I think it would be neat to hear about the story behind your home and the road you live on. It doesn't have to be historical, maybe just something that stands out to you. It would be nice to have pictures to go with your little story. I also would like to know who has the oldest house. Whoever has the oldest house will get a little Christmas treat from little ole me.
I had just turned twenty-seven a couple of weeks before we moved in. It was the first home I'd owned in Oklahoma, my home state, since moving to Kansas at the tender age of 22. We had moved frequently, making our home in places as diverse as Topeka, Kansas, Lee's Summit, Missouri, Newport News, Virginia, and Aiken, South Carolina. The older two children were small, my little boy still in a crib. Even though they were small, the moving was already becoming difficult, and it was time to settle down.
The little house was painted a garish, 1980s country blue when we bought it. Inside, the walls were covered in wallpaper in the style of the time, with even the light switch plates covered. The paper in the kitchen was done in two matching prints, a large version below the chair rail and a smaller one above it. There was more country blue in the background for the wallpaper of the main bath, which was covered in dusty rose colored posies. It was hideous. The wallpaper in the master bathroom was the only one I could stand, and even that was outdated, a cream colored paper printed with flowers and a shiny stripe. It looked like a country magazine had thrown up all over the walls.
The house was located in an excellent school district. It was on a large corner lot, with trees in front and back. The high vaulted ceilings made the living areas and the master bedroom seem larger than they were. I loved the bay windows that looked out into the back yard. The open floor plan was exactly what I was looking for, and despite the horrid wallpaper, the bones of the house were good, with upgraded countertops in the kitchen and baths, gorgeous built in bookshelves and woodwork and a lovely master suite. I moved in thinking that we'd stay a few years, maybe five, tops.
I got to work, stripping wallpaper, painting, and replacing light fixtures that dated from about 1986. They were uglier than the wallpaper. There was a large dog run along the back of the house that I tore down one summer day while the children napped. My husband tore up carpet in the main bath and linoleum in the kitchen. He replaced it with tile he laid himself, learning how to do it from a book we bought at Home Depot. We ripped ugly, neglected bushes out of the flower beds in front of the house, enlarged the beds and reshaped them. We replaced the bushes with lovely double flowering azaleas. Then replaced them again with something else equally ambitious. And finally settled on boxwood,crimson barberry and a little ornamental peach tree with a carpet of creeping jenny.
Our lovely daughter's room went through several incarnations in that twelve years. The ones I remember most vividly are her garden room and her "grown up" room. I can't find a picture of the garden room, but imagine white French furniture with gold accents, linens reminiscent of a Monet garden painting, palest pink walls and a rose vine trailing its way from the base of the door up to the ceiling and around the whole room. The grown up room, which she loved, wasn't very girly at all.
We put our hearts, our sweat and our tears into that little house. Up until we moved in August of 2006, it was the only home my children had ever known. Our youngest came home from the hospital to that house we had remodeled and reshaped with our own hands.