I loved the house in terms of the home that it was for our family. I have so many precious memories there of the children. The land it sits on is a great piece of property, as I mentioned before. And the work that Dad did on and in the house was top-notch in terms of quality and style. For example, he installed new windows, upgraded the baseboards, installed engineered hardwood flooring, did interior and exterior paint, did a major remodel that added two rooms and a sundeck, granite countertops in the kitchen, etc., etc., etc. The place needed a ton of work when we bought it. Now, there is not a single place that you can look where he didn’t do something do it to improve it.
It had been majorly remodeled at least twice (once long before we moved in). That is great is some respects, but I don’t like the feel of a house that has been majorly remodeled, and the floorplan never quite sat well with my tastes. Homes that have been majorly remodeled tend to have non-standard floor plans that are cut-up and don’t flow well because they weren’t thought through by a single designer before the build. Multiple designers over multiple builds at multiple time frames tend to produce floor plans that don’t feel unified, to me at least. The place feels like that to me. But, when people see the house for the first time, their impressions are positive because all the work Dad did. So I don’t mean to say that it is ugly. It is just unusual, different.
While there, I am sure I said a couple times, “I’d like us to find a home with a normal floor plan.” I also remember wanting to live in a neighborhood with sidewalks, so that we could feel safe when going for walks. But I see now that we rarely took the initiative on anything regarding our family. To take that sort of initiative would have opened us up to all sorts of criticisms and invasive inquiries, so in some ways it was just easier to stay put.
Even so, we had a lot of great memories there. There are volunteer berries that would sprout up in the summer and the kids loved to eat them. We had many vegetable gardens, and the kids would sit in the tomato plants and eat the tomatoes. We ate the veggies from the garden for dinner a lot. One summer, the weeds got so tall in the backyard that the kids made a maze out of them and I could not see the tops of their heads. We made lemonade with lemons from the lemon tree, and at least one summer the kids had a lemonade stand on the street. We had family meals around the dinner table most nights, with food that I cooked from scratch. We participated in homeschooling events such as science fairs and I still have the ribbons. We read lots of stories on the sofa, and watched lots of movies on the TV. The kids climbed trees and rode their bikes up and down the driveway. We took the trash out in either the little red Toyota truck, or Dad’s tractor. We recycled and had several of those recycle bins. When the girls got a little older, I bought them some kids cookbooks and they would make recipes that looked good to them. They always did a good job. I made and decorated many, many birthday cakes from scratch over the years. Off the top of my head I can think of the dinosaur cake, the whale cake, the number eight cake, and the heart cake. There were a lot of square, rectangular, or round cakes layer cakes too. I had a cake decorating book for inspiration.
I also took many, many photographs of the kids. There used to be a box of them there at Dad’s place. When you look at them, you may notice that I am missing from most of the pictures. That’s because I am the person behind the camera.