ever since the birth of my babybird, like any mother, i have wanted a little house of my own. 3.5 years ago i was granted this wish. so, if home is where the heart is, then clearly my heart has been at 2529 for the last 30 plus years. it was burton & virginia’s home. it was the house next door.
before i delve into great description of all the evolution of what would eventually become “the pgpad,” let me go back a few years regarding how it all transpired.
i grew up at 3001 next door. now by next door... i mean the house on the opposing corner. by growing up... i mean surviving high school & college, plus a few extra years at 3001.
burton & virginia were the “older” neighbors at roughly 62 years of age, but they were the sweetest, funniest, kindest, weirdest people i knew. their house, a 1952 cape cod style, although “old” by a high school student standards, it was always kept immaculately. i was in this house many times over the years, but never imagined one day it would be mine.
here are some photos of the pgpad as we acquired it...
burton died at the age of 92, in november of 2009, about a month after my grandmother mamie. that was a rough year in general. miss virginia died of cancer back in 1999 & burton visited her grave almost every day after that. they were very much in love & married for 61 years. burton was a united states marine & an employee of the USPS. virginia was a homemaker & artist. she kept a kiln in her attic, so my mother & i own several pieces of virginia’s whimiscal pottery, including a cabbage serving piece & a gingerbread cookie jar.
burton lived & care for the house until he became too elderly. there were several excellent renovations during his time. the house went on the market sooner after his death, then it sat. it sat for three years which was at the beginning of the recession. the house did rent out for one of those years, and had at least seven different contracts on it. little did i think one day it would be our family with the final contract.
i knew i wanted a nickname for the house & began throwing around ideas upon moving in. my favorite was “the laboratory" (but pronounced "lah bor ah tory), but my mum said it sounded too much like a meth lab. lol!
there is a concret slab in the backyard, which we are unclear of it’s original purpose, but i turned it into a fire pit. while sitting out there one evening, i noted we were all sitting on the “pgpad,” because it's a physical slab & adding my company moniker. It stuck & everyone lovingly refers to it by name.
recently i stood at the pgpad kitchen sink pondering the question: what thoughts did Virginia have, in this very spot, specifically the day after she was diagnosed with cancer. what did she notice out the window, above the sink? did she see the same animals i see daily like the bluejay; mr & mrs cardinal; the chipmunk; all the rabbits; the starlings & the robins, while listening out for the owl & the woodpecker? was she afraid or did her catholic faith keep her calm? did she discuss her feelings with burton, while standing over the sink brimming with dishes?
then it hit me…what did burton think about standing at this same sink, long after his beloved "jenna" left us? he visited her gravesite every day i was told, therefore certainly she crossed his mind every morning as he made the coffee, filling up his pot. did he make all of his great decisions about the house looking out that window?
the pgpad is filled with considerable mojo, from which i dare not separate myself. i often wonder what they think of me living here. do they cry when i cry, laugh when i laugh, or giggle when i make a dumbass of myself. are they proud of the changes i have made to the house & to myself.
here are just a few of the highlights of the changes over the past few years:
i hear them in the house, burton & virginia. i know they are here. they tell me & show me in small ways. lord knows what they have seen or heard, both sad & happy. in the three & a half years, the tears... oh the tears. perhaps all the times i stood back up on my own in the house, they were the ones pushing me.
i am so grateful every day for my little piece of heaven called the pgpad. thank you for being the greatest neighbors & teaching me well. i miss you & know you are beside me. thank you burton & virginia. i love you.
there will be future posts to show more details of the pgpad renovations over the last few years. if you find yourself in need of assistence planning your next renovation, give us a call. we love nothing better than making something old, new again.
as always, thank you for reading.
peace, love & gratitude