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My Old House

Updated on October 2, 2013
The basics of good house construction
The basics of good house construction
A solid foundation is a must
A solid foundation is a must
Able to withstand any storm
Able to withstand any storm
The finished product
The finished product

The days march by unrestrained, week after week, months and years a blur as you look back over the landscape of your life. Where did they go to? I can’t possibly be this old! I still remember sledding down the hill in front of our house on 18th Street when I was ten. I clearly recall turning out for the Babe Ruth League and playing with the boys of summer on hot July afternoons. Flirting with the neighborhood girls as they walked by, helping the neighbors burn their leaves each August, breathing in the sights and sounds as only a youngster can do before the chains of responsibility and adulthood are finally locked in place.

Where has the time gone? Is this some cruel joke perpetrated by the Grand Puppetmaster, that we all finally gain a true appreciation of our life as we get so damn old we can’t experience it as we once did? Where is the humor in that I ask you? And yet….and yet…there is a lovely dividend that comes with advancing age, and it is exactly that appreciation just mentioned. True, age has slowed us up, but it has also made us so appreciative of everything about us, so aware of all the fine nuances of life, so happy for each and every day we are allowed to continue this journey.

In a state of blissful reflection I find myself thinking of my old house.

A TOUR OF THE HOUSE

I have lived in this house for sixty-three years and I know it intimately. Who better to give you a tour than the only resident ever to live there?

It is a medium-sized single-person dwelling, built in 1948 upon a sound foundation, lovingly nurtured throughout the building process. Real estate agents would say this house has character because really, what else could they say? In need of tender loving care? A fixer-upper just right for a buyer with a discerning eye and an appreciation for qualities not seen at first glance? Yes, a house of character. Let’s take a look at the construction and I’ll let you be the judge of its fitness.

THE FOUNDATION

Here is where the true character of a house is found. A weak foundation means endless problems down the road but this foundation was laid out exactly the way you would hope for. The cement was poured perfectly, the footings set into the foundation with precise measurement, holes drilled just right for the incoming and outgoing pipes. They knew how to make them back in the old days and this baby has withstood earthquakes, high winds and never once crumbled; a real testament to the craftsmanship that went into this building.

THE FRAMING

Good strong studs are the secret ingredient in the framing and my house was built with nothing but the best studs available. No cracks in these studs; no bends or breaks can be seen. Girders, struts, braces, all where they should be, lovingly placed to guarantee long-life.

LOOK UP ABOVE

This home of mine has seen some serious rainstorms, snowstorms and windstorms in its day and not a leak shows upon inspection. Ceiling joists hung to precision, rafters in place and tie beams are solid. If you look at it from the outside the roof appears to be weather-worn but don’t let that fool you: not a shingle is loose, the tar papers is in place and there is a good chance that roof will last a good many more years.

DOES IT HAVE CURB APPEAL?

Isn’t curb appeal dependent on the eye of the beholder? What may look like a broken down wreck to one will look like a warm, cozy beacon of comfort to another. So it is with my home. Don’t let first impressions fool you; this house will welcome you as you kick off your shoes and get to know it.

IS IT A GOOD INVESTMENT?

I guess I’m as good a judge of that as anyone. I have invested my entire life in this house and believe me, I’m not a gentle homeowner. I have neglected it at times, put it through some tough experiences, but it has never let me down and is always there for me to return to. There is safety in this home, a pleasantness that may not be apparent upon first sight. Like a wild horse that needs to be broken and then re-trained, this home has seen its wild days and now is much more comfortable at a cantor rather than a gallop.

However, you asked about its investment potential, and in truth the market value of this home of mine will only depreciate with the coming years. A home can only withstand so much wear and tear and no matter how much tenderness you show the home, time will eventually win this battle. That is, after all, the nature of all things.

