This house has been quite the roller coaster for me. The first time we ever went to see the house, it seemed like the whole property just spoke to me. It was peaceful and simple, and I could just see us living there. The house wasn't anything special, but I saw the potential it. And it just felt right. It felt right to have land to let the kids explore on. To have a creek running along in the back so we could mosey on down there on hot summer days. The wood shop could be cleaned up and I could see my wood burnings decorating the walls as Brian and I worked late nights there. And the barn - the barn had endless potential. There could be a garden out front and eventually a deck out back that brought the house seemingly into the great outdoors.
We even looked at other houses. And all Brian and I could ever think about was that awful smelling house on two acres.
It had been left uncared for and just needed a face lift. There's always been something in me that loves taking in the uncared for and nurturing it back to health. I always root for the underdog, it's easy for me to see beauty in people who who haven't quite found that beauty themselves yet, and I feel deeply that the work of redemption - whether in people or things - is always a part of the kingdom of God. And this house was exactly that. We could see the beauty and the breadth of what the property once was, and we wanted to bring that life back to it.
And somewhere in the midst of tearing out all that needed to be thrown away, I lost site of that dream. I hated the house for a good 3 weeks and it made me sick to my stomach to even think about it. Things got way worse before it got better, and I got sucked down into the mess of it all. It's kind of like when the good will in you decides to reach out and help a person in need. But once you start you realize you can't stop, and suddenly you're in way over your head. And their smelly hugs make you cringe, and you wished they weren't so needy, and this act of charity you started has become a life suck, and no longer see any potential of them ever getting out of their heaping mess of a life.
That's what this house became to me.
As the pictures show - it didn't look too terrible when we bought it. We figured we'd get rid of the smell, update a few things, and put a lot of work into the outside property. But then we ripped up the carpet and the subfloors were so rotted out with animal urine it took a team of many men three days to get it out. The wood literally just crumbled in their hands. And then we got a huge hole in the outside wall where we then found a beam of termites, and the "winterized" toilets were chock full of mold, and no matter what cleaner I scrubbed the kitchen with the grime just wouldn't come up. And the smell - the smell was horrifying.
But I was feeling like a bratty girl who had asked for a pony for her birthday only to freak out at the horse poop, the smelly hair, and the slobbery snout. And now there was no way I was going to touch that pony much less ride it. Probably most frightening of all, was that move in date that kept drawing nearer. And I wondered how I was going to make myself live in a house I hated and that I felt would never really come clean.
And I can't really say what's changed or how it's changed, but I've slowly stopped showering every time I get home from working on the house. And I actually ran a few loads of our belongings over there today. I filled a few closets, set books on the shelves, filled a room with all our home decor, and plugged air fresheners into a few outlets. We're getting a new tub tomorrow, and new toilets are coming on Friday. And I can count the places in the house that need one last good scrubbing or coat of paint.
I can slowly feel that peaceful place resurfacing - the home we envisioned when we first laid eyes on the place. And the neighbors have slowly made their way over throughout our working days to tell us what our house once was. They told us about the man who built it, how beautifully he kept the whole yard, the work he did to hedge in the now overgrown creek, and all the fun they had in his wood shop and barn. And they're so happy to see someone coming along to care for it again.
And I'm happy we're that someone. I'm glad we were a little blind going into it, and I'm glad we didn't know what all it was going to entail. I'm also glad we're on the other side of all the bad news and disgusting details. We're shooting to be moved in sometime in the next two weeks. And I can't wait for this place to become our home.