prelude to the long awaited kitchen tour.

i have had the kitchen tour on my to-do list for a long time.  i am almost ready.  i am just gathering all the before and after photos,  cleaning up for a final photo shoot,  and setting the virtual pot to boil in order to fix you a virtual cup of tea while ya’ll come on through.

before i stage The Tour, i wanted to set the scene a bit by giving a little background on our home and how we came about living here.

as i have said before, marco and i started our marriage in a brand spanking-new house in a relatively new community. we really liked it.  it was a nice little house, and we did a lot of work on it to make it ours.  as time went on however, we realized that more and more of what we were doing was in an effort to make the home look like it had been their for ages instead of just a few years.

growing up, i had always fantasized about having a snug older home in an older part of town.  a home with wood floors that creaked, paned windows, and plaster walls.  from time to time, marco and i would talk about this fantasy and wonder “what if?”

one year we were vacationing in eureka springs, arkansas and happened upon an older home for sale.  on a whim, we asked to see it before we left town.  it was a gem.  three stories, a bay window, and sliding pocket doors in the parlor.  it had no garage, it had virtually no yard. the kitchen was still in its original location: the basement.   i suspect it was haunted.

we talked about it the long way home (we got lost and a four hour drive took us six).  a week later we put our new house on the market, and made an offer on the old one.  we sold within 90 days and i found myself on my way back for a final inspection of this home we thought was soon to be ours.

the inspection did not go well.  when i got there, i saw a look on the realtor’s face that gave me great cause for concern.  she was saying something about the bank and i needed to visit with them before i left.  she gave a nervous laugh though saying everything would be fine and lets go inside for a final look around.  well, the ceiling upstairs in what was to be our glorious study overlooking a grove of trees had fallen through.  as in, there was a hole.  in the ceiling.  then we learned that the home would need to be completely rewired as it still maintained the old knob and tube wiring.   i was still hopeful, tricky wiring, hole in the ceiling, and all.  then i went to the bank before heading home.   i learned that because of the hole in the ceiling the bank would not finance the loan.  well….that……was a problem.

after discussing it over, and reviewing all of our options marco and i decided to go with what had been our plan b.  we decided to move to my hometown just twenty miles south, and see if we couldn’t locate an older home in an older neighborhood.  since we already had a contract on our home and needed to be out within several weeks, we hoped (haha) to be able to keep the same closing date so we wouldn’t have to stay in a hotel or apartment.

we had an excellent realtor and within a week we were looking at some really great older homes.  we kept running into a few issues though.  one was that older homes were built when life was simpler.  because life was simpler people had fewer things.  because people had fewer things, they didn’t need as much space.  older homes were smaller.  many had one bathroom.  many had originally had just two bedrooms.  but now, many of these had three, because the modern day homeowner would simply wall in the back porch and tadaaaa! there was a third bedroom.  right off the kitchen.  leading out to the back yard.   not cool.

while we really didn’t need an excessive amount of space, and really did want to reduce the size of the lot we were on; we still wanted room for our family to grow, just in case.  also, unlike some couples we really live in our home.  marco offices out of the home, and i am primarily a homemaker.   we spend more time at home than away from it.  we really needed the 3 bed 2 bath scenario.  and i really wanted a formal dining room to house the lovely round dining table i had brought with me alllllll the way from honduras.

we knew the right place was out there, it was just taking us a while to find it.  there were a few we thought would work, but just didn’t have that “this is the place!!” feeling.

i don’t really remember how many days we went house hunting but on one particularly discouraging day, i came home to find an email from our realtor with photos attached of a darling brick house with shutters.  it immediately brought to mind the house in the book by virginia lee burton.

i agreed to take a look on the following day.  there were a few others on the list for that morning as well and we quickly checked them off.  nope. nope. nope. mmmmayyybe. nope. nope. nope.  we finally pulled into the drive of the little house; the last one on the list.  i took one look around me, saw the “awkward” location, and didn’t want to get out of the car.

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