Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Goodbye Woody


In 1997, we moved to Northfield, MN and started building our home. We based the design on a 1969 split level we owned in Iowa City. We liked everything but the split, so we took that out. Construction began immediately in the Fall while our little family of four - Mom, Dad, and three year old twin girls - lived in the smallest apartment imaginable. With Johnny C as General Contractor, everything was in good hands.

The little girls and I would visit the rapidly progressing home almost every day. They named it "Woody" for obvious reasons. Johnny C and I had built so many spec and custom homes over the years, we knew exactly what we wanted. Our budget drove a lot of those decisions as well.


In every possible corner, we stuck a closet or a cupboard. We fashioned a great laundry chute from the girls' bathroom. We arranged the best-ever mud room. We added a cozy wood fireplace that was easily accessed and visible from both the dining room and the living room. And of course we added our favorite - a large screened porch.


Several years later, we finished the basement into a family room and a large bedroom with bathroom. The twins intended to move down there someday but for many years it was the bunkhouse for all our visiting friends and family. In the family room, we were trying to imitate the wild Italian decor at Buca de Beppo.

Johnny C. built the best-ever shed/playhouse. It was a beautiful design with a small playhouse with it's one door and windows, and little porch, some shelves and tables, and the highlight: a "fireplace" made from brick painted paneling and a real mantel. We spray painted the firebox with chalkboard paint so the kids could "draw in" the fire. And about that time we welcomed daughter #3.


The landscaping was a labor of love. Our trees, lilac bushes, perennials, bushes, etc are just getting to the lush and lovely stage. This year's raised bed gardens were the perfect addition.

So now, we have to leave it all behind. It will be someone else's for a song. We'll lose not only 12 year's worth of equity, but all our hard work and plans. My Mom's flowers. My beloved lilacs. The campfire pit. Aunt Ruth's garden. The screened porch.

I'm hoping the Universe or God has a cozy place we can regroup and lick our wounds. Where we can be a safe little family and the kids suffer the least disruption. Where we can have a campfire in the yard. Where we can gather at the kitchen table with loved ones and laugh.



11 comments:

Shan said...

Ah, I'm crying! Let me tell you, I hope when you do find that place, I'll be at the table laughing with you as soon as possible. I'll bring the treats! (I know: no chocolate or caffeine!) ;)

Beth said...

So much sadness! Hang in there!

Anita said...

So much love built in there, I'm so sad reading this Margaret.
I have to believe there is a place for you.......take care.

kirelimel said...

I know this is hard- I wish it wasn't. You wrote so lovingly about your home. I should appreciate my own more. I'm thinking about you and sending my good karma your way.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Sorry.

Churlita said...

Sorry. That sucks. I've never had that, but if I did, I don't know what I'd do if I lost it. An actual home is one of the things I've been working on trying to obtain for most of my adult life. I hope you find another better one.

Missy said...

I am so sorry, heartbreaking! What a beautiful home, I know you will be able to build an even better place with the same love, skill and dedication invested n this home.

You should send this blog to John Kline and T-Paw.

kirby said...

That's hard, walking away from some place into which you put so much hard work.

Treats said...

I'm so sorry that you've had to leave behind something so loved. We are all one crisis away from losing everything. You are not alone. Be good to yourselves as you start over.

Elise said...

Your housing situation makes me so sad but even more ANGRY. I can't STAND that you have to give up your beautiful, loved home. It's not right, and if it helped I'd march right up to your bankers and give them what for, southern bitch style. There's just nothing good about it, only I'm glad you're not the kind of person to be destroyed by it. I don't know if I could say the same of myself.

Cheesecake Maven said...

Too many memories. I'm crying. I love you all. You know you can come here, sleeping bags and all, and just put the rest in storage if need be. Hang in there, all our love is coming your way!