I am incredibly blessed to have inherited my childhood home. Dad even left me money to make it new again.
Yet I have resisted writing about this amazing experience. There likely is no greater joy than having a piece of the American dream. When it’s where you were born as a kid – and when it slipped out of your hands once before – building the perfect home becomes even more meaningful.
Yes. I inherited the same house twice.
I can’t take credit for the exterior. The red metal roof, red shutters, red lamp post, and red railing all were my dad’s idea.
But I agreed with all of it. In fact, I was like…wow, dad.
The man already had been admitted to a memory care community when he gave me these specific instructions. I never will forget it.
I told him metal roofs are extremely expensive. He crossed his eyes and goes, “HA! HA! HA! HA!”
Indeed, he knew something I didn’t.
I put every extra dime I got from dad, on top of the house, into the house. Well, I also bought a car (and then sold it) and went on my soon-to-be famous Connie Contrails Rainbow Tour.
That’s another piece of great branded content!
In the days ahead, I’m going to go room by room and show you what I have done to improve my childhood home and make it even more comfortable. And, why I did it.
I actually did make some pretty smart consumer choices, and I did my research, too. I also like to think most people are shocked when they see the inside of my home, as I lived in somewhat dumpy environs a long time. I don’t think anyone would have thought I had taste in decorating.
In fact, I know they didn’t.
For now, here are shots of the outside of my childhood home. The first shot you see is the present. The second shot is when my parents bought the home – for $12,800 – in 1963. It was built in 1943.
The home originally was just under 800 square feet. Today, it is 1,043 square feet.
“Green Shutters” house
I know. It’s precious. But I wasn’t going to put green shutters and a green metal roof on this time!
My dad added a garage about 10 years later. He loves telling the story of going before the Rock Island City Council for permission. Truly it was one of the most exciting experiences in his life, as was a 15-minute airplane ride to Chicago once to visit a friend who was working for AT&T.
My dad was an absolutely incredible man. Due to a rare brain disease that claimed his life in a horrific manner, he lived most of his life very misunderstood.
The L-shape is born
The second shot is when my parents added a room addition to the house in 1976. That’s a blog in and of itself.
I remember being scared as hell because we didn’t have a front door for a while. Just a piece of plywood.
I hired a general contractor for my home renovations, and I don’t regret it. For people in the Quad-Cities, I hired Andy Love of QC General Contracting. The only thing he didn’t do in my home was the carpet in the front room. I went with Long’s Interiors, Rock Island.
I am beyond pleased with them, too.
Ikea furniture from 1992 still sturdy
As for furniture, well…I still have my Ikea pieces from when I moved to Los Angeles in 1992. I am NOT kidding! I bought them at the Carson store.
I’ll show you my “Ikea Classic” collection very soon, I promise!
I have some other things, too. But I sure wish we had an Ikea around here.
I am a very blessed man. Please come inside my home with me via these blog posts and let me share my joyous journey to home improvement with you.
It’s a journey we all want to take. And it’s so fun and uplifting to write about.
I’ll post again very soon. I’ll start with the front room. Hopefully I can offer some tips and helpful hints for when you’re ready to renovate.
Until next time.
I also write about addiction and recovery (I live a sober life every day), medical cannabis (I am a legal cardholder), mental illness (I have chronic PTSD) and elder advocacy (lost dad to FTD, a rare brain disease). I have quite a story to tell and I hope you will indulge me as it unravels. Thanks!