I sort of don't know how to begin this post. Or finish it either. But, there's a part of me that just needs to acknowledge our first home. To be completely honest, it's hard not to let my thoughts go directly to the bad memories. The trauma of the storm. But I wouldn't be doing it justice by only remembering the end. There's so much more to the story. So much good.
The search leading up to the purchase of our first home was much like the one that led us to our farmhouse. Countless drives and internet searches looking for The One. In the Fall of 2010, we took a day trip to visit my parents in Cullman, AL. We passed a small for sale sign in the front yard of a home I'd recognized since childhood. Considering we'd been looking up real estate daily for so long and this home hadn't popped up in our searches, I assumed the worst... it must be WAY out of our budget. We immediately contacted our realtor and the listing agent and tried to look it up online. We wanted it & we hadn't even seen the inside.
We were so excited when the listing agent said we could view the home immediately and even meet the sellers. AND IT WAS WITHIN OUR BUDGET. Naturally, we
ran headed straight over! Long story short (and I do mean long) we fell in love and purchased the home. It was fate.
We poured ourselves into the home even though we only lived there for three months. Even from the beginning, we were committed. All in. The home was in excellent condition, but considering it was nearly 100 years old we were concerned about our home inspection. Brett provided all the labor for free so that our mortgage approval would go seamlessly. He even hand built replica garage doors that matched the originals on the home. It was a passion project for sure but we had no doubt it was worth it. We had every intention of it being our forever home.
I wish I had better photographs of the home, but they're all I have so they're very special to me. After the storm we tried to salvage every.single.piece we could. Doors, hardware, brick. Everything. At one point I was literally standing on a pile of rubble that was once my living room. I just felt protective. It's a hard emotion to articulate. I just wanted to save it all. In my eyes, I couldn't imagine our home in that state. It was our beautiful home. Just the way it was before the storm. That's how I chose to see it then and that's how I try so hard to remember it now.
We still have the scrolls that are seen displayed on the desk in this photo. They are the original floor plans of the house. Incredibly special. I would love to have these framed and displayed somewhere at the farm.
|This building was the original "Maid's Quarters" and still had the original fixtures inside. (Clawfoot tub, etc.) It was one of my favorite unique things about the property. Amazing.|
During a discussion one day Brett expressed to me that although we were there for a short amount of time, he felt like we'd made so many memories there. More than any other home we'd lived in. I totally agreed. It was like a lifetime wrapped up into three short amazing months. I miss it. We miss it.
|A church bulletin I found in our bedroom while cleaning up after the storm. I keep it in my bedside table now.|
So here it is. An ode to a home I can never truly do justice to on paper or via this blog post, but I one that I needed to put out into the universe. I can only hope that we can continue to make a lifetime of memories here at the farmhouse and maybe even give a nod to Our First Love by utilizing the amazing pieces we salvaged from the one that got away.
XO - Lauren