IT IS ALL ABOUT THE BOTTOM LINE

I guess I’m saying I have been a lucky man. I have had the pleasure of knowing this old home for a long time now and it has served me well. I wish I had treated it with more respect but too much of that thinking leads to regret and regret to shame and shame to guilt and really, what is the point of all that? I know that this old home and I are one now, and the future of one is intricately tied to the future of the other, and we will just ride out the future and see where it takes us. The adventure comes from not knowing what is around the next curve; the thrill comes from the willingness to find out despite the anxiety over things unknown.

AND SO?

Bottom line is I love this house today. There were times I thought it was a junk heap; there were times I wanted to tear it down and be done with it. Today, I see the character in it; I smile at the windows that don’t quite shut all the way and the creak of the doors and floorboards. I feel good when I see the discolored roof and the chipped paint on the siding. There are some drafts to be sure but there always will be with a structure such as this.

In the end it is all about acceptance. I see this home for what it is, and today I not only accept it but I love it. There is uniqueness in every home, just waiting for someone perfectly matched to see the limitations as strengths, the imperfections as comforts and the blemishes a sign of maturity.

Yes, I love this old house!

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    • angela martinez67 profile image

      Angela Martinez 5 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      lovely! i would feel the same if i'm in ur shoes right now. i could figure out exactly how u described ur home, as simple , quiet but string as u are who have weathered storms and troubles in those 63 years of life. glad i'm a sentimental hopeful kind of person as u are too.^^ hmm...a day's break seem to have freshen up old beautiful memories of urs Bill. great...simply great.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      And you, angela, are very sweet. Thank you for the lovely comment to start my day. I appreciate you!

    • profile image

      iamaudraleigh 5 years ago

      I hope that someday I find the perfect home that I can write about too! Well done Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you my dear; I am always appreciative of you taking the time to read my ramblings.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 years ago from SW England

      Another lovely, gentle hub! I like the connections between life and building. I must say there are homes I've had which I miss but they've given me lots at the time. I've often wished I could go back but they say it's not a good idea. It must be great to have lived in the same place for so long. Voted up and beautiful.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      annart, as always, you are appreciated. Thank you for dropping by and reading the ramblings of an aging writer.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 5 years ago

      Having a home instead of just a house is a beautiful thing. You live in it..it lives in you. The only thing that could possibly make it more touching is if you'd built it yourself! Lovely hub!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much ImKarn...it is a wonderful thing indeed. I appreciate your following along.

    • cleaner3 profile image

      cleaner3 5 years ago from Pueblo, Colorado

      My home was built just 10 years ago, I am just starting to enjoy it now. now I know what all my getting up and going to work for was all about. Great hub.

    • profile image

      KatrineDalMonte 5 years ago

      Hi Billy, what a great hub! I have enjoyed the tour of your home...'Your home is where your heart is' goes the saying.. It's so full of memories over all those years it's undeniably a part of you, same way as you are a part of it. I have lived in my current house (70 years old) for only a decade, but from the very beginning I learnt to love it and appreciate it, and over the years have done it up in a way that reflects my love for life, my children were born here etc.. I know not for everyone, but for me definitely a house means family, and it's a matter of a love and belonging.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you cleaner; my heart and soul are in this home for sure.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Katrine, your comment was better than my hub! Darn it! :) thank you for saying what I struggled to say, and as always, I greatly appreciate you stopping by.

    • albertsj profile image

      jacy albertson 5 years ago from Lake Mary, Fl

      Our childhood homes, often have rich histories. And if we're lucky enough, to still live in them, as adults, then we can gain a true appreciation. It becomes a part of you. I realize it's just an object, but it's an object that you've developed a deep emotional connection to. I was one of the few, that appreciated my childhood home, from a very young age. I loved the tour of your house. Thank you for sharing it. (And thank you for including my link! ; ) (Tammy's too) Nicely done....as usual.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thank you friend! It was a nice change-of-pace to write about; always nice to get away from alcoholism and write about fond memories. I appreciate you greatly.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Thank you for sharing this Bill, It's awesome that you have that Home still and the memories that reside there. yes it is an object, But there is something more in a home...Have you ever walked through the forrest filled with 1000+ year old trees and felt the history and the knowledge there?

