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A Year on the Island

A year ago today we were homeless for a few hours. That morning we sold our house on North Oak and we didn’t close on our current home until later in the day. That meant that for a few hours in the middle of the day we didn’t have an address of our own. The night before we had packed our house in a blizzard. We got over a foot of snow the night we packed the moving truck with the last of our belongings into storage.

K & K’s first house together.

After years of looking for our dream house we serendipitously found our dream home in the late summer of 2019. The lot was a bit of a jungle…

But the view…

The view of the Hudson River from the back door.

I couldn’t wait to spend the summer in and on the water (and we did). But first we had to make the house our own – and wait for the weather to warm up.

A small stream runs through the property on one side.

Those first few weeks we had A LOT of help! Friends and family put us up in their own homes while we had new floors installed, they delivered food as we sanded and painted late into the night, and helped load trucks of donations and garbage out of the house.

The living room of the house on one of our walkthroughs (early fall 2019).

The first few weeks after closing were filled with learning experiences for everyone. We tried to make the house a home and include the kids in all the adventures. The adventure part included a few trips to the hardware store.

Four kids in a cart means little room for purchases from the hardware store.

Everyone got to pick paint colors for the their room in the new house – well almost everyone I picked our bedroom color and Kevin’s office color so I’m not sure he had a paint selection.

Dillon helping to carry out a gallon of paint from one of the many hardware store trips.

But before we could paint, we had to strip and sand the walls.

Kevin working to strip wall paper from the walls.
Ainsley helping to sand and prep the walls for paint.

And then we took more trips to the hardware store.

Coffee and four kids in a hardware store cart.

In addition to the floors and walls there were a variety of plumbing projects that needed our attention. Kevin got work using pipe wrenches to open the packaging.

Kevin working on some new plumbing.

We didn’t do much to the kitchen (aside from plumbing) but I let Dillon help select a color for my cabinet shelves – I love my Minecraft green cabinets.

Ainsley helping to paint cupboards.

The shopping trips eventually became more mundane and less adventuresome for my crew.

Ainsley resting in the bottom of the hardware store cart.

After a few weeks of staying with friends we took to sleeping at the new house. But the floors were still a work in progress which meant our days were spent in the kitchen – the only room to not get new floors – and at night I rolled out sleeping bags on the subfloor.

Meals were eaten at the stools on the kitchen floor.
Bedtime while renovating.

The project list never ends when you own a house. However, we did manage to get enough of the list done to celebrate Christmas with family in the new house.

The EFffffing Family by the fireplace Christmas Morning 2019.

The past year has been challenging in many ways. The pandemic has been hard on humanity but we have been thankful to have our own island refuge. And today, today my crew is celebrating a year of owning our dream home- even thought it is still a work in progress.