If the original owners came to your house . . .

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by lengel, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. lengel

    lengel Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    What would you do?

    One of the sons of the original owners dropped by yesterday. He was in town for his 60 year old sister's wedding. His family was the one who turned the barn into a sort of house from a huge barn in the 1930s. The people who bought it from his family made it into a usable house and DH's family has lived here since 1965. He really wanted to see the barn that had been turned into some kind of gigantic playroom/cook's living quarters almost 80 years ago while his family lived in the house near the road. He clearly had good memories but so many things had changed.

    I was horrified. I have a sheet tacked onto the picture window (that his family installed) to keep my keets and poults cooler in their brooder boxes. I have starter plants on roller carts all over the place. There's every kind of clutter on every surface. The only thing I can say that's positive is that everything is clean but holy cow, there's just stuff everywhere. Seed packets, carriers, business correspondence, you name it. Before we brought him into the house, I explained that it was a mess. He said something like, "everyone's definition of a mess is different". When he came in, he stopped asking to see the rest. Maybe I was giving off bad vibes.

    Oh dear. I felt so bad. But really. I use the guest room as a place to pile clean laundry. Was I supposed to show him this? I stripped wallpaper in the bathrooms and kitchen to find problems that we don't know how to deal with so they are left exposed. In many ways, I'm sure that we looked, well, quaint. On the other hand, his family owned the plant that employed everyone in the area and brought them here in the first place. I can't imagine what he was expecting. Apparently, the living room used to have a pool table and a grand piano and nothing else in it. How very sophisticated. My piano was inherited, is shoved in a corner and has a printer, business supplies and some throw pillows on it. I couldn't find it to play it.

    What would you do if the former owners came to your house?
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  2. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    When I was a child, I remember my dad taking his dad back to his childhood home. We only expected to see the outside, but the owners let us go inside. It meant a lot to my grandfather.
    I don't think you need to worry about it not being as he remembered. It is your home now. If he wanted his memories of the place intact, he should never have gone inside. It would be unrealistic to expect it to be the same.
  3. Coop-a-kick

    Coop-a-kick In the Brooder

    Jun 2, 2008
    Altamonte Springs, FL
    I agree with Hoosier. You're living in your home. You have your own set of priorities. First of all,you had no obligation to let him in and second, your home doesn't have to live up to his standards of what home is. You probably felt worse than he did.
  4. Jennyhaschicks

    Jennyhaschicks Songster

    May 3, 2008
    Honestly when he was there he probably wasn't worried about what you had laying where. I am sure he was there to bring back memories of when he was young.
  5. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    A couple of months ago, these 2 guys stayed at my grandma's hotel whose family was from here and they had moved away when they were 10. They went over to see their granparents old house. He said that it was wild because the people who had bought it had left everything exactly the way his granparents had it - he didn't even think that it had been painted. The inside anyway. We spent a lot of time talking about how things were when we were growing up and it was a lot of fun.

    I know that my brother has been over to see the house that we grew up in - I think its more a trip down memory lane than anything else. To remember things that they had done as kids and so forth. I think that when someone goes somewhere like that it jogs memories even that they had forgotten.

    And weddings and family events have a way of making people reflect on their lives.
  6. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    I don't think the original owners would be HORRIFIED- maybe just shocked. We covered up a window between the dining room and guest room, and our house is nothing but mod sculptures, Scandanavian modern design furniture, and the occasional (more like EVERYWHERE) ethnic souvenier from our trip, which adds a nice twist to the modern-ness. And then of course there's the chickens.

    All except our back room, which isn't heated and is basically chick-central. It too had plastic tacked over windows until recently when it started getting warmer. The walls have a little bit of chick poop splattered about in various places (how they manage to poop on the ceiling I will never know [​IMG] ) but otherwise it's ok.
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My house is 100 years old. The people that bought it in the 60's tore out 2 chimneys with 4 fireplaces and took down 2 walls and changed the kitchen.

    I would walk through my house with a pen and paper and write down all the little details about what needed to be done to get it back to the original.

    Then I would ask him what kind of wood he built the staircases out of. They don't match the pine floors.

    I did get to speak to the orginal builder's daughter when we bought this house. She was 103 years old and living in a nursing home. All her faculties about her, just frail and blind. She told me so many stories about the building of my house, her parents, the local church and life in general here. It was a fabulous day. She died a few weeks later. I think I was given a special gift getting to talk to her for that short time.
  8. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    What a neat experience to have MissPrissy! I bet she had some wonderful stories to share!
  9. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Previous owners of my house are my neighbors about a mile down the road. They drop by sometimes, although they have learned the hard way not to drop by un-announced, heh heh.

    *shrug* You come by my house without calling me first--hey, I am the first to offer you a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea, chat, be hospitable. I'm just sayin', fair warning, I might still be in my PJ's, un-showered, and in the middle of a messy project spread out in the kitchen.

    The last owners actually gave me a big packet of info on all the history of the house. They were really into historical re-enactments and stuff, and they had an architectural historian go over the place with a fine-toothed comb. Also, they moved just down the road and they have a herd of cattle, and they are happy to let my dog try to herd the cows.

    Even though my office was a mess of papers at the time, they were really happy to see that I had stripped and re-finished the floor and re-painted in historically accurate colors. It looked a lot better than the Pepto-Bismol pink and the gray deck painted floor that used to be there.
  10. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    don't feel bad at least the bones of the house were the same. My friends mom asked if her friend could come over and see the house cause her father built it and she grew up in it . What was I supposed to say, i had to say yes.
    She came over and i felt so bad cause we had taken 3 inside walls down to make it an open plan.
    But she didn't seem to mind.

    Five years ago we tore the house down and built a new one. I havn't seen her so I don't know how she feels about it.

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