Some people ask me why I have a blog. Some people don't. The people that do ask usually get about the same answer: When I moved to Ithaca (with A.) back in 2004 most of our friends had never been to Ithaca and a lot of them hadn't bought houses yet. I wanted to keep people updated on our new lives here in Ithaca and to tell the story of owning our home. The blog (with the exception of a few posts) has been completely written by me and covers topics from the Boston Red Sox to people I've spotted around town. I added a category in December called "Contacted from the Outside". Making contact with Gary wasn't the first time someone emailed me from "out of the blue" to let me know they were reading. The blog was also the way I met Dustin, Melissa, Tiffany, Rayissa, Riikka, Maimun, Jade(d) and most recently Beth.
Beth's contact was different than all other contacts because somehow (Beth - Google?) Beth found me and let me know that the house I live in - - at 1960 Slaterville Road was the house her parents built. She sent me the following email with the subject "1960 Slaterville Road" on June 6th of this year:
Was the house my parents built. I left a post on your blog but I don't see it.I am so happy a nice couple live there.Check out my blog: http://mysteriousladyclues.blogspot.com/I wrote a memory about the house in Monday's Memory.You know I don't know if my mom left the orginal blueprints with the house, she may still have them. The people who bought it after my parents, well, they let it run down alot. The small room on the second floor had all the piping for a second bathroom behind the walls. Hopefully someone found that.anyways!A lot of good memories are in that house from our family!Beth N. C.
So the room in question - the second floor small room (also known as the box room on house tours) is already piped for a bathroom! This is great news since the original quote for a bathroom there (running hot and cold water and drainage for a sink, toilet and bathtub) was quite a bit out of my price range. Having the pipes there should drive down the cost substantially. So there is a gift of possibly thousands of dollars just from writing about my life and my house on this blog.
But the story doesn't end there. Beth posted a memory of the house on her blog here: http://mysteriousladyclues.blogspot.com/2006/06/sorry-im-late.html
Monday Memories: Did I ever tell you about The house I grew up in
My father came home from WW2 to a 18 year old wife who he had left on her parents farm 6 months pregnant. When he arrived his son now 4 and wife had surely grown. As a wedding gift my parents had gotten an acre of land, right next to my grandparents farm house. Like all those hoping to make a buck off development, they later sold off acre after acre of there land, till all they had left was 5.
My father came home and found a job as a milk man, he delivered milk to houses early in the morning. My parents got a very small loan. Just enough to build a basement of a house. So on weekends my father put cement block on cement block. Of course back then, friends, family, my mothers father all were onboard to help out.
My parents lived in that basement for 5 years. At first without water or electricity. A well had to be dug. Money for an electrician saved. My mother gave birth to a second son. All the time they used an outhouse, and showered at my grandparents. There was a furnace, no bathroom.
Dad got a job after many other job adventures working for "Ma Bell", now some of you might not be old enough to remember "Ma bell". It was the only telephone company, anywhere in the states. They got a mortgage, finally, and on weekends again, were able to finally go on up with the house. After which they adopted my oldest sister.
By the time I surprised them five years later. The house was done.
It stands today. A sweet little two story Cape Cod, 1960 Slaterville Road, in Ithaca NY. With hardwood floors my father lovingly laid, curved door entrances, which my mother says he swore the whole time trying to do, just for her, she had to have them. Standing next to it, is still the old farm house my grandparents lived in. Gone is the little bridge my grandfather had built so we all could visit crossing the creek between the houses.
My parents sold the house when my youngest son was born. It was harder on me I think than them. Moved to Florida on to retirement.
In that house, were many memories, lots of love, dysfunction of course, since I've yet to come across a "functional" family except on TV or the movies. It was home.
Beth followed up her post (and my response to her email) with this email to me 10 days ago when I asked her more about the history of the house:
Lets see, dad died in 1988, so they sold the house 83 or 84? I haven't been back. I live in Knoxville TN now. Dad's buried in Brooktondale. Mom's still alive and she's in Dryden at my sister Sara's house right now, snow bird, lives in Florida the rest of the year.Dad retired is why they sold it. Mom's dream was always to live in Florida. They sold it to some guy who went bankrupt I think. Old neighbors weren't happy with the family who bought it, complained to us about it. They were evicted by the bank I think. It stood empty for a while. I know Sara (my sister) said the grass was grown up and there was a comdemned sign on it. She took a ladder and peeked in the windows. Said the hardwood floors were still there. Said there was also a sign about comtaminated water. We had always had well water, sulfer water. Smelled terrible. Hope they finally got the city water system out that way! We were always hoping it would reach us eventually. Sara goes to Dad's grave, they have to drive by the house to get there she goes with Mom every summer.Then it got cleaned up and sold out of the blue. I guess to you! My dad was also justice of the peace for the town of Dryden for years. There were alot of middle of the night arrangements in the basement. They lived in the basement for years before they were able to build up the rest of the house. People were married in that house too. Including my sister once.I was born in 1957, grew up in that house. Went through the 60's and 70's there. Don't know if the built in dressers are still there in the upstairs bedroom in the back. I use to take those out and hide stuff I didn't want mom and dad finding. LOL!
I've got some old pics of the house somewhere. I'll have to dig them out, scan and find them for you! I graduated high school in 1974 from Ithaca High. Went to Caroline elementary, and the old Dewitt Junior High, which I think is apartments and resturants now, or was the last time I was in Ithaca. My husband went to Cornell. I was a towny. We lived in Syracuse for a long time. He was transferred here to Knoxville. Much warmer here, not so much snow!Glad someone nice is living there and keeping it up! Hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.Beth N. C.
I replied again to Beth and her response was filled with a few more personal anecdotes including:
If you drop a marble on the kitchen floor it will roll toward the breakfast nook. Dad got pissed off when he was building and knocked out a beam. Whole house leans 1/4 inch.
In the course of a few emails and a few weeks I've learned more about the house I live in that I ever could have in any book or on any website. It has been an exciting adventure and inspires me to blog some more.