Friday, July 29, 2011

A Blog Post That Has Been Waiting To Happen Part 1

This old house.
When Greg and I were early into our love, we made a list of all the goals that we had for our lives. The goals including trivial things such as owning a suit, driving on the autobaun, taking dance lessons and going to the Olympics. Other loftier goals were dreams of becoming a counselor, becoming a parent and owning and rehabbing an old house. We had no specific order that we were hoping for, but it was on our list. And like many dreams on our list the one of owning an old house came to pass.
And there she is, pretty Victoria on a cold winter day. She is even pretty without her beautiful flower gardens to adorn and compliment her beauty.
How it all began. It was on a weekday. I was on my way to work. I took the same route everyday. I drove by the same houses. But this day was different. When I came around the corner there she stood like she just moved into the neighborhood. She took my breath away. I had driven by her for years on one of the busiest streets in our town, but that day it was as if the clouds let the sun through and there she stood. I could not wait to see inside. I took Greg and a dear friend to see her glory and boy did she have some. The lady who owned her, loved her. She had so much to offer, but still so much more hidden away for just the right time or right person. Were we the right people for this beauty? We thought so. We decided to buy her.
Thirty days later, we, along with a trillion of our friends, were moving us and all our things in to this 1881, Queen Anne Victoria. I loved this old house. She was a dignified lady if you will. She was in a class all of her own. She had original hardwood floor all the way through. She had the biggest crown modeling a person of my status had ever seen. She also had the sweetest of porches and pitches, claw foot tubs, chandeliers, and old original wooden doors held on the frame by the most ornate hinges you could find. Plus, a scarry basement to add even more character if you are into that sort of thing.(we were:) She also had the most beautiful hydrangeas that grew the size of volleyballs, that when picked lasted forever and made the house feels even more lovely. This lady of a house was loved and we joined her fan club.
Soon after we purchased Queen Victoria, this home took her place in our life as our shelter. Looking back on this old house that is exactly what I know God used her to do. You may say that is obvious, but we had other dreams for her. We dreamed of gigantic parties, children climbing and yelling through the halls, neighbors sharing sugar and life becoming more and more grand for us.
However, during this particular time and at this particular shelter, we battled through some of the darkest and coldest of days. We wrestled with God and man in the halls of this home. We cried and covered our heads. We struggled to get out of bed. We buried hope. Listened for a heartbeat. We were a spectacle of struggles. Nothing good was coming our way. And everyone could see it. Loss after loss after loss.
We had a room full of friends and neighbors come and pray for our childless life. We had friends come to the back door on our darkest of days, pray for us and leave. Loved one after loved one to visit the devastated.
We screamed at God here. We questioned God here. We thought God had left us here in this lonely home. It was a season of intense sadness, The Great Sadness. But Victoria stayed steady, she kept us safe.
And after a while as the storm lifted, we lifted our head to our Lord. He had already forgiven us for yelling and questioning. He understood why. He never left Old Victoria. He was a permanent resident. And there He was as we had felt Him in every crevice of this home even when we were angry with Him. However, what I know now is that He was willing to be misunderstood on the account that He had greater glory in us waiting for the things we had asked Him for. He held us together even when we thought we had nothing left to put back together.
Months later, we found out about our little Carolina. She was coming to this old house. The clouds lifted yet another day. Sunshine came through the windows and we began to feel our heart beat again. We had to get ready for her. So we did. This is her nursery. I loved every inch of it. Darling......., my favorite room. Our neighbors had a wonderful shower for us and we spent the afternoon painting the flowers on the walls.
This picture is of Little Bit pitching a fit! It cracks me up! I mean she is madder than a hornet here. Little Bit in this big ole room just for her. We just dreamed of her, but had no idea what was coming very soon........
This is Little Bitty again.
This is the dining room. One of my favorite rooms in the house. Greg made this table specifically for Victoria. This room demanded a table with many chairs for entertaining. We did have some fun here at this table. Our table was our guest book. If you were a guest in Victoria, you would sign the bottom of the table. We still have the table and she may be used again one day.
See the pretty chandelier. It is original to the house. And again a hydragea. I guess I got inspired the days the flowers came inside:)
This was probably my favorite room besides Carolina's. Greg found the glory of the floor under many layers of blach. This is what he found and finished, the hardwood back to it's original glory. This room brought in so much sunlight. I loved seeing the birds and the squirrels in the backyard play and play. And note the hydrangea on the counter and the vases on the wall. See I told ya.
Some more hydrangeas.

But soon after Carolina came to our lives, I knew I wanted to stay home with her. How in the world would we be able to do that, we had no idea. During the "Great Sadness" days, we had tried to sell our house, but no takers. The economy was crashing and not everyone likes this type of house for their home. But we knew that we had to sacrifice other things in order for me to be with the girl. After waiting for so long to be with her, our priorities changed significantly. We knew what we had to do and we trusted that things were going to work out. We needed to sell Victoria.
In August of 2009, I put Queen Victoria on Craig's List for sale by owner. I put the sweetest pictures I could find of her and waited. I even toyed with renting it to some university students. Both options were posted and we were just waiting for a response.
While on a wonderful trip to Colorado, we got a call from a young man saying he would like to see the property. We explained that we were out of town, but if he was serious we could show it to him on Tuesday when we returned. He called us on that Tuesday to confirm and sure enough he came to the house to take a look around. He asked Greg then if he would consider selling the house. Greg said that we would, but was uncertain if this man was serious. Two days later, the man, Chris, contacted us to say that he was serious and would like to work out a deal. We are thinking no way, this cannot be happening. Seriously:) Really:) We had plenty of skeptics. We were trusting though.
Three weeks later, we moved out of lovely Victoria to a carpet filled home in a closeby family friendly neighborhood. Greg, Carolina and I were moving on.
That young man, Chris, was the best tenant a person could ever ask for. He told me on this first time officially meeting him that he knew that was the house for him. He said that he knew God and he felt God saying it was ok to do such a deal with some strangers such as ourselves. And after a long and enduring process that home is officially his. He loves this old house. It is now his home and his shelter.
Thank you Victoria all your love.
We enjoyed many parties and celebrations inside and out including weddings, dedications and discos.
Had the best little Thanksgivings Greg and our cousins have had to date.
Hosted many overnight guests.
Painted a nursery and brought our baby home to you.
Had the greatest of neighbors that shared more than sugar with us.
Thank you for everything, Queen Victoria.
You know all of our secrets and soaked up every tear.
Thank you for each memory. You were steady in the most severe storms, but beautiful on the sweetests of days.
Be good to Chris. Keep him safe too.