Considering the age of our home, you'd think that we walked into a complete gut job, however, I must say that the previous owner (whom we had the pleasure to meet at our closing; we'll refer to him as W) took such amazing care of this house. There are certainly things we've changed or plan to change to suit our style and make it more of our own, but truthfully the house is in wonderful condition. When you take pride in and care for the place that you call home, it is truly felt and seen in the eyes of everyone that walks through the front door. The outpouring of love, support, and compliments we've received, thus far, on our new home fills me with so much pride, as I know I'm doing right by this house and everyone before us that loved this home just as much as we do.
The couple that owned our house before us purchased it back in 1985. They raised 3 children, here, as well. W's wife had a stroke about two years ago and passed away shortly afterward and with three grown children who had all moved to Florida, such a big house became more of a burden to W, who really didn't need all of this space anymore, so with an aching heart, he put it on the market. With the money he made from the sale of the house, he bought a small condo down in Florida to be closer to his children and grandchildren. I can't imagine how hard it was to let go of something that served such a huge part of his family's life, but he's with his family now, which can't be beat. I hope, someday, he makes a trip back up here and stops by to say "hello." I'd love to show him the transformations we've made and show him just how much we truly care for this house that meant so much to him.
Although W is quite a bit older, he sure was a spritely man, wearing a big ol' cowboy hat and cowboy boots to match, when we met him in the office on the day of our closing. You don't often see western wear, like that, here in Connecticut. It took me back to memories of my paternal Grandfather and Great-Grandfather, both named Don, with their Texas drawls; true Texan cowboys! From the moment we met W, it just felt right.
W shared some really cute stories with us, about the house, that I love being able to relay to you all:
* There is this adorable little nook in our master bedroom (keep your eyes out as the MB is currently a work in progress). W and his wife set up a little antique ice cream parlor table and chair set in that nook and would read the newspaper, while enjoying their coffees, every single Sunday morning. Something about that image just warms my heart.
* There was also the time, back in the 70's, that W had an addition put on to the back of the house. That addition is now currently our sunroom. A crawl space had to be added to the basement in order for the builders to access the addition as they were working. Well, once the project was complete, the crawl space remained open and accessible through the basement and W and his wife would allow their children to play in there and use the crawl space walls as canvases when they were growing up. Their beautiful artwork and little secret notes can be viewed throughout the first level of our home. We don't ever plan to cover or remove them; it's little, special tokens like that, that make the history of our house.
I used to hate history, as ironic as that sounds, but the older I get, the more I truly appreciate it. I'm currently working on another project for the house that has a lot to do with the history of our street, Main St. I've met some incredibly knowledgeable and kind people throughout my research and work for this project and I value the time I've been able to spend with each of them. This house and this town have so many stories to tell...just you wait!