One day, when we lived in Kansas, we got a knock at our door and on the porch was a young couple from California. They went on to explain that their great-grandmother had grown up in our house, and they were wondering if they could take a "house tour" and take some pictures so they could take them home to show great-grandma. You see, the grandma was still alive, doing very well at 101 years young, and living in California.
Well, how could I resist when I heard that story??!! Actually the young couple had stories for me that the grandma had told them. We had been remodeling, and as is often the case in old houses, when you tear down a wall you find interesting things you weren't expecting. We had found several old books in our walls, and some of them just happened to have the name of the grandmother the couple were representing.
I gathered up the books and sent them home to the great-grandma. While I loved them, I felt they needed to go back to their owner.
The couple took lots of pics, thanked us for our time and headed back to California.
A few weeks later, the picture (above) arrived in our mail. The great-grandma wanted to thank us for letting her family tour the house. Not only was it a great picture, they had blown it up to an 8 X 10, and there was lots of info on back that the grandmother had told them to write.
That is the grandma, as a little girl, standing on the sidewalk.
What we found very interesting was the large barn in the back. We had never seen it before. What the grandma told us was that that was the "summer kitchen". The cooking was done out there, to keep the house from heating up. As my boys were growing up they had founds lots of bottles and broken dish pieces in that area. That explained things for us.
We also had to dig to find the sidewalk that went around the side of the house. We never before knew that was there. We still had all the trees, but they were full grown now and absolutely beautiful.
When we painted, we tried to paint the same way we found in the picture.
We also had the picture framed and an old skeleton key added to the matting. The key did not go to the house, but it makes a charming picture.
About a month ago we traveled back to Kansas to see friends. We debated about going by the 'old house' but we gave in. WOW! It is totally different.
The new owners are completely remodeling it. It has been gutted down to its studs. The porch has been redone. No longer is she a Victorian lady, but more a mammoth farmhouse.
Gone is the widow's walk and the chippendale porch rail. Gone are the front steps made of solid stone. Gone are the scallops at the top of each eave.
Gone are the old columns and the front shrubs. Gone are several of the mammoth maple trees.
And look what has been added. The new owners built on a 1500 sqare foot addition. They also put in a new three car garage.
What was once a big old Victorian house at 3800 square feet, has become a huge new/old house!..... Or at least on its way to becoming a huge new/old farmhouse.
This make-over gives a whole new meaning to "everything old is new again"! Maybe one day these owners will get a knock on their door and find a couple standing there.......(Do I dare????)