I walked into the house through the mudroom and into the kitchen where I immediately burst out laughing at the green...green...GREEN kitchen. The cupboards inside and out were newly painted pea soup green. Under the sink, above the refrigerator, every wall, the backsplash and molding was all the same overpowering color. I gazed around wondering who could have thought this was a good color to sell a home. Hearing me laugh the realtor and a young couple (house hunters like me) stopped mid-sentence to see what I found so funny. The real estate agent was an eager young man who quickly asked "Oh, do you like the color?" I could tell immediately he was part of the design team. I laughed again as he admitted it was he who had picked it out. Undaunted by the color scheme I walked through the rest of the house where I was enchanted with the huge picture windows and coved ceilings in the front room. I could already see sunny mornings on the patio off the master bedroom and a fire in the living room. I wasn't surprised when the realtor told me it was being sold by the original owners and was in fact the family Homestead. The energy in the house was full of love and the deal was sealed when I discovered the little Pfaffle handprints pressed into the garage floor concrete.
It took me less time to move in than my parents took on their honeymoon.The first week I moved in two of the now grown-up Pfaffle kids stopped by to say hi and share with me how to correctly say "P-faa-fff- le" and some memories of their lives there. I learned the tree by the driveway was planted upon the birth of the first Pfaffle child and the 82nd street side of the lot is sprinkled with random Christmas Trees as a result of an abandoned attempt at a Christmas Tree Lot. They also shared that their mom had lived here until she passed on. I promised to take care of her home now entrusted to me.
I have never regretted my choice to make this my home. Over the course of the last 9 years I have done my best to take care of this old house and the quarter acre surrounding it. I like to think that Mrs. Pfaffle would be pleased with my decision to add a good neighbor fence and double-pane windows. Maybe she is even a little envious of the hot tub I finally added on the patio. I know she would approve of our hard work in the yards and upgrades to the kitchen.
Not all of the memories from the last decade have been happy one but this house has remained my sanctuary. A place to snuggle up by warm fires in the winter and celebrate with backyard bonfires in the summertime. She provided a shady spot under a tree for Baby Kitty and Roxie to be laid to rest and surrounded me with her walls like a fortress protecting me from life's ups and downs.
My family and friends have added our own layer of love and laughter to that already infused into these four walls and I cannot imagine ever calling some place else home.