Thursday, August 12, 2010

The house that Hey Ray built

Years ago, when I was a little girl, my grandparents bought the piece of property where I now live. After a couple years, my grandpa, whom I called Hey Ray, started building a house. Why did I call him Hey Ray? Well as a VERY little girl (from birth to age 4) we lived behind our family business - a sporting goods store in Paradise CA. He was a little deaf, so whenever someone wanted to get his attention, they'd yell "HEY! Ray!" and naturally, I just assumed that was his name.

Anyway, back to the house. When I say he built the house, I mean HE built it. From the ground up. I got to help here and there of course - I recall tying off wire that held pipes in the foundation. He didn't hire an architect, or a general contractor, or even an electrician or plumber. He did it all himself with only a few exceptions - mainly when lots of concrete was needed he'd have it delivered. But, he did all the work himself. There are still parts of the house, over 30 years later, that are "not quite" finished. But, that's ok. It's the house that Hey Ray built.

As a child, the house had 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, a TINY family room/kitchen and a laundry room. There was a LARGE "sun room" and off of that was a large 2 car garage. As time went on, Patsy (my grandma, and I called her Patsy, not grandma) wanted a restaurant. So, the sun room and garage were converted. After both of my grandparents passed away, my dad was left here with his aunt (Patsy's sister), Verna. Verna had advanced Alzheimer's Disease and it forced my dad to close the restaurant. That restaurant, by the way, served THE best milkshakes around. How do I know they were the best? Well, it's because they were 100% Ice Cream. No milk, no fillers, no funkiness. I dare you to find a place that serves REAL milkshakes - one that does NOT add milk.

At any rate, Aunt Verna finally passed away about the time LD was born. The restaurant was still closed. Dad was tired and didn't want to reopen it. It sat, and sat, and sat.... Until we moved up here.

Now, the restaurant, which were once the sun room and garage, are being put back into use. The sun room, which has been our "family" bedroom and sort of living room for almost a year will become a true family room - living room and dining room. The garage will become our bedrooms, a HUGE pantry, which I started blogging about here, and a walk in closet for me which will also have an area for crafting, sewing etc.

Until yesterday, we've been busy clearing out all the stuff Dad had stored in that space. Yesterday I began the process of cleaning up the flood damage - a few years back, it flooded and the floor in the garage area was covered in a layer of fine silty soil. Here's what it looked like as I mopped it up. YUCK.

Today, I began to scrape up the paint that was under the dirt. Thankfully, not all of it needs to be removed - only the part that's not still firmly stuck to the concrete. It's begun to peel pretty badly. Eventually, we'll put down vinyl tiles, but for now the surface has to be fairly clean. Here's what that was like. Me, alternating between sitting hunched over on this little brown step stool, and crouched like a frog, using these two tools to scrape the paint.

It was productive - in this case productive translates loosely to mean I got the job done but dang am I sore. As far as I'm concerned that little brown step stool can go the way of the dinosaur. LD proclaimed that he was going to build me a robot - the Dale 1000 - who would do all my work for me - such as scraping the floors, grocery shopping, cooking, making the beds etc... All so that I wouldn't be sore & tired. God I love that kid!!

At any rate, this is what the space looks like right now.

From age 8-about 15 I spent many afternoons dancing in that garage.... Oh and what did I dance to? Here's a few of the records - and I do mean RECORDS - you know, VINYL??? That required a NEEDLE and a phonograph to play???

We still have a long way to go, but at least we're moving in the right direction. I'm hoping by Thanksgiving we'll have two bedrooms. Because, I LOVE LD, really I do... but sorry, sharing a room with your 5 year old son, wedded bliss does NOT make ;-)

1 comment:

  1. I am soooooooooooo glad you got NetFlix, cause've got too much time on your hands and cleaning to do.