Wanderings and Old Homesteads

O, how I love to find a old homesite! I love to imagine who might have settled there. Where did they come from? What was the land like when they first saw it? How did they change it? How did they live here? Why did they leave?

I love to search out a place on the prairie in the spring when daffodils bloom and wave their yellow ruffles at me to show where an old house once stood.

Old fences still enclose a small dooryard and every spring flowers planted by some pioneer woman push to the sunlight and the blue sky. 
Fallen trees like this one become spots lush with moss and tangles of flowers.
 
Here purple bearded iris and yucca plants spread among the briers where a house once stood, where children played marbles in shady spots and watched for horses, wagons or farm trucks passing by.
Paperwhites  and narcissus come up from bulbs and tubers that have spread underground.

An old gate once swung from a frame here and a tree grew up through it. Mystery hidden in plain sight. I passed this gate many times before I noticed it. In the summer greenery hides it and an old cellar and cistern  sleep behind it in the undergrowth beside Cane Creek.

It causes me to wonder who lived there. Who planted Morning Glory vines on this fence?

Wanderings and Old Homesteads

O, how I love to find a old homesite! I love to imagine who might have settled there. Where did they come from? What was the land like when they first saw it? How did they change it? How did they live here? Why did they leave?

I love to search out a place on the prairie in the spring when daffodils bloom and wave their yellow ruffles at me to show where an old house once stood.

Old fences still enclose a small dooryard and every spring flowers planted by some pioneer woman push to the sunlight and the blue sky. 
Fallen trees like this one become spots lush with moss and tangles of flowers.

 

Here purple bearded iris and yucca plants spread among the briers where a house once stood, where children played marbles in shady spots and watched for horses, wagons or farm trucks passing by.
Paperwhites  and narcissus come up from bulbs and tubers that have spread underground.

An old gate once swung from a frame here and a tree grew up through it. Mystery hidden in plain sight. I passed this gate many times before I noticed it. In the summer greenery hides it and an old cellar and cistern  sleep behind it in the undergrowth beside Cane Creek.

It causes me to wonder who lived there. Who planted Morning Glory vines on this fence?

Renovating an Old House

Here is a quick photo of the old house that we, along with several other homeschool families, have been renovating. One of the families, with two boys, is going to rent the house when it is finished.

The house was owned by an elderly lady who lived in it 40 years with her cats and dogs. It was a wreck. In this picture you can see the only outside improvements so far. New windows were installed in the front bedroom that were smaller than the previous windows.

The porches need attention as do the trim and grounds. But the house is surrounded by plenty of trees, has an old garage, and flowerbeds with rose bushes, iris, daffodils, and lilies wintering.

This project has been educational for all of us. We have been able to see just how a house is fitted together by taking the walls, ceilings, insulation, old wiring, existent plumbing, and some flooring out.

The kids have learned about safety issues with splinters, glass, electricity and handling insulation; also about how hard work pays off. They have learned that work can be fun and that there is reward in helping others. Repairing, replacing, adding electrical outlets and switches, as well as a new juction box, replacing sheetrock and remodeling, adding closets and new windows and doors has provided opportunity for our students to learn many new skills.  (Like DEMOLITION, their favorite!)

They have learned, from working with their dads, each with areas of expertise, about wiring, plumbing, sheetrock installation, trimming, flooring and painting.

The old sheetrock walls and celings had to be torn out and hauled away. Rotten boards had to be replaced.
The following photos show some of our inspiring results. There will be paint and trims and switch covers, of course. A mirror will fit over the sink in the new bathroom and a claw foot tub installed. A hall was added so that the bathroom does not open into the livingroom or a bedroom (much nicer plan.)
This is a shot of the south-east bedroom which was previously used as a laundry and plant room. The new windows are so nice. A closet built by two of the boys hasn’t got a door yet, but all in good time. The boys built closets in all three bedrooms and closed in a pantry and space for washer and dryer along one side of the kitchen. Adding convenience and saving space makes the house feel larger.
Three walls of the renovated kitchen are a light cream color. This new window replaced a much larger one. The old cabinets were dark. These light oak cabinets make everything look cheerful and bright.
This wall in the kitchen painted red really spiced up the room. The lower cabinets and the stove will fit here.
By summer the house will be occupied (instead of us!) Our family will be able to redo floors. paint and decorate things. The flower beds beside the porch will be pretty again filled with lilies, violets, roses and flowering shrubs. The house will need a new roof and repairs to the siding as well as new trim and repair of soffets and facsia.
The house sits on ten acres in the country, which should be a great place for the two boys to grow up. What do you think?

Renovating an Old House

Here is a quick photo of the old house that we, along with several other homeschool families, have been renovating. One of the families, with two boys, is going to rent the house when it is finished.

The house was owned by an elderly lady who lived in it 40 years with her cats and dogs. It was a wreck. In this picture you can see the only outside improvements so far. New windows were installed in the front bedroom that were smaller than the previous windows.

The porches need attention as do the trim and grounds. But the house is surrounded by plenty of trees, has an old garage, and flowerbeds with rose bushes, iris, daffodils, and lilies wintering.

This project has been educational for all of us. We have been able to see just how a house is fitted together by taking the walls, ceilings, insulation, old wiring, existent plumbing, and some flooring out.

The kids have learned about safety issues with splinters, glass, electricity and handling insulation; also about how hard work pays off. They have learned that work can be fun and that there is reward in helping others. Repairing, replacing, adding electrical outlets and switches, as well as a new juction box, replacing sheetrock and remodeling, adding closets and new windows and doors has provided opportunity for our students to learn many new skills.  (Like DEMOLITION, their favorite!)

They have learned, from working with their dads, each with areas of expertise, about wiring, plumbing, sheetrock installation, trimming, flooring and painting.

The old sheetrock walls and celings had to be torn out and hauled away. Rotten boards had to be replaced.
The following photos show some of our inspiring results. There will be paint and trims and switch covers, of course. A mirror will fit over the sink in the new bathroom and a claw foot tub installed. A hall was added so that the bathroom does not open into the livingroom or a bedroom (much nicer plan.)
This is a shot of the south-east bedroom which was previously used as a laundry and plant room. The new windows are so nice. A closet built by two of the boys hasn’t got a door yet, but all in good time. The boys built closets in all three bedrooms and closed in a pantry and space for washer and dryer along one side of the kitchen. Adding convenience and saving space makes the house feel larger.
Three walls of the renovated kitchen are a light cream color. This new window replaced a much larger one. The old cabinets were dark. These light oak cabinets make everything look cheerful and bright.
This wall in the kitchen painted red really spiced up the room. The lower cabinets and the stove will fit here.
By summer the house will be occupied (instead of us!) Our family will be able to redo floors. paint and decorate things. The flower beds beside the porch will be pretty again filled with lilies, violets, roses and flowering shrubs. The house will need a new roof and repairs to the siding as well as new trim and repair of soffets and facsia.
The house sits on ten acres in the country, which should be a great place for the two boys to grow up. What do you think?