Every Picture Tells a Story

Some stories just aren’t pretty.

The bedroom wall.
The bedroom wall. Click for larger image. (Image: Leo A. Notenboom.)

In 1981 we purchased our first house. 740 square feet of education lay ahead of us.

So. Much. Education.

Starting with the day we took possession.

The photo above is of the master bedroom on the day our education began.

We’d arranged with the seller a particular time to come by and get the keys, with no real expectation that they’d be completely moved out — it was just a convenient time. We figured they’d finish up later.

When we arrived they handed us the keys and left immediately. Before we even went inside. They were done and gone. Road Runner cartoon “zip!” gone.

The master bedroom is one reason we surmise they packed up and left so quickly — before we could see what it was we had just taken possession of.

If you look closely at the carpet, it’s incomplete. Almost as if it had been cut around something. It had been. When we saw the room originally it contained a large waterbed. They’d cut the carpet to fit around the base. You can see they also hadn’t bothered to paint behind the headboard.

It was, as they say, the tip of the iceberg. A rather visible tip, at that.

We spent the next month cleaning up the place to the point we felt we could live in it. Lots of paint, a new floor, new carpeting. You get the idea.

It was also where I had my first (and so far only) “close encounter” with 220 volts as I replaced the improperly wired baseboard heaters.

We were there for roughly four and a half years. (Our departure is another story.) We definitely left it better than we found it.

And we also left better educated about home ownership.

I still refer to this one as our “practice house”.