Sometimes things happen in my life that are almost too good to be true.
Bacon is one -
Clarence "Buddy" and Marilyn are another.
A while ago, more than a month - we noticed a pick up truck driving slowly back and forth in front of our house. This isn't much of an odd occurrence, it happens often, and makes me think that I need to stop dashing around the house nude with all of these windows.
The pick up truck finally pulled in the driveway, and I just assumed that they were honey customers.
It was then that this man told me "My grandfather built this house."
When he found out how nice I was : -) and excited to meet him, he called his wife Marilyn out of the truck.
I cannot begin to tell you how I love these two. They stayed a good hour, telling us all about the house, how he was born here, upstairs in 1927. They also told us all about how they met, and so much about their lives. They felt like family by the time they left. I may or may not have traumatized them a little, as you know how exuberant I can get at times. I think at one point I asked them if they would adopt me.
They only have one daughter, and I think that they need at least one more.
Buddy and Marilyn are in their 80's.
They are so spry, full of life and seem totally smitten with each other. You should have seen the way she looked at him as he told his stories. It was like the first time she'd ever heard them.
We hugged, I gave them my phone number - told them to please come back for supper so that I could hear more of their stories.
You just never know - I didn't know if they'd ever come back.
But they did. They phoned the other day and came out.
This time they stayed three hours.
I'm officially in love with them.
They brought photos and stories.
It was all a bit overwhelming for me, and you know how I've been lately - so of course there were tears.
Buddy cried a little too. He said how nice it was to see someone in the house taking care of it, and that loved it so.
I was getting so confused about who was who, and trying to piece the puzzle together.
I finally got it straight.
I won't bore you with all of those details, but here are the photos, and I'll share my thoughts at the end.
|Mathias Weis - built this house in 1869 when he was 21 years old.|
|He married Elizabeth Pinter, from Germany in 1880. They told me she was a really crabby woman, but after I read their family history - she has every right to be - this is her son Matthew.|
|This photo totally haunts me. It's so crazy to see the house like this, original brick. To think those are the very windows I look out everyday. Now, when I look out the window, I think of this photo. The woman bent over is Mathias and Elizabeth's daughter Anna. I've thought of her so much since seeing these photos.|
|Anna and her father Mathias (man that built the house)|
|Is it me, or does this dog seem like a handful?|
Every photo that it's in, the people seem to be trying to hold on to it!
|Mathias and his daughter Anna (Clarence's mother). Notice the awesome log structure attached to the barn - how I wish it were all still here.|
I have to be honest and say that seeing these photos and hearing the history have really affected me in a very unexpected way. It seems important for some reason. Perhaps if I myself hadn't been in such an emotionally fragile state for the last month, it wouldn't have been so.
I've always wondered about the people that lived here before, and had always assumed that people had surely been born and died here, but now I know.
Thinking and knowing are two different things.
Elizabeth Mathias gave birth to 8 children here.
I can't even imagine two children in the house, let alone 8. 10 living in this little house?
Her first born died at the age of 21.
She had a seven year old daughter die here in 1901.
In 1885, two of her children died within two days of each other - one at three years old, the other at one.
I'm assuming it was an influenza outbreak.
It's brought a sobering feeling to the house for me - this house that has always felt like nothing but happy.
I find myself now wondering what room it was that her babies were lying sick.
I find myself wondering how in the world someone could overcome the grief of losing half her children.
If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that I love this house, and feel that it's almost an entity in and of itself. I felt that I was born to live here, and I have no plan on leaving it - unless it's feet first.
Unless of course you ask me in May, and then I'm out condo shopping because the initial yard work is overwhelming.
If you want to see photos of the house when we got it, click on the link to the right under 'labels' and read 'This Old House'.
I'll end by saying this.
Y'all know I've had a really hard summer.
For my usually non eventful life - it was hard - compared to the things other people have gone through, and are going through - it's silliness.
I love my problems, I do. I'll take mine back at the end of the day when I think of what other's are going through.
Meeting Clarence and Marilyn, and learning about the house and those that have lived and loved here before I found the old place - well, it's girded me with an incredibly feeling of strength and gratitude.
A home is built in 1869.
It's nearly falling down in 1988.
We loved it back to life - and that love was with hammers, nails, paint, sweat, and at times blood.
And now it stands strong again, and beautiful.
To me - it's such a testimony of love - of hard work - of perseverance.
Nothing is a lost cause.
I believe that with enough hammering, love, sweat and perseverance anything that is broken can be restored.
I love my home, and those who live in it.
I hope you feel the same about yours.