Getting there, and being here

We got out right on schedule, Thursday morning last week, for our long drive (1100 miles) to Lancaster, PA to help with a big renovation at our son’s house. We were thankful to beat out a huge storm system and had a safe trip all the way, getting there in just two days. You know the “road less traveled”? Well, we weren’t on any of those! It was interstate all the way but we were so delighted with the beautiful selection of spring blooms, that it seemed to make the miles fly by (that and a good audio book!).
We had beautiful wisteria draping the trees –
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Red Bud lining the highway
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and fields of yellow (weeds, maybe?) that flocked the meadows.
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We had our first glimpse of mountains after months of relative flatness (TX and So. Alabama)
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and mist in the morning as headed into the Appalachian Mountains
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(and apparently we had a lot of bugs on the windshield, too. Sorry!).
I tried to capture the beautiful sunrise on the morning we headed out pre-dawn, but alas, trying to capture the sunrise from a moving RV out the side window leaves just a bit to be desired.
DrivingtoLancaster-1
But I’m always trying for you guys!

Right now we’re in Lancaster, parked at the home of a friend from long ago. Gary & I were Martha’s youth group leaders, and we connected on Facebook about a year ago. I contacted her about getting together (like for coffee!)while we were in Lancaster when she generously offered her driveway for our home to sit on while we were in town! What a huge blessing! And to make it all the more sweet, we were able to join them on Saturday night for their Sibling Saturday. Gary & I knew the whole family (from our “previous life”) and it was such a delightful evening! It was so fun to share memories and stories – new and old! We’ve been so busy with Josiah’s project we’ve hardly had the chance to say boo to them since, but I know I’m looking forward to another good visit before we pull away!

So, the Big Renovation. Josiah and his lovely wife are making some drastic changes in their downstairs, taking out a wall, removing the dropped ceiling, and changing the wiring (so it actually makes sense!). DIL Abigail has asked that I not share too many pictures until it’s done (but then again, this is the same DIL that took our grandson, Weston, to her Mom and Dad’s in Philadelphia during the construction. While I agree with the wisdom (she also took the dogs – a GREAT idea), SHE TOOK THE GRANDBABY!!!) So here’s just a little peek of what’s been going on –
Rubble
Yes, this rubble has been my constant companion the last couple of days, and since they won’t let me play with any of the power tools (or even the sledge hammers!), I’ve been taking bucket loads of the stuff to this –
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Bucket after bucket after bucket. Sigh.
Since they removed a dropped ceiling and then took the paneling off the walls, we were able to get a good feel for the previous “life” of this house (which was built turn of the century – 1905-ish). All the walls were wallpapered several times over!
These three were on the top layer –
Dining room –
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Living Room –
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(and I loved the picture “ghost” – well, until I scraped it off anyway)
and the Hallway –
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Bring back memories, anyone?
But underneath that layer were some really fancy – and quite well thought out – wallpaper choices –
Dining Room
DiningRoomWP-1
Living Room
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Hallway
HallWP-1
I think she was working with a designer, don’t you?
(There was a third layer in the hallway, but I couldn’t scrape off layer two to actually see a pattern. But trust me, I KNOW it was there!)
As we work through the layers of these old houses (the house we raised our family in was built in the 1860’s), I am always intrigued by the stories of the people that lived there before. I’m afraid the wallpaper choices are the only stories I’ll be gleaning from these wall, and the next folks that do a reno won’t even have that! After I was done hauling all the rubble to the dumpster, they did let me remove wallpaper.

Thank goodness for Ibuprofen (and we have a Costco size bottle!).

Exhaustion has set in! Tomorrow, while the boys work on the drywall (thankfully there is not to much rubble for me to cart, and the walls have all been scraped clean), I’ll be heading to Doylestown and Philadelphia, where I’ll be catching up with friends, getting my hair cut by my “regular” girl (you ladies can appreciate that, I’m sure), and playing with Weston. Can. Not. Wait. By the time I return on Thursday I know the room will be transformed!

Sweet dreams, friends……..

4 thoughts on “Getting there, and being here”

  1. Stephanie: LOVE the pictorial updates: feel like I’m sitting in the front seat of your RV with you, looking out through the bug-splattered windshield! 😉 Glad Lancaster was able to offer you some unseasonably warm days while you were carting rubble to the dumpster, and turned cold just in time for you to go visit your grandson.
    So glad we connected again through facebook so we could share this time in person. Can’t remember the last time we had such an hilarious mealtime: love the stories old and new.
    Hopefully you’ll get to pause a bit to enjoy the view and take a breather before heading off to the next adventure. We’re certainly not in any hurry to see you move on.
    Love,
    Martha and family

  2. Glad you made a safe journey. 1100 miles is a far stretch. I m sure to see anything but flat highways and surroundings was a blessing for you guys.

    I too wonder about stories an old house could tell. In our last house, we discovered a family history on the end of one closet door. I cold see a Mom or Dad bring the kids or grandkids to this closet door so they could mark their height and place the child’s initials and date by the mark.

    We painted that old door but left that one edge untouched. That seemed to be the right thing to do.

    Work safe on the project. Keep Gary off ladders. Looking forward to the day our family can meet your family one day.

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