My Husband & I married at the end of the last century. We were in our 30's & 40's then. He lived in an almost 100 year old house that had seen it's better days. It had started out as two rooms & then had been added to at some point. Floors sloped to the point of having to level furniture, there was mold, parts of the porch were caving in & it was drafty, but it was our home.
We had a neighbor who owned an Emu. The stupid thing got out one afternoon & came to our place to terrorize the dogs & ended up chasing me around the yard & it got it's foot caught on the gas line running to the propane tank & tore it out of the ground. Thank God for the wood stove, we were going to need it.....
There were also the wild cats. I guess I should say that we are not cats lovers, but they do serve a purpose. Since our house had structure issues cats could get into the walls & have litters of kittens. I walked into the front bedroom one day & up on the closet shelf there were yellow eyes looking down at me. Good Lord, I thought I was going to have a heart attack. One of the cats had somehow gotten into the house.That was the last time that I saw it.
By this time we had started planing our new house. All we needed was something small & comfortable, a house we could live & work in for the rest of our lives. It was just the two of us then. We told ourselves it would be fairly easy. My Husband Jim & I would do most of the work ourselves & anything that we hired out would be overseen by me since I was home all day. Jim was still working in town at the time so every evening & weekend he was in the house. We were fine, until "that winter" hit.
Bitter bone chilling temps & deep snow lasted all winter. It took all we could do to keep warm in the old house. I sealed off part of the rooms with plastic, but we still had frost on inside walls. The wood stove had to be tended to all day & night & we had three dogs camped out in the kitchen trying to huddle around a kerosene heater. I spent alot of time under an electric blanket. I never seemed to get warm.
Work on the house was slow, but we could see progress until the sheet rock we ordered was delivered, or should I say attempted to be delivered. Jim told the driver that our driveway was long & packed with snow & there was an area not to drive in because he'd get stuck....well he got stuck. A tow truck was called, the truck got unstuck & left...with our sheet rock. It would be another 6 weeks before he would attempt to come back.
In the meantime life went on in the old house. Our water pipes keep freezing & since the house was on logs & rocks there was very little crawl space for Jim to get under the house. He finally busted a hole in the floor where it kept happening so he could deal with it. We ran out of wood once & the bitter cold continued. By this time the hot water heater was on it's last leg so I would heat water on the stove & we'd stand in the bathtub & pour hot water over ourselves to bathe. We were so ready to get moved.
Spring finally came & went & by the start of summer we had moved in & started to settle. Now all of these years later we're still not done, but we don't seem to mind. We're comfortable & WARM! There are now three of us & a dog & we are happy. We have had times of profound grief & times of great joy in these years. We found out in those first couple of years we could get thru almost anything as long as we were together.
We left the old house standing for awhile & then finally had it torn down. I actually cried. We finally saw how the old place had been put together. I found old pieces of wallpaper, broken dishes & other things that I have used in projects over the years. We kept the foundation rocks & logs & built flowerbeds with them. We used what we could.
We'll always remember sitting in front of the wood stove, our feet resting up close listening to music, having a cold beer. We had some really good times in that old place. I do sometimes miss it.