      Old homes have that feeling too, is seeps from the boards and drifts through the air....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know exactly what you are saying Mark and I agree totally. I love the history that surrounds us if we just take the time to see it and experience it completely. Thank you as always for your following.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      Wait...maybe I am stupid but I read this as the home was your body/life/soul and the story of how you have come to love yourself. Am I crazy?! Hahah oh my goodness...

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ardie, thank you! You are the only one to realize it was all a metaphor...great minds travel the same circles I guess...maybe I was a bit too clever, or not good enough. Oh well, back to the writing pad! Thank you for getting it! :)

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 5 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Ha Bill, I got that too!!! The section about "A Tour of the House" especially.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you sir!

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 5 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      wow I love those old houses.. I think they are built a lot better than now days.. sounds like your house is wonderful.

      Take care

      voted up

      Debbie

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deborah, they were built to last, that is for sure. Thank you as always for visiting and taking the time to comment. I really do appreciate your following along.

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 5 years ago from Neverland

      billybuc - dont you dare change it! I got it because I have been where you have been and I am making way to where you are ;)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Ardie, and I'll be right here watching your progress and rooting you on.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 5 years ago from SW England

      Excuse me! Ardie's not the only one - that's what I meant about 'connections between life and building' - I found myself asking the question after the second para. Your writing is subtle and clever so I'm agreeing with Ardie and saying 'don't you dare change it!' It's a great hub and you're too modest.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know annart, I was joking, but you were subtle too and I was having a hard time telling if anyone really got it...I am so happy that there are those out there I didn't lose completely.

    • picklesandrufus profile image

      picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

      Seems our houses, over time, become more than structures. They hold our life's memories. Really enjoyed reading this hub. It made me feel good. vote up

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you pickles; it made me feel good to write it. As always I appreciate you dropping by.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love old houses. I owned one until i bought this new one. It is beautiful but it lacks the character. Enjoyed your look back..Cheers

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your article. I feel the same way about my old worn blue jeans. You just feel at home!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      always, thank you for dropping by. I agree completely, character is the deal-breaker as far as I am concerned...in homes...in people.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thank you teaches...there is nothing like a great pair of worn, faded jeans...it's like you were born in them they are so comfortable...thank you for joining me once again.

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 5 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

      I voted up Billy ... you're the bomb!

      Not afraid to say what you feel.

      Hugs

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ziyena, that may be the shortest and sweetest compliment I have gotten on hubpages. Thank you so much for the comment and for taking the time to read my words.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 5 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Great in depth writing again Billy. A pleasure to read.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Old Albion, I do so appreciate you stopping by and commenting. I will keep writing as long as I know my words have meaning to others. Thank you so much!

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      I totally appreciate someone loving their house even though others aren't sure why! We've got history here and, truth be known, it's the house I showed the Lord when I was a teenager and said "I don't know where You want me to live but I sure would like a house like that one." Little did my husband know when he picked it out and surprised me almost 30 years ago!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sinea, that comment is much more eloquent than my hub. Thank you for sharing that and I appreciate you dropping by.

    • Sinea Pies profile image

      Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

      What a nice compliment. It was a pleasure.

    • poetvix profile image

      poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      This was so much fun to read. It brought to memory our last old house, how much I miss it, my grandparents homes, and thoughts of running through what felt like history. I got the strangest sense when reading it though that it really wasn't about a house at all but more about you and you maturing into a man that sees his body for what it is, a house for the heart, the mind and the soul to reside in. I must have had too much coffee! Thank you for making me smile.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poetvix, you are right on and your coffee intake is just right! I wrote it as a metaphor but then reading the comments I began to think I really missed the mark completely...thank you for restoring my faith and as always your following means a great deal to me. I did actually live in the house I grew up in for twenty-four years and that baby had some great memories attached to it.

