August 10, 2009

Blast from the past...

There were some surprise visitors to our house this weekend! Saturday morning Pete and I were all ready for a trip to the dump when a strange car pulled into the driveway.

Out came a man and the moment he opened his mouth for an introduction we knew instantly who he was. It was the youngest child of our houses old owner! He grew up in our house and was curious to see what the house looked like now. At one time his family of 11 (!!) was living in the house! The family owned the house from the 1960ish- 2003 We've previously only have met two of the nine children, but could tell this man was related because of the unique and eerily similar speech and voice all the siblings seem to share.

We shelved our current plans of heading to the dump (oh darn) and gave them a tour of the place and all the work we've done. When I say they were blown away... I think that is an understatement.

It was really nice to see their reactions as we walked through the house and hear stories about the rooms as they remembered them. His wife really liked how we opened all the rooms up by "not packing them full of furniture and stuff". She also told me how her late Mother in law was not the best house keeper and she had to sneak a bathroom cleaning once, so it was nice for her to come in a see the house all clean for once.

Of all the rooms, I think the most emotional for them was to see his old bedroom. Its the smallest room upstairs, the one we've taken the door off of and turned into an office. I think they liked it the transformation though. The underground (guest bedroom) room they were most impressed by, he kept saying "It never looked this good! Never!"

Outside he told us about the summer house and all the great memories he had of it. BBQ's, summer sleep outs and parties all took place out there in the past. When I go inside now and close my eye to shut out the years of neglect and peeling paint, I can envision how it must have been a great outdoor room at one point for a family of 11. It's a nice size building that rests underneath two giant trees and the cinder blocks hold out the heat well.

Unfortunately the conversation took a sad turn when we learned that his father died on the property. He was picking beans in the veg. garden out back (that is no longer there) and apparently dropped of a massive heart attack. Someone walking the railroad saw him on the ground, but it was too late.

They left us with nothing but compliments on the house and wished up luck on the new one. Sad that we were moving now that the house was finished, but happy that we did such a good job on bring the old house back to life. Their visit wasn't that long but I'm really glad it happened. Its always nice to hear about your houses past, hear nostalgic stories about the house and what it was like before you came along.

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