The first house my husband and I bought was paid for in full, in cash. It cost $1.
It was a condemned house full of trash and memories. At one point it had been two houses, raised and moved and fit together rather like two families that were very different joining together when a couple gets married. The ceilings didn’t match up, and the wood trim was different, but you just ignored that because…it was one house.
We started by filling a 30 cubic yard dumpster with the trash. At some point, the previous tenants had stopped taking out the trash and simply nailed room fresheners to the walls. They also had garbage bags full of empty glycerin suppository bottles. We never did figure out if there was a connection there.
Sledgehammers were taken to the old, cracked plaster walls. New plumbing and electricity, drywall, windows, siding, and a roof slowly transformed the house into something livable.
Over the next 16 years we learned how to install drywall, repair plaster, strip molding, creatively repair old copper trim, and sand and install wood floors. The ads for Lowes and Menards were perused more than the ads for Macy’s and Boston Store. I can tell you the size hammer I prefer, and learned to be comfortable with most power tools.
And our sons learned along with us. Pictures show the boys “helping” when they were young. They loved installing one wood floor when they were in their early teens because they were old enough to cut the marked pieces. They had crossed the line from “helping” to actually being of assistance.
Then my husband came home one day and asked me to go with him to look at another house. That is a story for another day.