While working in the front the other day, one of the neighbors happened to be passing by and stopped to chat. They were asking about the status of the house, when I’m moving in, what in the heck am I doing out in the yard anyways?
What the heck am I doing?
Beautifying the neighborhood of course! At the rate we are moving, the old house might actually look livable by the time the papers are in order. What if the current owners had done all this before deciding to sell? Good thing they are out of the country or they might change their mind and say there is a real, actual dwelling place on the property and increase the value!
So. Where were we before the 40 foot dumpster full of junk, some recycling [some because there wasn’t much, not because we weren’t trying to recycle] and many, many, many fires to incinerate what toxic waste was burnable and perhaps not literally toxic?
I love going to estate sales where you can see the things that a person made their life with. That peek behind closed doors. Well this felt like a strange glimpse into the trash heap left behind after an evacuation. I want to tell myself they had many much nice things that they took with them and that they did not live their everyday days behind the doors we opened.
Brace yourself. If you don’t like the show hoarders or the reality of a homestead heritage being neglected to the point of degeneration, turn your eyes away now.
Like I said, looking like it might have been lived in and vacant for decades… except it was lived in this time last year. Maybe it was the party house and my definition of partying is significantly different. I mean Manwich for dinner with an icy glace for dessert and smiles enough for everyone- what’s not to love!
And so it goes, all through the house.
The upstairs only has only one crazy bat to be found seeking residence:
Outside? Most everyone who knows where the house is has been well aware of the former tenants abilities with grounds keeping and yard maintenance. I am happy to report the lawn has had approximately 84.2% of the trash removed and the lawn has been mowed. Nearly all of the trash has been hauled away. What remains is buildings and piles of recyclables and lots of potential!
What the heck am I doing anyways? Home ownership is exceptionally more exciting and overwhelming than I had ever imagined! Is this the way everyone feels when they look at a place they are considering making their forever home? Is this the way that first family felt when they looked at that porch? Were they thinking about the future generations that would be caring for that garden? Did they plant that orchard as an investment for their kids’ kids’ kids? Did they have as much hope for that house as I do?
Outside, we have piles of junk that were abandoned. Then they were sifted through by countless “volunteers” that surely came by to help out by removing stuff. In a way, I’m thankful there’s less stuff. In a way, having anything of value gone depletes what was never going to be a grand opinion of the people that lived there. In a way, I wish I could have seen EVERYTHING that they’d abandoned. You know, to get the whole picture. Maybe just to reassure myself there was more to the story than just the stuff that rolls my stomach. Maybe? Maybe I’m just fascinated by people? Maybe it’s just a little grotesque. But seriously! Don’t you kinda wanna know? Who were these people?!
Oh how I love that Kubota! And fires. And a good chainsaw. And a trusty weed-eater. And that tractor. And that 30 foot dumpster. And my mom and little brother for all their help. And all the people who have offered their support. And my dad for all the equipment he has loaned me, his knowledge, his experience, his suggestions, his un-admitted excitement for all that will be on Maggie’s old farm. And most especially…. that sweet little orange tractor! *sigh* The ‘Bota! :]
It has been amazing to see the clouds of rubbish begin to part and the shadowy remnants of what was once the pride and joy of a family wanting to start their own forever home. Looking at where things are now only amplifies the contrast and makes me all the more determined that there is something amazing to be salvaged here! Then to add to that the fact that the original owners loved and cared for this place as the foundation upon which they were building a new life for themselves and their families. How awesome! Add to that the fact that my great grandparents loved and cared for this place and gave their daughter Madeline her forever home. Then to add the memories of great-aunt Maggie loving and caring for so many people on that front porch, in that garden, and around her orchard- that’s simply icing on the cake! [More accurately mustard on the hamburger for those of us that don’t like cake. And who understand there have been very few cakes ever made that would compete in any way with a farm hamburger. Somehow, I don’t see it becoming a common turn of phrase.]
Now that I’ve shared all the gross-ness, here’s where one would want to see the AFTER photos, right? Prepare yourself…
Realistically I have tried taking pictures of the transformation and it’s like trying to describe the mountaintop view with a panoramic photo. It’s a nice attempt at sharing something that is only understood when experienced. [Or like trying to describe that real mustard on a real hamburger experience. If you know what I’m saying, you know. If you don’t, we need to have a serious conversation.]
It’s pretty extraordinary! And I don’t have any photos to share just yet. Mostly because I don’t have the photos uploaded. Partially to entice you to come check it out! And make sure to stop on the road by the mailbox to say ‘Hello!’ if you see someone in the garden!
Please come visit! Informally, I have been spreading the hope of having a First Saturday Potluck on the farm each and every month. Working as necessary. Hanging out with awesome people as mandatory. Formally, the property is still not owned by anyone in the family. Still waiting for the official finalization of documents and contracts and business-y things that seem too simple to still be holding things up.
While the first First Saturday Potluck cannot be announced just yet and there appears to be rain on the forecast. What the heck? Why don’t you just drive out there yourself?