House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

"Dear House" Father's Day Edition

Mary's father

The blueprints to their future!

Home Sweet Home!

Dear House~

            Today is a very special day……..Father’s Day.  Little do you know how significant this day is when it comes to the fact that you were created with love and are now the special place for my husband Rob and I to raise our four boys.

 There was a Professor at the University of Illinois who taught a double Masters program of Business and Architecture.  He had had a full career by also teaching at Auburn, Miami of Ohio, and worked as the city manager in Flint, Michigan.  He made the choice to return to U of I till retirement.  He was head of the department several times and was known for being an expertise instructor in his field as well as an extremely wonderful man.  The best part of all of this, is that he was my Father.

When Rob and I first started dreaming about you, we had lots of visions of what type of house we would love to build.  We pictured a modern house with tons of windows and having a big yard to have lots of friends over for cookouts.  We wanted a place for family to feel comfortable with children running around and playing. Being able to have special dinners on holidays out of a big kitchen was very important to us so we could continue all the wonderful happy traditions that I grew up with.

My Father took this all in.  He began to design, and did not design just an ordinary house that you might find in an average normal subdivision, he created a gorgeous and amazing home.  What you may not also realize, is that he ended up helping almost everyday that we built you.  He met with carpenters and electricians, he would arrive early in the morning when parts of you were delivered, and he basically kept the long process of building you alive.  Rob and I remained so busy trying to keep our new plumbing company afloat, me working part time, and being pregnant with number two. My Father took your creation on full power and literally put his heart and soul into you for almost 2 years to help us get to the point where we could move in and start calling you our home.

After about 4 years, when we were up to three children and enjoying every minute living in your walls, my Father was diagnosed with Cancer at the age of 81.  After being sick for only 4 months, he lost his battle and moved on to what we believe is even a better place.  During his final months we talked a lot about how much fun he had building you, we would go over and over all the details that he specially organized to make you just right.  We laughed so many times at all the crazy headaches of things being ordered wrong, the first wood floor that was installed that we had to rip up, the fact that all the hardware on the kitchen cabinets in your kitchen are slightly uneven at the bottom, and how he hand screwed at least a dozen screws in each step of your stairway to make sure you would never squeak.

I realized right then and there, that you were not just my fancy new house, that you were a gift.  You were an actual gift of love that my Father had given to me and my family twelve years ago.  There is never a week that goes by that I don’t talk about some detail of you to my boys and remember all the memories of how you were created.  Every year when I put up our tall Christmas tree to fill your high ceilings, I think of my Father and I feel him around me.  He has given me your spaces to fill and to continue family traditions that meant so much to him. You are a very special house, and we all love you.  We will continue to maintain you and fill you with many fun times.  Please keep protecting us and hold my Father’s spirit between your walls with care.

Love, Mary

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