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 No furnace, outdated electric, etc, etc.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!
Back up the hill for what???? I must know, the pic of the old car got me, I've parked there, many times, I feel so blessed to be able to see it all first hand. Love the story, tell more about the business too and why you aren't doing it anymore. All so interesting. and post some pics of the basement, don't forget the upstairs too. Thanks for taking the time to write. We all so enjoy it. Oh and I want to see the hat and scarf, making your self a matching one? Maybe? Love ya, RaReplyDelete
I hope you know I am not going to get a wink of sleep until your next post! This is a great story!ReplyDelete
The funny thing is I have always loved your house-I have drove past for many years and told my husband -I love that house! It must have been talking to me all these years-
Thanks and keep it coming!
Glad you have your groove back! My problem right now is I am too darn tired to do much...even knit! Too tired to knit? Whjat in the world?!?! But I am enjoying the napping! :) I'll get it together soon enough. Oh man, what did you go back up the hill for? I am waiting in suspense!!! And I think you should go up the hill with a basket of muffins...the pics are so cool and hearing the stories and history is so neat! And thanks for the idea of decorating for Christmas for the fowl!!! OMG the ducks would look so adorable with little santa hats and scarves on!ReplyDelete
I'm thoroughly enjoying this story! I also love that last picture of you and the flowers with the house. So, I had no idea you had such a green thumb also. Guess I'm just a newbie here! :) Will look forward to more, no matter what you decide to post on. -Tammy p.s. I love it that you're thinking of decking the coop for the holidays!!ReplyDelete
I AM SO GLAD I SAW YOUR ARTICLE IN THE NEWSPAPER! IT'S LIKE THIS BLOGGING WORLD IS OPEN TO ME NOW. COOL! YOU LED ME TO THE PIONEER LADY AND I READ HER LOVE STORY FOR SEVERAL DAYS. I LOVE READING ABOUT YOUR CHICKENS. PLEASE KEEP IT UP. I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED THE COUNTRY LIFE. MY MOM LIVED IN YOUR OLD NEIGHBORHOOD FOR A WHILE. SHE WOULD TAKE THE BUS TO EVERGREEN PARK AND SHE WALKED EVERYWHERE. MAYBE YOU SAW HER AROUND. ANYWAYS YOUR WRITING KEEPS ME COMING BACK. LOVIN IT!ReplyDelete
I can't wait to read more ... I love this story! Love that you knew it was yours before it was. That's divine intervention happening! Now ... your garden walk photo. It is Gorgeous!!!! If I were a rich millionheiress (is that a word?) I would hire you to come landscape my yard and knit stockings for my poor neglected hens (only in the case that I do not knit for them). Can't wait for more! :)ReplyDelete
we're hooked!!! Keep em coming!ReplyDelete
Love, love, love the story. And I'm so excited for the chickens. Why should they be left out of the celebration?ReplyDelete
Jayme... Your blog is SO FUN! I just love seeing the pix of your home... then and now! I love the photographs of Mrs. Tucker, especially the one on her bicycle! I'll be payient for your next post!ReplyDelete
Laughing laughing snorting and inadvertantly a little coffee came out of nostril...stop it.ReplyDelete
If you put a Christmas tree in the chicken casa, I can't help you. You'll be over the top and my expertise at de-nutsing you will be useless. I'm thinking fowl intervention...
Really enjoying your blog, I found you through Wildenblue Farm Journal. Your home is absolutely lovely.ReplyDelete
I want to see the chickens in hats and scarves! Not to mention a Christmas tree in the coop!!ReplyDelete
Hey Girls! you are all just too good to me. I'll have to leave you hanging with the story to build the suspense a little! :-) Went up the hill for what?? Why did I leave the house?? Hope you won't be disappointed....thanks a million times over for all the comments, you've no idea how it makes my day. Hey, I'm unemployed now...remember?ReplyDelete
That last picture of you in front of your lovely home is wonderful!ReplyDelete
I love the story of how you got your loan. I am so happy that you got the house. sounds like you are making it into a fun home.
I look forward to seeing the Christmas tree in the chicken coop.
I love the picture of the former owner on the bike. And I agree, I would so love to have that! And get your little tooshie over to her daughter and pump her for all the questions you can. She won't be around forever, and if you don't do it, the day will come when it will be too late. I've made the pumpkin scones twice and everyone loved them. Have you made my yogurt yet? Let me know how it turns out.ReplyDelete