to the park. It was beautiful, the home flowed well and I could tell it was well-maintained. There were pictures of their three children, and generations to follow were present not only in photos but inside the walls. They had glow-in-the-dark stickers on the ceiling in each room where their grandchildren had placed them. I chuckled to myself as I removed them, yet kept a couple in place to have our guests enjoy them, too. There was “goo” from all the family photos Jane placed on the wall. And I still have a couple items from the estate sale they held right after we purchased the house.
All these things would be enough to most people, but we got even luckier. We got visited those first years from our previous owners. They would have mail that would still come to our address, and I would chat with them about their (our) home or how they were. It became a friendship, and as we were due with Jack, they came over to give him a blanket. They wanted to know which room Jack would be in, and Jan wanted to see all the changes and even told John, “See, I told you we should have done…” this or that. But because of Jon’s Parkinson’s Disease or maybe because he didn’t want to see the house had changed, he would stayed back and chat with P, sitting in our living room, while I gave the full tour.
Unfortunately, month before Jack’s birth was the last time we saw the owners of this home we now call ours. Because of John’s failing health, they moved to Austin. But we exchange Christmas cards and only have well wishes to send their way.
But I have to tell you, I think of those two often. Not only do we drop their last name for street cred in our neighborhood circles, (even six years later) especially around the long-time homeowners but I think of them in other ways, too. I want them to be proud of us. Like someone in our own family. We have taken something very dear to their hearts and held it tight in our arms, and made it better, yet kept the really really good parts the same. I only hope they feel the same way. As I’m cleaning old knobs I took off of a vanity from a recent master bathroom renovation, I wonder to myself if these are original or if Jane or her daughter picked them out. And, I have grand visions of their life here, cooking Thanksgiving for the masses when they used what’s now our dining and living room as a dining room fit for 13-15 …and with that tiny oven! I think about the pergola and all her chimes and plants, and the backyard that looked so green and lush, which is now overgrown and lacking because we have little ones and no time set aside at the moment to do real yard work. I wonder if they did it all? I wonder if she did it all? I do know there was a Mary Kay area set up for the neighborhood to walk in the back door and pick up product. I do know how amazing organized she has, with everything labeled in the bookshelves to the deep freezer. It’s something I strive for. And, I believe more than one neighbor has a key to our old original front door. I laughed to myself the day our new neighbor came over to introduce herself and then proceed to give us an extra key to our house.
I just marvel in this home and this neighborhood. Sometimes I want more or BIG or squeaky clean and new, but then I remember all this about our little home and am thankful to be the owners of such a treasure of not only our stories but many more from the past, present, and maybe someone else’s in the future. For all the work old homes give us, they are still my favorite. Here’s to another year in a wonderful home making amazing memories with the hubs and my two beautiful babies.
Cheers to 2017, friends! (A little belated)