Friday, June 5, 2009

And then the kitchen

What a horrible surprise. Ugly floor with holes through to the under-flooring. The walls were lath and plaster and many places you could see this material. The ceiling was lath and plaster also and there were spots where it was also evident. Immediately to the left of entering there stood an old Wedgwood range. It had a section on the left where you could burn your trash. It was connected to a flue into what must be a way into a chimney. That made me happy for this had been used, obviously for years,, I could take the stove out and replace it with a small fire place land we could have breakfast in the cold mornings with a comforting small fire. We would have school-age children before long. ( You can tell I jump into impossible situations without too much thought )

Back to reality, the sink was under the windows sitting in a horrible counter to the right. At the end of the counter was a door and when you opened it you found a small room with one item, the refrigerator. Open the door and you found yourself in the laundry room and that was the outer limit in that direction. I went out the door onto a rickety wooden porch, to the left was a slanting cellar door.

So back to the kitchen. In the opposite corner from the door I already mentioned was a little breakfast nook with built in benches. What made this so tight and cluttered was the fact that there was the door leading out to a large beautiful back-porch About three stairs down and if you walked this route to the left you would find yourself in the garage.

But we have not seen any bed rooms yet. Back to the dining-room. Walking away from the windows you left the dining-room and entered a LARGE hall. Again beautiful hardwood floors and big arched windows. One bedroom on the left with no window except the little one that we talked about in the first room. The next was a much smaller hall leading to one small bedroom to the right, and one large bathroom to the left. It was very old-fashioned but regal sort of. Small porcelain tiles in the shower and with a huge built in wooden chest of drawers between two windows facing out unto the driveway. We return to the large hall and continue to the end. One door on each side. To the left the master bed-room. Long wooden counter to the right and a sink at the end. Windows in the opposite corner. Back to the large hall and then into the last bedroom Big enough to hold the three girls provided we could have a bunk-bed at one end. In the closet that was ample there was a small built in sink. Big enough to brush teeth. It might keep the mornings less phrenetic.

The house with all its faults oozed of summer happiness and with lots of guests. And we had noticed all the out-buildings which probably were there as guesthouses. All of them had water in them, we discovered later, and in the olden days there was a lake connected to the settlement. More news about the history of Diablo later.

The place cost $24.000 and we made an offer of $22.000 and it really was more than we could afford. And we were too stupid to ask about termites and about the condition of the roof. And we and the termites lived together in peace and happiness until the time came to sell the place and the buyers were smart enough to ask about silly thinks that we tried to ignore.


Anonymous said...

this reminds me of the story of my aunt and uncle's house in south san francisco. bought in 1958 for i believe the high teens or low/mid twenties. now worth more than i will make in a lifetime! they still live there.

Joanna said...

"...the buyers were smart enough to ask about silly thinks that we tried to ignore."

I love your sense of humor.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I think I remember you talking about this kitchen before and how you redid it. I always admire the bold determination that comes through in your stories.

And (if I'm understanding you correctly) you've just learned that this house was recently torn down? How sad. It sounds like it was rich with happy memories when you bought it and I know from your stories that you and your family filled it with more.

Anonymous said...

You have such an immense gift for description -- I feel as though I have just physically shared a tour of your wonderful Diablo home. Thank you for the tour!