Last night I crocheted one of my chickens a hat and scarf. I almost wish I was joking, but I'm not. Perhaps an intervention is needed. Jen, your comment about the zipper and the snaps absolutely cracked me up! I'm glad I'm not the only one that finds zippers totally inappropriate on a chicken garment. I also decided that the chicken coop will have a Christmas tree, and lights, and little stockings for each of the girls. Call me crazy, but this thought brought me peace and joy. I slept like a baby.
Okee dok. The first pic of this post is Mrs. Tucker. I do not know her first name. She is the lady that owned this house for 80 years before I bought it from her daughter and son-in-law. I wish I could have known her. Everyone that I run into that did know her tells tales of her kindness and light hearted demeanor. Her daughter Darlene still lives up the hill, and if I had a brain in my skull I'd go pump her for ....um, I mean, I would go bring up a basket of muffins and casually bring up the subject of the house. How I would love to have that bike now! I would park it and fill the basket full of flowers.
The back of this picture says "September 1945". Are those chickens I see in the background?
Mrs. Tucker is on the left. I do not know who the other people are. I wish I could step back in time and have a good look around.
I left you hanging last time with us in the basement with the realtor, making the decision to buy the house. My dream house, in nightmare condition. How crazy is it that we were buying the first house we even looked at? How often do you find someone that moved ONE time in their almost 50 years on earth, and will probably never move again. We've no plans of ever leaving.
We did the usual thing, made an offer on the house, counter offer, final offer. Did I neglect to tell you that we had about $50 in our pocket when we decided to move? Ohhhh, I did didn't I? You see, when we were self employed, all the money we made we pretty much put back into the business. Newer tools, ordering materials wholesale and in bulk, etc. We were pretty poor on paper. Now we needed a mortgage.
We had two things going against us. Number one...um, we were poor ass broke. Number two, the house was unmortgageable. (Is that the right spelling? Is that even a word?) No furnace, outdated electric, etc, etc. There wasn't a bank in town that would touch us. I bet George Bailey would have lent us the money. Unfortunately we lived in Potterstown.
Again, I felt the house slipping from my fingers. I'm really giving you all the condensed version, but there is nothing to say other than it was absolute providence that got us in this place. The owners agreed to sell us the house on a six-month balloon contract. We had six months to fix it up and get financing. What would happen if we still couldn't get a bank to loan us the money? I had a lot of fears back then. A lot of what if's. There wasn't too much time to meditate on it though, we had six months to make this place look like home. We drove back and forth from Chicago the entire six months, staying a few days in a row, going back to Chicago to work on the business. I'll tell you all about those things when I show you more before pics. Suffice it to say, you realize that we did in fact get the financing....I mean, I live here right?
We found a mortgage loan officer that decided to take a chance on us crazy young punks. I wrote a three page letter to the loan company saying how we absolutely loved the house, and planned on preserving the past, being active in our community, etc., etc. We were actually two weeks late in paying the neighbors our balloon payment. They absolutely could have walked in and taken the house back, thanking us for fixing it up for them, but they didn't. Thank you Roger and Darlene for that.
Another interesting note, the house originally was up for sale with 8 acres. We came to find out that Darlene and Roger were selling, but not really WANTING to sell, but needing to sell it. It broke our hearts. We decided, well, Glen decided, after having a dream, that we should only take three of the acres, and leave the other acreage so that Roger and Darlene could give it to their children.
I realize that this post is getting long. Just wanted to leave you with this. The day we took possession of the house. May 21, 1988. We were SO incredibly excited. We went up the hill and got our key. Our first house! We live in the country! Yay for us! Woooohooo.....
We pulled in the driveway and got out. The lawn was about 20" long. We excitedly went to the back door (I think the front one would have fallen off the hinges if we tried to open it), turned the key, walked in....and immediately left and went back up the hill.
Stay tuned.........Just to fast forward a little. Here is a pic from 2004. I was on the Lowell Garden Walk. See...we did get some of the work done!