It sparks long discussions, even though we’ve been talking about it for ten years now.
It was the first thing we knew that we had in common, back in our college days when we found ourselves in the same psychology classes, giving our answers in each class about what we hoped to do with our lives.
We long to see people restored when they are trudging through life, feeling broken or lost. We long to see families restored when relationships are strained or seem irreparably damaged. We long to see places restored, too, places where beauty and vitality have long since faded away. The empty, run down storefronts in our area once saw shoppers step through their doors all day long, but now they stand quietly while people drive by, just like the house in Virginia Lee Burton’s book The Little House.
When our family grew too large for our apartment and we looked for a house, what did we buy? We wanted a comfortable, modest place where we could put our furniture and continue our day to day tasks. Something without too much work, since we had a newborn. A little painting was the most work we wanted to do.
Then we saw a house that was neglected. Empty for two years, with years of inattention before that. Carpets bunched up, ripped away from the walls. Wallpaper covered in stains. A yard full of overgrown weeds and brush. Indoor yellow jackets' nests. This sprawling house needed to be restored! At 130 years old, it had certainly seen better days. We felt pretty sure that we could make it look better than ever, though, if given the opportunity.
Now, four years later, it's a cozy home. Clean, bright and full of life. This old house has begun to feel welcoming and warm. Lots of work has been done, but there are many projects still on our to-do list. This is my online journal of its restoration.