Before and After

We live in a 1923 bungalow. John and I used to go door-to-door looking for a house in this neighborhood. It has the feel of Mayberry. One afternoon, we approached a couple out on their porch who let us in on a bit of neighborhood news. The elderly woman across the street had died. She was 98-years-old and had lived with her nurse. The house was in bad shape: chipping lead paint, corroded pipes, substandard electrical wiring, a leaning garage, poison ivy all over the yard, maybe even haunted. We bought it anyway.

Demolition began. We were on a ramen noodles budget. John did almost all the work. Family, friends and neighbors, old and new, helped. The clock ticked. John, our baby, and I ended up living at a friend’s and my mother-in-law’s. Our summer routine: John worked at his day job, then worked on the house, and crashed around 9. Then, I ran out and did what I could, mostly paint and pray, and got to bed around 11.

Now eight years later, little things still haven’t been taken care of. An uncovered vent, missing trim, a patch of unpainted drywall, a switch plate needing replacement. I let them be. There’s just something too terminal about being done.

Our house before.

Our house after.

Kitchen before.

Kitchen after.

Living room before.

Living room after.


Hall before.

Hall after.

Dining room before.


Dining room after.

Family room before.

Family room after.

Garage before.

Garage after.

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Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The interior shape of your house “before” is so similar to ours – and yet the outside shape is so different. Gives me hope.

  2. Wow. Unbelievable. I had no idea you put in that much work.


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