Where have we been? At the Farm. The Farm is my grandparents' house, or was. Grandma Shirley passed into eternity in November 2004; Grandpa Royce followed her in August 2005. Their home became a house and is owned jointly by my mother and her two sisters. A renter has been in residence until recently. Now that he is gone, the house is getting a much needed renovation.
When I first went out to The Farm mid July, it had been about 2 years since I last saw the property. The sight which met my eyes broke my heart. Grandma was an avid gardener, especially prized was her rose garden. All of us "girls" dug roses to bring to our homes the summer after her passing, but a few were considered too old or too large to be safely transplanted and those were left in place. To my horror, I saw that someone had mowed them down. MOWED THEM DOWN TO THE GROUND. With a brush hog. AND AND AND they had run that same brush hog into the flower beds eliminating any surviving plants from Grandma's era. I was angry and hurt and grieved. Someone, who was just trying to mow the yard and bring the weeds under control, had erased Grandma's marks from her land. I wept, hot tears of anger and sorrow coursing down my face, as I called my husband to explain the carnage before me.
The storm passed, thankfully, but the sorrow remains. I really, truly miss my grandparents and love their house/property. Ramshackle is really the only word that describes the place. What started out as a one room house has been added onto by un-handymen through the decades. This is DIY, but not at its finest. The floor slopes. The walls are not plumb. NOTHING is square. In measuring for backsplash I discovered a 1.75" difference in the distance between cabinets and countertops over a 12 foot run. Their is a 2" slope in the entry hall: the 5 foot wide entry hall. A picture begins to form, yes? At one point the roof was patched with a metal folgers can. OY! And yet I am in house love. LOVE. And so we labor to make this heap more homelike.
On the first day, my dear Madelyn was able to find the joy even as we carried oily, filthy, urine-soaked carpets to the dumstper, "Mommy, working together like this is making precious memories."
In the past 5 weeks we have ripped out carpets too nasty to describe, painted, cleaned, scraped up linoleum, heat stripped cabinets, repaired sheetrock, etc. The family, by which I mean extended family, gathers randomly to work on whatever needs doing- yardwork, pressure washing, cabinet painting, toilet cleaning. This weekend it was yardwork, flooring removal and outside painting.
I can say that the project has turned a corner. For weeks, everything we did felt like follow up to Pandora's box incident. Every wall, light, outlet and floor register hid a nasty surprise. We took to calling the house "Pandoria", but hope has finally been released and I can't wait to showcase the before and after photos for you all!