Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Restoring Home, introduction

July 27, 2010
My husband I bought a house in Bellevue, Iowa, 900 miles away from where we live. The house was 130 years old at the time of purchase. It stands two stories high with an attic tower and two gables. The paint is peeling on the outside, and the two detached garages, while ample, have sagging ceilings. A bare wooden stairway switchbacks up the back of the house to a small upper porch and the door to the upstairs apartment. The house was decommissioned as a single-family residence many years ago. First when the family that built it began taking in boarders. Then later, when the house was sold and it was converted into two apartments, with two layers like a cake. In order to do that conversion, the center stairway walled up, its condition reminding me of the Nancy Drew story The Mystery of the Hidden Staircase. The wiring of the house is ancient and unable to accommodate the running of more than a few modern appliances at a time. The original ceilings have been obscured by drop ceilings of the acoustical tile variety. The woodwork in the upstairs is still original except for the paint. The front porch sags. A giant long disused oil tank lurks in the stone-walled basement. The washing machine vents its sudsy water directly into the front lawn.
But I love it.

Friday, July 9, 2010

July 4 parade

Some of you reading this blog might wonder why I've not posted about the terrible accident involving the horses and carriage at the July 4 parade. One person was killed and dozens injured.
I wasn't there so I can't write about it first hand. However, we'll be headed to Bellevue for a week in August. I think I'll be able to write about the event much better with perspective and context. I'll be able to report a bit on how people are faring a month later, and how the fundraising efforts to help the victims are progressing. I'll write about those things a bit on this blog, and also on the Daily Yonder. Bellevue, I'll see you around August 10-15. As soon as I know the dates for sure I'll get ahold of some of my wonderful Bellevue friends and neighbors and hope to meet you in person this time!