“I couldn’t have written the script if I had tried.” I’ve made this statement again and again over the past eight months.
Last February John’s mom passed away. That set into motion a series of events that led to us moving back to Georgia and into the house John grew up in.
I remember the day we moved to North Carolina. I looked in the rear-view mirror heading down I-285 out of Atlanta and wondered, “Will I ever live here again?” My life was in that mirror. The city I grew up in, my family, my friends, my home. Honestly I thought I would. I couldn’t imagine not.
Then in North Carolina years turned into more years. Years full of craziness passed by until I woke up one day and thought, “Eight years. It’s been eight years. We’re never moving home.” Days when I paddled upstream through life I would cry and say, “I just want to go home,” as if that would make everything better.
Don’t get me wrong, North Carolina is a wonderful state to live in. And I have dear friends that I love there. But it wasn’t home. And I didn’t want it to be home. However, the longer we were there I resolved to myself that it most likely would be.
John felt the same way. What kept us there was his job. He’s good at it, he likes it, and his empolyer is good to us.
But then his mom passed away, and the job became not enough of a reason to stay. He didn’t want to leave. He still loved his job. But when death’s been a regular companion you realize life will one day end. He wanted to be home with family and friends.
From that point on the doors flew open.
Over the years I prayed on and off for God to make away for us to move back to Georgia. Less-promising possibilities popped up, but nothing ever gave us a true opportunity.
But this time was different. From John’s job to a place to live, the doors flew, and we walked. They never shut, so we kept walking. You know it’s from God when that happens.
So here we are. John working for the same company and us living in this old house, the house John grew up in. Tongue-in-Cheek I call it Rodgers Manor. An explanation for that will have to be another post. But the short of it is I’m an unlikely person to live in a place like this.
Fun Facts about Rodgers Manor
The house was built in 1900.
It’s on a corner street of about 2 acres.
There is a non-working fireplace in every room.
It’s renovated to about the 1980’s.
There are hardwood floors throughout, and yes, the coveted “ship-lap” – all original. Every time I use that term I’m not sure if I’m using it correctly. What we have looks like what Joanna Gaines calls ship-lap, so unless there’s more distinguishing characteristics, it’s ship-lap, I guess.
Glass, paper, and other trash rise to the top of the soil in our yard when it rains. Why? Because in the early 1900’s there were no landfills. Or trash service for that matter. So people buried their trash in their yards.
There used to be a well, barn, and out-house on the property.
We got engaged in this house in 2008.
Where We’re Going from Here
At first we talked about selling the house. With old houses comes work. And the property has gardens, lots of vegetation, and a swimming pool. Every night after work John is outside tending to something.
Now we’re committed to not selling and renovating. The other day John said, “I’m starting to really fall in love with this house, aren’t you?” Jokingly I said, “Renovate it and we’ll talk.”
Apart from living in apartments when I was in college and single, I have pretty much always lived in new construction homes. So the drawbacks to living in a house 117 years old have been an adjustment. The biggest challenge has been going from a typical four-bedroom house with a garage (that was used for storage) to a three bedroom house without a garage. With that said, I am more than thankful. Everyday I wake up and say, “I am so happy to be home.”
There is no timetable to renovating. We got a new roof a few weeks ago, but from here we don’t know where to start. The renovation will be fairly extensive and include some add-on construction. We’re planning on doing it over time to be thoughtful and wise.
There you have it – how we ended up in This Old House – a.k.a Rodgers Manor! Stay tuned for more to come!