Last Summer when Coach and I walked through this cute little 1950’s house, we had a bright idea
about downsizing and ultimately simplifying our lives! The Magnolia House, our favorite yet,
was a beautiful house and property which required more upkeep/maintenance than we wanted.
So, we made a plan but weren’t in a hurry. That is until I ran by to visit with my friend Susan and
discovered her Mother’s old house would be for sale in the near future. One look and our plan
was set into motion. Magnolia House went on the market in August. Football season is not the ideal
time to move but we didn’t want to miss this opportunity, so we went for it! The house showed well
and often but we would not get an offer until the middle of November. With a January closing date,
we would use every minute of the Christmas holiday to purge, pack, paint, refinish floors, have a
huge sale and move. By leasing the house before closing, we were able to start painting 3 weeks
early. I certainly don’t consider myself a great painter, it takes a lot of time and patience but after
getting a few bids I realized our small remodeling budget would stretch much further if we did the
work ourselves. So, bright and early on Monday, December 16th, I pried open a 5 gallon bucket of
Valspar D’jour white and started rolling.
Most of the wood floors were covered with celery green shag carpet which were coming up at the
end of the week so I used them as a drop cloth….a real time saver when painting walls and
ceilings. Another short cut was to use the same color on both. Unfortunately, I forgot to take before
pictures but the walls and trim were the same color as the carpet. It was A LOT OF HARD WORK, but
after five long days, I finished just in time for Coach to start ripping up the carpet! School was out
for the holidays and he was raring to go. In no time flat he had the carpet rolled up in the back of his
truck and was prying up the tack strip. With a tight schedule, I jumped in and took over the tack strip
removal job, careful to pull up every nail, while Coach gathered up all the sanding and varnishing
supplies. At this point, to be completely honest, I was worn out! It was Christmas and I was missing
all of the fun stuff but I trudged on by dreaming of iced sugar cookies and singing Christmas carols at
the top of my lungs.
Those were some tough days! After painting walls and ceilings for 5 days, I was on my hands and
knees for 2. To say we were exhausted would be an understatement ….and beat up! Cut up hands,
sore knees and backs. At the end of each day I felt so old and wondered if we could keep it up but
each morning I was surprisingly able to get out of bed and keep going. Mike had a plan laid out which
helped me to focus and stay the course. In the past, we haven’t always worked well together but
there was no arguing on this project. We didn’t have the time or energy:)
Two days before Christmas we spread polyurethane on the floors and let them dry while we took a
much needed break.
Back at it on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, I finished sanding and painting the wood work with oil
based paint. Things were starting to take shape. It was encouraging to see what we had accomplished
in less than 2 weeks! But we couldn’t celebrate long because the movers were coming on Monday.
Yikes! The move! I haven’t even mentioned that this little house would be half the size and we would
only bring with us the things we love most. Which would mean letting go of years of accumulate
treasures. I thought this might be painful because I like stuff! However, I’m pleased to say, I found it
Last night, at dinner, Coach asked me if I had missed living at our old house…our nicest house, ever. Without pause, I quickly said, “ Not once”.
We love our new, little old house. It reminds us of our very first home. It is our new favorite! We are more than happy. We are contented.