    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      What an enjoyable read! I loved this tour of your house. Such a wonderful house with great character. You must love it so much. Thank you for sharing your home with us!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      SanneL, you are very welcome; thank you for visiting me at my home and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Come back anytime for another visit.

    • dkm27 profile image

      dkm27 5 years ago from Chicago

      Dang! You are one great writer. You capture your readers from the start and just keep reeling them in. Amazing work!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dkm27....I'm blushing! Thank you sincerely! I have a hard time with compliments like that; I think most writers have insecurities about their work, so to read a comment like that....well...thank you!

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      I really enjoyed that trip through your old house. I didn't see any cobwebs or silverfish and, not being a doll house, I don't think you would be the house you are if you were spackled and painted. Although that might be cute... send me pics...lol.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dad, thank you, and I've never been much for spackles or touch-up paints....and definitely not make-up. I appreciate you taking the time to make me laugh this morning.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      you're very welcome

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 5 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Billy... does us good to look back upon our lives and come to know ourselves mind, body and soul. I love the comparison of the home. Well written and well received.

      Blessings fro Canada

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rolly, I appreciate those words from a man who knows what I was writing about...there is a certain comfort level that is very rewarding when we finally start to learn about ourselves. Thank you my friend.

    • raciniwa profile image

      raciniwa 5 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

      My ancestral house did not withstand the storm...it laid shattered, all were left were the floor and the debris...I am glad you shared this inspiring hub with us...Reminds me of the Parable "To build one's house upon the rock..."

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Raciniwa, I guess my Catholic upbringing rises to the surface now and then. I am very sorry about your home; that would be devastating for sure. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing that with me.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      My house never learned to yodel

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...nor did mine unfortunately. Thanks Dad and I look forward to your next hub.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      Then you are a very sick individual and I am glad to have met you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dad, that's one description of me that I have no problem with. :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      Thanks for sharing your home with us. A great trip down Memory Lane.

      An up up and away here.

      Take care and have a nice weekend.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Eddy, I am always pleased to see that you have read one of my hubs. Your loyal following is much appreciated.

    • ask-singleDad profile image

      ask-singleDad 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO

      Where 2 or more are in agreement.......

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL Dad!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very unique! A tribute to your home. UP! Awesome!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Linda! I'm glad you enjoyed the tour of this old house.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 5 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

      Bill,

      I really enjoyed reading about your home. Thanks for publishing this article. I'm going to share it with my followers.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Daisy; that's mighty nice of you and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 5 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Loved it. My childhood house has been transformed into apartments which at present lack the attachment which I had with my old house. It seems everything is vividly clear about the old one but new one will take that much time which I spent in the old house to be familiar with. Your hub has brought back my fond memories of my childhood house. Thanks for writing such a wonderful hub.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Shampa, thank you for taking the time to read and leave such a lovely comment. There are great memories in those old homes for sure. Have a wonderful day!

    • profile image

      onlooker 5 years ago

      You truly respect your "beacon of comfort". It is as though it speaks to you. I admire the way you've put a whole lot of boldness into the character of your home. Wonderful read and another up! Thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Onlooker, thank you! I enjoyed writing this hub just as I have enjoyed my old house. From the comments I suspect quite a few people out there have similar stories.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 5 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      Very, very, very nice hub. I just know exactly what you mean. I love this sentence which brings so many memories: "There is uniqueness in every home, just waiting for someone perfectly matched to see the limitations as strengths, the imperfections as comforts and the blemishes a sign of maturity."

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lastheart, this one was a pretty personal hub....a personal oldie but goodie. I'm so happy that you enjoyed it.

    • Ely Maverick profile image

      Ely Maverick 4 years ago from The Beautiful Archipelago of the Philippines

      It brings back my childhood again. I'll never forget the old house may parents built. As a parent myself, I'll always treasure the foundation my parents taught me to follow as I the way I nurtured my grown-up kids.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ely, exactly! You got it! Thank you for reading and leaving a great comment.

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