Trouble was the first house didn't sell right away so we were paying two mortgages. Eventually we had to move again because of lack of work, the economy was crashing and Gerry needed work, building was in a decline. We built for us twice more for the that reason, he needed the work. We had decided we wanted to go back to England.............That didn't work out and we ended up here, in town. The last house we built was on the market too long and we decided to stay. Then at the last moment the house sold and my parents were coming for vacation. Panic.........
So here we are. This house was built sometime in the mid to late 1800s. It is on a double city lot so lots of garden space. Originally it had two bedrooms and a small room off the bathroom that we supposed was a nursery in years gone by. There was an adjoining door into the main bedroom. Over time Gerry worked on the electricity and plumbing. Dry walled and redid the inner walls putting in insulation etc. Eventually we added on a dining room and redid the kitchen and even added an upstairs wing so that we now had 3 full bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs. Downstairs had a dining room added and a redo of kitchen etc. We finished the basement and made 2 bedrooms there.
So anyway...........soon after we moved in, it was at that time the old pink and green colours of the depression era, we got it painted and fit for company. Mum and Dad came for a month. They had been before a couple of times. So now they got to enjoy living in town. We had not yet began to expand and so they had our bedroom and we slept on the living room floor. That worked well so that we would be up before they were and they could be comfortable.
On this one day my dad was standing at the dining room window and said matter of fact like, "there is a naked woman in your drive way" ............stunned silence. Someone looked and "bloody hell, there is". My Mum says "get away from the window Harry and stop staring" hehe. So the police were called and the said lady was duly picked up. In the closet was an old coat left by the owner of the house, so I gave that to the police officer to cover her up. It turned out she was from the apartments over the road. It was at that time that the State hospitals were being closed down. The apartment over the road rented to several people who came from there. One day my neighbour called us to tell us that same lady had been in our house. She came in and must have seen us sleeping on the floor and left. We never locked doors back then. We have had some adventures with the clientele from across the street. One kid would shovel his drive and bring the shovel of snow over to our side of the road. He also would worship (?) the sun. Standing in the road, arms raised in supplication and prayer and turn in all directions while praying. After a time I do believe the man stopped renting to the ex patients of the state hospital because its been quiet there for many years now. Long term residents who are quiet.
So we settled into daily living, on working on our house and gardens. We had the 3 kids with us and a poodle named Charlie. Charlie was a country kid, he got out one day and was run over. Devastating. We got other pets, I had a horse by then kept out on a farm 20 miles away.
Bonnie, Baby and Bobo.
About that time I picked up a pidgeon on 8th st who had a broken wing. We named him Walter and he lived with us for 12 years or so.
We were out one day and had seen a sign "Poodles for sale" we found our beautiful Bonnie. We named her that in memory of Charlie (Bonnie Prince Charlie) Charlie was the kids dog mainly, we still had Lady(the dog not the horse) who we got way back in our first house. She lived to be about 16 years old. As Bonnie aged we got another poodle who was born out where I kept my horse. We called her Buttons. They got along well and were together for some time. They would both go out with us on trips and out for rides. I was working by then at Empire National Bank and one of the ladies found a little white poodle out in the woods near where she lived. It was a stray and only liked men, it would bite the kids when they tried to sit with her husband. So I took the poodle home and called her Bambi. (she came out of the woods so....)
Buttons and Bambi
We then had 3 poodles.
The boys eventually each went into the Marine Corps and Laura was married. We had a few trips to North and to South Carolina during those years taking our dogs with us. When Laura's husband was on deployment she would come home while he was away with her children until they reached school age and it was no longer possible.
Sometimes she brought pets with her.......
Quite the crew (Buffy and Beatrice...cats....Sam and Toby 2 ..Lauras cats....Buttons and Bambi and Laura's dog Rupert)
As the poodles got old and died they we got others. Justin bought me Bodicea (Bodi) who was a black and white tuxedo poodle and later we got Bridget who was a tiny toy.
Bodicea in stripes and Bridget.
She died by accident at 5 and that was a tragic thing to happen. We then got the two we now have, Bella and Brea. Over the years we acquired cats as well. Buffy, Beatrice and now Boots and Bessie. (strays mostly) The house saw many changes during those years, we remodeled upstairs and added on a bedroom and bathroom.
Dan and Laura got divorced and she remarried. When Dan retired from the marine corps he came back to Traverse City and stayed with us until he finished nursing school and remarried. So for a time we had him and the 3 girls living here.
Before that the boys had got out of the military and had each spent a year at home working and going to college. It was a busy time.
Things settled down for awhile and as the girls got older they finished school and moved in with us one by one. Sometimes we had 2 of them at the same time. One of Alex friends was wanting to finish school in TC so she stayed with us for that last year of school when her family moved away.
Alex came and went, first at 16 and again later, she had her baby and lived here with Tristen until she died. We then raised Tristen until he was 6 1/2. Laura had come back for a time after her 2nd marriage failed until she moved in with Robert, her current husband. For one year one of the boys friends lived with us. This house has been busy, full all the time with kids and animals.
At this time we now have 4 poodles, 2 cats and Gabby, Tony and Cooper living here...............will it ever be an empty nest? I don't think so. This house has lots of room and seems to enjoy being full to the brim..................