So, our house is under contract. That’s an awesome thing. This represents a lot of hard work and sacrifice. We never intended to sell this house, and fixed it up with the kind of love and care as if it were our forever home, because we thought it was.
It’s hard, leaving a home you love. But I think we’re ready. It doesn’t help when people tell us they are sad, because, well, we’re actually really excited about our ranch! Even our sweet mail lady, the sister of my co-teacher, (gotta love small towns! I sure do!) offered her condolences for me “leaving” today. I’m just moving, not leaving my town.
We love Halsey and Brownsville. A whole huge ton a lot. If we could pick up our ranch and deposit it on Gap Road or Peoria Road and pay what we paid, we’d be there 100x over. But it is perfectly perfect where it is in Junction City, and the reality is our kids have lives in Eugene. It makes sense for our kids. Please give us your blessings, friends. I kinda feel like we earned it a little. We brought back a historical home from the area and made it [quite literally] livable again. We re-did the roof with all of our sweet friends from Halsey and Brownsville helping us rip it off, in 90 degree heat. (I sense a theme…). We painted (and our friends painted) every single surface of the inside and outside of this house. We re-trimmed almost every room, or repainted it. Tom re-wired a lot of the house, and did lighting in almost every room. We remodeled this home keeping in mind the character of this sweet 62 year old house and wanting to honor its history.
This house used to belong to the Smith family, of Smith Brothers Seed. Smith Seed They started their company in 1956, and our house was built in 1955. When it was first built it was the little tiny laundry/bedroom/bath area that is now our huge laundry room, master bedroom, walk in closet and bathroom. While they lived in that tiny space, they built the rest of the house, and their seed company! The gumption and grit reminds me of #tinyempire.
The house was on their property in Shedd on Peoria Road until they sold it to build a new (from the outside almost identical) ranch house in (we think) the late 1990s. Then, it was LITERALLY PICKED UP AND MOVED to Halsey. A co-worker told me she remembers what a trip it was when this house was moved into town! They must have added the current garage after moving it, as this is quite a long house! It is amazingly sturdy, as our ceilings are drywall, then plywood. It took Tom 4 hours to demo a 8’x4′ section of Ella’s ceiling last summer to repair a major roof leak and rot. Her room had no damage except for a little issues with paint, and of course the rotten ceiling. The house’s integrity is there in its structure and in its soul. It’s just built to withstand anything. I’ll bet their seed is, too.
Coincidentally, one of my students from last year is one of the youngest Smiths, and his Daddy grew up with his bedroom in what was the laundry room now master bedroom and master closet. His gramma painted the kitchen cabinets white in the 80s, and they remained beautiful and tough until we painted them grey blue in 2016. When I met gramma Cindy Smith (2nd owner) at the Central Linn Thankgsgiving meal in November, she said, “did you keep the cabinets?” and kind of held her breath, bracing for the worst. I said, “why of course I did, they are perfect!”
I started this blog post kinda feeling complain-y and pissy about where summer went. We have not had a minute to just enjoy summer. While you were (hopefully) rafting or swimming or jet skiing in Hawaii or scuba diving in the tropics or fishing in Montana (Hi, Teralyn!! 😉) I have been-painting. While others (hopefully) drank mimosas and slept in on Sundays, we sided a house and put in flooring on 90 degree days. This week last summer we were doing plumbing and painting and tiling and wiring and installing and demoing. We’ve been “ing”” ing the hell out of verbs.
Instead of whining after I write this, though, I reflect on all that we have accomplished and all that we have been blessed with. I realize how fortunate and full of advantage we are. I must shut my mouth now from saying anything negative about hard work. Hard work is the legacy of this house that we have given the last year of our lives to, and hard work is the legacy that both Tom and I believe in, possibly more than just about most anything. We are pull-up your boot straps pioneer types and we just keep going. The buyers for the house (top secret) are also hard workers, and if it all works out, are the perfect people to carry on the tradition that this home represents.
Here’s an incomplete look at some of what we did to it in the last 12 months.
All that said, we know that we need some time. We are taking a four-day weekend Friday-Monday to do some R&R by the lake and watch the dogs be silly and put our bodies in water and have cold beverages and laugh and play Uno and
tease bond with teenagers. We decided to get an RV as extra living space during our addition build AND as a reminder to enjoy Oregon and life and our kids. (Hey big kids, remember us? We have a Ranch and an RV now! Come home!)
While our house was being shown all weekend, we were working hard at Soggy Bottom, putting in the floors, installing cabinet doors and cleaning. It was so so hot. Multiple times we just had to sit down and put our bodies under the AC unit. The dogs liked the floors and moved right in. It’s all done now, and the cabinet maker is installing the hardware tomorrow or Thursday, and we’re 80% done with the inside now. We have all the
annoying stupid details finish work to take care of, and then we can move in.
Back to happy news, did I mention that the Ranch FEEDS us? I picked 3 gallons of pie cherries on Sunday, and bought a dehydrator yesterday. I am so excited about drying my fruit! I love love love trail mix. I can imagine so many fun things I can make! I can just imagine making my own dried plum, apple, pear slices, or making plum jam and putting it on fresh bread! I need to read up about fruit trees, as they are severely over grown in my orchard and need a lot of TLC. But the cherries? They are quite happy, obviously. I pitted about 1.5 gallons tonight, and they are already drying. I am going to get some raw nuts and seeds and make mixes for work. Did I mention I have a TON of grapes? Hello golden raisins!
Not much you can linger unhappily about when God asks you work your ass off, but then supplies you with trees that feed you. It’s kinda win-win.
Oh hey, for the record, friends, when I say God, I want to address that I respect all versions of God. Whatever spirit means to you, whatever your personal belief system is, that’s your path and I am happy for you. I don’t ask anyone to think what I think. My God is personal, and is the one I need, and yours is what you need. I just thought this might be important to mention, because I bring it up so much. I’m grateful, and have a lot to say thanks for.
Peace and love and gladness abound. Even when you’re so tired you snap at people you love, it’s there and you will see it if you look.