Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hard Work and Great Memories

On Sunday afternoon, my two kids and I piled onto a borrowed couch and posed for this picture, snapped by my son's awesome girlfriend Ashleigh with her cell phone:

Behind us are walls that we painted and underneath us is a floor that was hiding under dirty tan carpeting that we pulled up.  Off to our right is a beautiful bathroom, which used to be a study in 1950s robin's egg blue but now--with a new medicine cabinet, vanity, and toilet and a painted bathtub--has just enough blue to be eye catching:

With my son, Alex, as the project manager, we just finished a three-month rehab of my kids' grandparents 1950s brick rancher.

It has a cool old kitchen in the basement, which we cleaned up and polished:

And we used our Union Jack table to stage the dining area at the end of the living room as a mini office space:

We didn't take nearly enough before-and-after pictures, but I think the memories of working on this project will stay with me forever:
  • Alex spending hours on his stomach on a skateboard rolling around the house pulling hundreds of staples and nails out of the beautiful hardwood floors.
  • Ashleigh's yellow lab, Honey, stealing hunks of dry wall to chew on.
  • Christine using a drill to install knobs on the new doors--her first experience with power tools:
  • All of us rolling gallons of white paint on old paneling.
  • Listening to Billy Joel radio on Pandora.
  • Cleaning off the porch, rolling up the old blue felted carpet, and painting the floor grey:
  • Sitting on the floor and eating sandwiches out of brown paper bags from the local sub shop and WaWa.
  • Wearing masks while Alex used a nasty-smelling epoxy paint on the tub.
  • Cleaning out the fridge until there was nothing left but a bottle of ketchup--to squirt onto the next round of sandwiches:

We filled a Dumpster, shared old metal scrap with a local recycler, and took countless loads of stuff to Good Will.

We saved some vintage items--from old blue mason jars and cameras to potato chip tins and the Cosco cart that Doug rehabbed for me for Christmas:

But the best part of all was the time I spent with my family--painting and laughing with Alex, Ashleigh, and Christine.  Watching Doug help Alex take off cabinet doors so they could be carefully painted and reinstalled.  Seeing Alex learn how to replace light switches, refinish a floor, demo a wall, install trim.  We made countless trips to Home Depot, washed brushes and roller covers, scrubbed floors, and cleaned out closets.  Alex and his friends ripped out old landscaping, planted new plants, and spread fresh mulch.

We finished the project on Sunday afternoon, and I'm happy and sad all at the same time. As we sat in the living room at about 5:00, Christine said, "The sad thing is that we'll never be able to show anyone what we did once it's sold."

I'm so proud of my kids and Ashleigh for how hard they worked and all they accomplished.  And I will miss seeing them every weekend....

But spring is almost here, so I guess it's time to start thinking about rehabbing the OUTSIDE of our beach cottage.

I can't wait to get started....