There were rumors this house was given to the person who cared for their lawn. My imagination went wild. I thought about that every day when I pushed my daughter by in her stroller. The grass was always so green. Fresh lawnmower marks zig zagged the front yard. I knew there was a pool behind the white fence but never heard splashing or laughter. The curtains were always closed behind the dusty awnings and the only movement I ever saw was from the birds. One year after we moved in we finally went through an old box the original owners family left for us. My now 9 year old sat with me as I opened up an envelope…their wills.
So this is where we left off! Holy crap, I had no intentions of that reel I made on IG going viral, but after 5 MILLION + views…here we are! & if you’re new here, because of that reel, WELCOME! So glad you’re here! I still owe you the story of how the house became OURS, but that will have to be saved for another blog post because it’s lengthy. Not only do I like to chat, but the stars truly aligned for us to the point where I believe this house actually found US.
Real quick back story. 9 years ago I lived down the street from the home we live in now. Emrie was a baby, only about 6months old when Andy & I moved into the cutest little rental. It was a small, cottage style home, super old, tons of character & a charming backyard filled with oak trees. It was the top of our rental budget but in the neighborhood we dreamed of so we made it work. Every night I’d push Emrie in her stroller up the road and through the streets gazing at all the old, history filled homes. There were definitely homes that stood out to me, but one in particular drew me in. My eyes never left the house as I walked by. It sat higher up on a little knoll and there was ALWAYS sun shining down on it. The rest of the houses nearby were shaded at some point or another, but not this one. It always had light pouring over it. It was tinted pink unlike the other, white houses surrounding it and the lawn felt like it went forever. It stirred emotions in me unlike anything I’ve ever felt.
One night I was walking with a friend when we passed the house. “Rumor has it the house was given to the gardener”….WHAT? I couldn’t believe it. I never questioned the rumor. Just the thought of it made this house that much more magical. I thought of that every single time I walked by, and eventually after a couple years when Andy and I moved, & bought our first home, I would think of it as I drove by.
5 years pass.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ll save the story for how we bought our house for another day, but when we moved in the original owners had left us boxes of paperwork. Receipts, invention ideas, photos, more receipts 😂 we were SO thankful for the photos they chose to leave behind for us. It gave us a tiny peak into the love that used to fill these walls. Christmas parties by the fireplace, thanksgiving dinners, the flowers that used to be on the property. I treasure those. I fumbled through the receipts here and there throughout the first year. I was curious to see what they used to pay for their utilities and even appliances when they renovated many years ago, but I never dove into the paperwork.
One day while Andy was working I was bored and decided to bug him. I went into the office and started opening up the drawers. I randomly grabbed an envelope from the stack of papers and opened it up. It was a hand drawn map of our property showing where all the sprinkler heads were and a water spout next to the pool. Hmmmm I’d never noticed that before. I ran down to the pool and like on a treasure map was lead to a water spout that was meant to fill the pool super fast. WHAT IN THE FREAKING WORLD….Andy & I had just been throwing the hose over the fence when the water level was low. I decided to dig further into the box. What the heck else could I find.
Pretty soon my daughter joined me along with Andy on every break he could snag to see what else we found. Here’s where we confirmed, in a roundabout way….that our home was in fact given to the gardener.
I won’t be saying their names, and I won’t go into all the fine print detail, because it’s personal to their family and I don’t want to overstep.
REAL QUICK before I go on, CAN YOU BELIEVE that when the reel went viral, the grandchildren of the family recognized the home and reached out to me???? Blew my damn mind. I’ve been asked so many times if anyone in the family knew about my blog and Instagram where I share all our DIY and home renovating, and as far as I knew, nobody did. Until now. HI!!!!
Left behind were both the husband and wife’s wills.
Here’s what I gather in a super, straight to the point POV. When the original owner came home from war he hired a young man to help tend to the property. A groundkeeper, property care taker, gardener… I’m not sure I’ll ever know the exact details on how the owner of the home originally knew the young man he hired, but what I do know is that a father/son type relationship was built and the owner of the home adopted the young man.
In the will, they left the home to their son.
We feel BEYOND honored to get to take care of this home for the rest of our lives, and hopefully pass it down to our own children. If you’re not already following along, I document all of our designs and house updates over on my IG: @ponderosa_and_plaid ❤️ We’re just a regular ol’ family with a love for old homes, and in particular- renovating this one to reflect our crew.
Hope to see you there!