With the restoration of our current home, it has been important to Derek and I that we do not just gut the whole house and start anew. The house was, in a way, inherited. My grandfather built it for his family, my father and aunts grew up there and not much has changed. It was nice growing up to hear stories about my family, even if I had heard the story for the hundredth time. As much as it drives me crazy that they seemed to never let go of anything, including broken irons, old ripped baby clothes, or the homemaker’s encyclopedia, it’s still fun to sift through all of the history.
One of the things that has been super helpful in restoring the house is the experience my parents had. Back when we were house hunting, things were a bit difficult. It being our first house we obviously didn’t know anything about buying a house. We had a great real estate agent that taught us a ton of stuff. His name was Brad, a friend of my father’s. It was asking my parents questions about buying a house when I kept hitting a wall. They never house hunted. Growing up in my parents house I knew that my great grandfather had built it, but I never knew how my parents came to own the house. Turns out my childhood home has always been in the family. My great grandfather and grandfather had built several homes in the area. My great grandfather and grandmother rented the house out and when my parents were looking for a home the couple currently renting the home was moving out. Instead of finding new tenants, my parents just moved in.
My parents house is currently over 100 years old. When they moved in it obviously wasn’t quite as old, but still needed a lot of work. Not unlike our home. So my parents have encountered a lot of the same problems Derek and I are encountering now. My dad is a bit obsessive when it comes to change. Before anything changes in his house, the town, the yard whatever, he takes looooads of pictures. He duplicates them and hoards them, unnecessarily. Unfortunately nothing is very organized. If it weren’t for that he would be quite the historian in his free time. My point is, when he and my mom were working on their new/old home my dad took tons of photos tracking their progress, like I am currently doing.
A lot of the photos feature my mom working. That’s because my dad isn’t really a handy man. He’s more of a picture guy. If you remember from my other blog post, my Bubby’s nickname for my mom was “Ralph”. I realize that this is somewhat problematic in these times when the fight for women’s equality is very real still, but my grandpa was much older and although that is still not okay, he was from a different time and it was used as a term of endearment. My mom is handy. I love that my mom is handy and I am proud that she often tackles problems without hesitation. My grandpa built the extension onto the house and helped fixed other things to update the house for my mom and dad to live there. It was my mom who helped him with things more often.
I’ve inserted a gallery of some of the pictures my dad took during the process of their renovations. It really was a family affair, family from both sides had a hand in making my parents’ house a home. I feel very lucky to have had so much family near by growing up. My Oma lived two doors down, my great aunt down the street and my grandparents just around the corner. I’m sure my parents were glad to have all the help once us kids came around. I’m sure when the time comes I’ll feel the same way. That was a contributing factor to us buying my grandparents’ house, truthfully speaking close proximity to family landed in both the pro and the con column. Ultimately and obviously it turned out to be a massive pro. Both mine and Derek’s parents have been to the house on a weekly basis helping us prepare to settle in there and we couldn’t possibly be more thankful. Enjoy the gallery! I’ll see you later, neighbour.