by Cindi 

The first time


It was a Friday night May 3, 2013 and my husband suggested we go for a drive.  In my mind, I’m hearing, “I don’t have to cook, yeah.”

“I want to drive past a property first,” he says.  Here we go again.  We’ve been doing this on and off now for months.  We’ve never been able to find something within our budget, in a location that we liked, with extra space and that “just felt right.”  We’ve been doing a lot of driving around.

Most properties were too low and prone to flooding.  Some were too bare – no trees at all.  Others were too steep.  Needless to say, the hilly ones were not in NW Ohio which is generally flat as a pancake.  We were looking in Southern Ohio and North Carolina.  The location did not matter a whole lot, my main goal was to shovel the least amount of snow possible.  Since my husband’s heart attack in 2010, I’ve had to do all the snow shoveling.  I did not like winter before.  Now I like it even less. In a few years Dave would be retiring and I wanted to be settled by then.

We started looking closer to home when we realized a long term move might be the easiest way to make this work. The house we would buy would need work, the business needs to be in a stable environment. I don’t want to shut down business during construction. By doing the remodel in one house and keeping the business temporarily in the other, we can have the best of both worlds.

View of the house from the foot of the driveway
View of the house from the foot of the driveway

We arrived on the property and confirmed that it was empty and got permission to walk around.  The grounds were horribly overgrown but I could see that someone once loved this small piece of ground.  There were fruit trees, I wasn’t sure which kind.  I spotted berries, lilacs and some weed covered evergreens.  There was potential here.


All weekend we talked about it, beginning to imagine ourselves there.  Suddenly we realized that we both liked the property and we’d better make an offer before it got sold.  On Monday we made an appointment with a realtor and wrote up an offer.  By Friday we had heard it was rejected.  We were leaving town on Sunday so we prepared another offer that would be submitted the next week.  Before that could happen we got a phone call on Monday that our offer was accepted.

Then panic and reality set in.

  • It’s going to be so beautiful! I was reading about a pond. Will eventually get it going again? Is it close to the house? I suppose it’s spring or well fed. There’s no much charm in an old farm house. So nice to be out in the Country.
    I am like you, was looking for something affordable and settled for a fixer upper. I’m alone, so it’s even more frustrating with no help. I need windows replaced, etc. however, the bones are good. It’s been great therapy for me. People thought I was crazy…
    I spent all summer painting, caulking, preparing for winter. I cut and piled brush and limbs. Burned a huge pile and have now replaced that with two more. Waiting for the appropriate time to burn due to being dry. Like you, I see how it was once a home and loved. My 87 year old neighbor lived here and has shown me slides and told me stories and it has helped to know the information. I’m glad you’ve connected with a past owners family.
    I’d much rather have an old house, than a new one. If you need a woodstove, I have a nice fisher , made in USA , which they don’t make here any longer. Very low hours, as we had it in Georgia. lol it’s in my barn just sitting. I’m only an hour or so from Asheville. I could also bring up for a class sometimes (dying, hooking, etc). Your husband may even want for workshop, if you don’t need for the house. I think it’s a papa bear. I love it because you can leave the doors open and it won’t smoke, so it’s like a fireplace. It heats so efficiently!
    I’m trying to find a home for so much! I’ve downsized and downsized and now tired of paying storage on the last of it. So, trying to make room in my barn for the rest to come up, the last of the antique furniture from Georgia.
    Anything you need to furnish that big home, I probably have it. Lol
    Happy to pass it along…. trade for lesssons or wool. I have a pick up truck so could bring up one day
    When you have a class. Nobody wants to pay anything for nice antique furniture here so I’d rather see it go to s good home.
    just enjoy the process.

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