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Homes Sweet Homes

Updated: Feb 10, 2018

Earlier this week was the 15th anniversary of the day we moved to the farm. It's really weirding me out that I'm old enough to have lived someplace as an adult for 15 years! Never mind the fact that I'm coming up on 21 years married to my high school sweetheart, but I'll worry about that later.

This isn't our first home. It's actually our fourth, if you count the apartment where lived as newlyweds. In hindsight I should have slowed down and savored that stage of my life a little more (I had that wish-my-life-away problem back then, too) but I was in a big hurry to buy a house. Maybe it was because we were pretty young -- 21 and 23 years old -- and wanted to prove to everyone that I/we were mature and responsible. I was desperate to have a pet, which we couldn't in the apartment. But I also blame HGTV. Does anyone remember Room by Room with Matt and Shari? Or Design on a Dime? There were also a lot of gardening shows at that time, and they all made me crazy to have a home to paint, decorate and landscape. So about 8 months after getting married we embarked on a house hunt.

On our very first home tour (a tiny house before tiny houses were cool) we met Gary and Mary who were the selling agents. That wasn't the house for us, but they were the agents for us. They helped us buy our first home, sell that home later, and we still keep in touch today.

Our first house was a 1945 limestone ranch near the busy intersection of 70th and Fremont in Lincoln. It was a one-owner fixer upper stuck firmly in the 1970s. Shiny wallpaper, shag carpet, swag lights, this house had it had it all. But it also had beautiful wood floors under that carpet. After a LOT of prep and painting (woodwork, walls, kitchen cabinets, EVERYTHING) it was cute and cozy and just right for us. Shortly after we moved in we got our first pets as a couple, two cats, Tiggy and Ozzy. Again, we should have tried to enjoy city living a little more but we were country kids, after all, and after a year and a half we were ready to move on to a quieter location and "simplify" our lives. (Now I realize pizza delivery and a grocery store a half mile away made life pretty simple but you couldn't tell me that then!) So, when we found a home in Elmwood--about midway between Lincoln and our hometown--we made the move.

Our Elmwood house was a 1960s one-owner ranch on a double, corner lot. It was small and had a crawl space instead of a basement, but the yard had so much potential. The bathroom had 60s pink tile (which we kept), there were oak floors in the bedrooms, and the prettiest original mid-century solid cherry cabinets in the kitchen. I'll never own nicer quality cabinets and I still miss that natural cherry color--I hope they're still there. We built a big metal building in back and had a lot of fun landscaping the yard. Elmwood is where Terry started his home remodeling/construction business and where I took the leap to leave a full-time administrative job to work part time as the Curator/Director of the Bess Streeter Aldrich House and Museum. We weren't quite there yet but had started on the road to our current job/career/calling.

It feels longer, but we were only in Elmwood about a year and a half too. Part of that time was spent renovating our current house. My Grandma Brandt was no longer able to live here, and had moved in with my parents. We "finally" had the opportunity to move to the country (I mean, we had lived in a town for soooooo long, sheesh). I will continue that story in my next entry.

-Our Elmwood House-

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