Old Home Week

“You have to know the past to understand the present.”
Dr. Carl Sagan

Since we haven’t yet closed on our new home project, this is the perfect opportunity to build our street cred by showing you a little of what we did to our last pile of bricks.  Note that this is also a bit self-serving: right now as I’m bogged down in all the work that is just days away, it does my spirit good to remember that 1. It will eventually get done, and 2. Done is pretty freaking fabulous.  So, having said that, let me introduce our to our first house, the one that started it all:

Loving those red bricks!

Loving those red bricks!

I loved this house the minute we pulled in the driveway.  A lot of older brick homes have brick that looks ugly, tired, and faded, but not this house.  Those bricks were as red and crisp as if the house had just been built.  A sweet and sturdy house built in 1963, it had 3 bedrooms and 2 baths (right, 1.75 baths if you want to be REALLY particular) and was about 1850 square feet, plus another 250 in the unheated sunroom.

The seller was a feisty little 89 year old lady who insisted on being present any time anyone was in her home.  Madame had lived in that house for 39 years  (I still can’t imagine living in one place for that long!).  Though the house had been maintained fairly well, the decor was another matter entirely.  Apparently, along with her perfect beauty parlor hair-do, her notions regarding decorating were fixed permanently in 1967, and neither one wavered even a tiny bit over the next 4 decades.  Please form one line, the tour begins in the kitchen:

Looking at the kitchen rom the living room

Looking at the kitchen from the living room

The fridge coffin - this is the opposite side of the previous picture.

The fridge coffin - this is the opposite side of the previous picture.

Full of dark-stained mahogany cabinetry, the kitchen was a closed-in nightmare.

As Russ and I stood there, gawking at the sheer hideousness of it all, Madame uttered a phrase that immediately became legend:

“The appliances are new, you know”

"New" appliances. Yes, once upon a time they were.

"New" appliances. Uh-huh.

New? New?  New in the same way that oh, television is new?  Or electricity, for that matter? Right. Yes. New. Fortunately, my mother raised me well and I simply just smiled at her and said, “oh, yes ma’am.” and then mentally plotted how fast I could demolish the appalling refrigerator coffin.

Which we did, the day we closed.

Post Demo - it is already a huge improvement!

Post Demo - it is already a huge improvement!

Turns out, she had updated – laying a double layer of Formica counter tops and back splash that must have been affixed to the wall with some sort of industrial glue meant for  NASA.  Russ had to chip it off the wall in pieces no bigger than a quarter.  It took quite some time and involved a lot of words I won’t repeat in polite company.

Tomorrow: Kitchen, round 2.

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