This story is a continuation of A bikeride to my land with a new partner.
In a nutshell, my son and I had gone on an unexpected VERY long bike ride, and my heart pined to cruise past my childhood farm. But I was hesitant to see it for a multitude of reasons.
When we ended up heading in that direction, I was excited but nervous… then ended up absolutely stunned at what I saw…
Here’s part 2… starting with a little back story.
I grew up on a 40 acre dairy farm, with the typical rambling old farmhouse, and red barn out back.
(you can see a slideshow video of the farm in THIS post)
When we lived there, it was well cared for. Mom’s days were spent in the massive yard. She was so proud of her flowering trees and massive vegetable garden. And of course, Dad was outdoors, either milking the cows or tending the fields.
Our farm was far from perfect, but it was kept up. When the barn and house both needed paint, mom made sure they were both done at the same time so everything looked nice.
After mom left the farm after dad’s passing, things changed drastically. Strange, rickety structures were propped up for small livestock all over the once beautiful field we called our main lawn, trees were left to grow scraggly or dead, and windows were patched when broken. Never repaired. You get the idea.
I use to drive by periodically, and would always prepare to wince. It was horrible. Things deteriorated so badly, I avoided going down the road at one point. Heart wrenching does not even come close. The last time I drove by, my eyes stung as I silently said good-bye to a once beautiful life on that property. It was time to just stop the agony.
Over time, curiosity got the best of me, and I challenged myself to drive by the place one more time. Out of morbid curiosity I suppose.
Fully prepared to be devastated once again, that’s not quite what happened.
I stopped the truck on the side of the road, and had to get out. Met with ear deafening countryside silence, I peered around the yard. Bright sunlight was streaming down all the debris as if to say, something BIG was going down. Glad to have you back… because you need to see this.
And this is what I saw.
After my initial shock, I tried to figure out the plan of action. Were they tearing everything down and starting over? That would be a shame. It was such a beautiful farmhouse structure. Even with my emotion removed. Truly.
And that’s when someone approached me from the yard. He apparently rented there, and told me the new owner was doing a total revamp.
With a hopeful heart, I gasped, “Will the house stay then?”
And his reply, “Oh yeah… in a way you won’t believe.”
It was not only staying, it was going to be enhanced in a big way.
And that’s when I had to poke my head into the house and see what stage it was in.
And all I could say was, WOA.
And the front living room, right behind the porch.
See that window with the 3 panes? That use to resemble tropical Maui, my mom’s beloved plant window.
The little window on the left? Every Christmas my mom propped up her wooden camels along the sill.
So anyway… yeah. Wow.
Talk about a renovation! Everything was gutted and ripped right down to the studs!
Honestly? I was just beside myself that they went to this extent to save the house!
But why? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just start over rather than repairing everything?
Oh my heart… yes please!
But the good news… inside the barn were piles of original hardwood floor from the house (I didn’t even know we had… we had it covered with apparently 4 layers of lino)
When I asked if I could have a sample as a memory, he offered me a few pieces. I was thrilled!
After we left, I had been mildly curious where things were headed with the farm.
And then we biked by that one fateful day…
When we approached, there were some VERY BIG improvements. My eyes grew wide with amazement once I spotted their visualization of what the place could be.
And this is what I saw.
Piles of debris cleaned up.
And a new massive addition attached to the exterior of the house.
I did say MASSIVE.
What? But why?
Because… get ready for this.
Yep. The new owners happened to be chatting in the yard when my son and I pulled up with our bikes. I felt I’d better say something as I was kinda staring at their house!
That’s when they invited me for a tour. And gave me permission to post all these pictures.
The entire farmhouse will be the master bedroom plus, and the extension will be for the rest of the family. How profound is that? And look at that ceiling height. That is amazing!
And that’s when I asked the owners…
“Why did you go to THIS extent to save the farmhouse?”
“Houses aren’t built like this today. This structure is something you just can’t get brand new. It’s worth it!”
And talk about gracious or what.
Talk about what a way to revamp an old memory.
Talk about I couldn’t think of a better ending for this house!
I didn’t take a tour of the new partition because we were tight for time. Maybe one day. But in all honestly, it’s the farmhouse part that had my heart, and let me tell you, it filled up to the top that day.
As we peddled home, it was as if I had just received news that a sick friend was getting well again. It was neat, but still sad in a funny kind of way. I guess I’m still internalizing a final goodbye. I’m not even sure that’s possible. My heart and soul lie on that land and always will.
All I know is, the pull is fierce to be back in that area again. So as time moves on, I’ll see what that pull actually means, because honestly, I have no idea.
And while I don’t wish to invade the privacy of these wonderful folks, if they’d let me take a few pics again before they moved in, you can bet I will. I’d better hop on that bike soon! 🙂
And in other good news, this farmhouse renovation has inspired me to ‘finish’ my own home in areas I’ve been avoiding. I called for two quotes today, for planked ceilings, and to finish the shower surround in the master farmhouse bathroom. A little at a time… and on we go.
What those folks did to that house? I need to do to this one. Finish it right, and make it amazing.
All I know is, I’m so happy I can cruise by a soon to be BEAUTIFUL childhood farmhouse property. You just have no idea what this story means to me. I’m so grateful the owners allowed this story to publish. That house… that’s my old, amazing wonderful world in some pretty great hands.
And what transpires next, your guess is as good as mine.
Part 3 to come… I’m pretty sure. 🙂
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