Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Sister House Gets Its Lights Punched Out

Now, along with the roof, the house has had the windows and doors removed. It won't be long before the siding is also gone. The siding removal will hurt. We haven't been able to find a supplier of unfinished 3" cedar clapboard. The only 3" clapboard we can find comes primed and must be painted. We really wanted duplicate the original siding.

Looking at the house at this stage and knowing that the siding is coming off I can forgive a person for wondering why we even bothered to save the house at all. Reason #1: It is sturdy, strong and square. Even with all the permitting hoops that must be jumped through nowadays, houses just are not built like that anymore. For that reason it is worth saving the skeleton. Reason #2: The lovely wood floors that are natural and not the glossy, pre-finished skating rinks available at home depot. Reason #3: the living room walls and ceiling and the kitchen ceiling are all wood. Beautiful old growth fir. We "wood" (tee hee hee) never be able to afford to do that now. Reason #4: Purely sentimental. I am sure I mentioned this is some earlier post but the reason it is called the Sister House is that it so closely resembles Tom and Kathy's house. I have a flickr set of their house. They have been driving by the Sister House for 30 years. Somewhere along the way it became "The Sister House" and Kathy always dreamed of moving it to her property for sentimental reasons. It wasn't a practical move for her but it was for us.

I hadn't meant to do this with this post but here is a refresher for those of you who don't know the story of how we ended up as owner's of a house sitting in someone else's front yard:

We decided to move to WA after our second visit here. Our first visit was in September 06. The second was in November 06. I returned by myself in March 07 to find a house. Our intention was to buy an existing house on a minimum of 5 acres - we really hoped to get 20 acres. That didn't work out so well. This area is flooded with manufactured homes. We wanted something with a bit more history and character. The few houses I did see that kind of fit the bill were either on very small lots or on large lots but built close to the property line, very near a neighbors house.

I spent almost a week searching and by the last day I was feeling disheartened. I had my bags packed. Tom and I were waiting for Kathy to get home and then it would be time to head to PDX. Kathy burst into the house and into my glum mood with news that, on a whim, she stopped at the house behind the Sister House to ask if the owners would sell it and if we could look at it. The owner's intended to burn it down but had not gotten around to it. Seven years prior the owner got married and moved his new bride into it. She said "oh hell no" and demanded a newer, less gross, house. They built a manufactured home right behind the Sister House and so my future house sat for seven years collecting dust, spiders and bees.

On the way to the airport the three of us stopped and went through the house. I knew right off that this was MY house. After walking through I bent over double in the kitchen, short of breath and with a racing heart. We didn't know yet if the owners would sell. The wife was going to call her husband and we didn't have an answer yet. The fierce, possessive feeling I had for the house after just those few moments meant that I was in for a crushing blow should they decide not to sell it to us. The state of limbo did not last long. I was sitting in the airport waiting for a delayed flight when I got the call that the owners would sell.

And that, my friends, is part of the story of how we ended up on this mad cap adventure.

Oh, if you are wondering, Matt had seen the exterior of the house. Tom and Kathy pointed it out to us on our visits. Even so, it was very bold and courageous of him to get on board with such gusto without having seen the inside of the house. That right there is just one more reason why I love you babe.

1 comment:

ThatKateGirl said...

I understand. I think it's great!