Hi everybody! Thanks so much to everyone who commented with their encouraging words after my last post. I appreciate so much knowing that there are things I’ve written on this blog that have been helpful to people out there. And I promise I’m not going away, just stepping back from having a planned posting-schedule.
Giving myself this little mental break has already refreshed my creativity bank, and I’m feeling excited again about finishing up and sharing some of my projects.
So just keep your eye out–you will see some posts from me coming in over the next few months, just at random intervals 🙂
Today thought I want to update you on a story I shared a month or so ago. Remember my older neighbor and the house he abandoned around the corner from me? If you missed that post, you can read about it here.
Well, about 2 weeks ago I noticed a dumpster out in front of the house and called my neighbor to ask if he was getting rid of more things. I knew there were still lots of things in there that I wanted to go through and was afraid it was all going to wind up in the trash!
We ended up just exchanging voicemail messages, and he told me in his message that he had sold the house at auction, including all of the contents, and that the new owners would start clearing it out soon.
On one hand I was thrilled–a major eyesore in our neighborhood was going to get cleaned up! But on the other hand I was really sad–what were the new owners going to do with all of that stuff?
I literally had trouble falling asleep that night as I thought about treasures being tossed into a dumpster . . . I know, I know, that’s pretty melodramatic, but that’s how much I love rescuing things from the trash heap!
Fast forward to last Friday night. On our way home from being out, I saw a couple of guys in the front yard of the house trimming bushes. I was a little nervous about approaching these men I didn’t know and asking if I could get into their business, but I knew this was my chance to get back into the house!
So I walked over, introduced myself, told them my story about meeting the former owner and buying some things from him, and asked what their plans were for what was left in the house.
Turns out they were super-friendly and said I was welcome to go in and get whatever I wanted! It was their job to dump the entire contents of the house into the trash, and anything I wanted to take with me would save them work. Score!
I spent about an hour that evening and a few more on Sunday afternoon going through the house, looking for treasures. It seemed to all be in the exact same condition as when I last was there, which made me wonder if the former owner took anything with him at all.
I honestly think the three hours I spent with him a few months ago going through the house was probably the icebreaker he needed to decide it was finally time to let go of the property and all of the stuff.
I do hope he came back though and got his old military uniforms and family photos before the house was transferred to the new owners.
Anyway, I had to fight the urge to dig through every single room and box there–I didn’t want anything of value (whether real value or just “appreciated” value) to get tossed. It was overwhelming though; I didn’t have the time or energy to really dig like I wanted.
So instead I decided to focus on saving more of the old book collections that were still loaded onto the shelves. Those I just couldn’t stand to leave.
This is only about half of the books I took out of the house, added onto the 3 boxes of books I already bought from the gentleman a few months ago! I believe they mostly belonged to his first wife (who had passed). She evidently was an avid reader that had varied interests.
One of the collections I took home was the Let’s Travel series, which appear to be from the mid 1960’s.
I wonder if she had visited all of these places?
I also took this set of books that were from the American Heritage Junior Library, also from the 1960’s.
These all have beautiful, full-color covers and illustrations inside, and cover everything from the Pilgrims and cowboys to steamboats on the Mississippi and the California Gold Rush.
I was drawn to Great Days of the Circus edition.
Isn’t that a beautiful spread? And for the most part, these books are in good condition, especially their insides. They have set stacked on shelves, unopened, for about 15 years now, so their pages are crisp and clean.
The owner’s wife was also an artist–that I learned while visiting with him the first time I was in the house. I knew from him that out in the garage, there was a collection of her artist’s tools. After I finished unloading the bookshelves upstairs, I headed out there to see what I could find.
These Walter Foster How To guides caught my eye. There isn’t a date on them, but I’m guessing they are also from the 1960’s.
I am no artist, but I find these fascinating! The illustrations inside are beautiful and walk through, step-by-step, how to draw and paint all sorts of different things.
After reading through some of them, I feel like maybe I could be an artist 🙂
I love this detail section from the How to Draw Trees guide–look at that beautiful script!
There were also a few guides focused on cartoons and animation.
The instruction pages of these are really entertaining . . .
Who else wants to break out a pencil and paper and start drawing with me???
I’ve taken a few minutes to look up some of these books on Ebay, and none of them appear to be of great value.
Nevertheless, I think they are awesome and I am so glad I was able to save them from the dumpster! This lady had taken great pains to collect these book series over time and they were obviously valuable to her–stored in neat categories on sturdy shelves.
When she was gone though, they were left to sit and disintegrate, waiting one day for a cleaning crew to dump them in the trash.
I’m hopeful I can help these collections find new homes now (after I finish looking through them all!)
And I’m hopeful that my neighbor can now move on. It would be nice to have a new, young family move into the home–someone who can make new memories there .
My part in the story of this house though is done. As of today, the last of the dumpsters has gone and contractors have come in to start the work of renovating the property.
It’s time to step back and see what new life for this house unfolds.