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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Other Side of the Tracks

So before my son Brantley finished his one year music technology course in Nashville last year, he phoned home to let me know his plans for the next year. These plans included attending Troy University, which I thought would probably be a good idea. Brantley also told me that he and Jim, a friend and lead guitarist in The Park Band, would be looking for a place to rent. Well, I know all about places to rent-Bobby (my husband) has these places. Anyway, I started thinking about a way that... 1) Brantley could move out, and 2) it would not cost us a fortune.

Bobby seems to be a terrific landlord. I sort of "stay out of it" and things run smoothly. He always keeps his houses rented, and for this I am thankful. But I did know at this particular time we had this particular house that was not rented...and, it had not been rented for a few months. We were actually in the process of thinking about what we could do with this big, old was in desperate need of a re-do. But a re-do on a house this big would cost lots and lots of time, not to mention the money that anyone would need to spend, even "do-it-yourselfers" like us.

That night at supper, I shared with Bobby about the telephone call from Brantley. And I casually mentioned the big house...Bobby thought it was an ok idea, but we both agreed that Brantley and Jim probably would not go for it. We laughed at the thoughts of mentioning the old house to them...and at what we thought their reaction might be. You see, this big, grand house is not so close to the university, nor is it in the best of areas of town. But it is beautiful and big and kind of conjures up memories of watching Animal House-the living room would host the perfect Toga Party!!

Surprisingly, Brantley and Jim liked the idea! As a matter of fact, they agreed to help with the basic re-do...

which included lots of cleaning, painting, tiling, cabinet making, sanding and staining hardwood floors, wiring and installing ceiling fans, ordering and installing blinds, and mowing. The boys have moved in....and the house is not even totally finished, but it has come a long, long way.

As a matter of fact, when they moved in...the main bath (clawfoot tub) was not functional. So no problem-they showered at the neighbor's house. Isn't it amazing how young people figure out ways to work things out...I love this.

We have spent the last couple of week-ends working on the kitchen. Tonight we moved the refrigerator from the dining room to its proper place in the newly tiled kitchen. We also hung a couple of wall cabinets. Bobby has to finish the plumbing for the sink, hopefully tomorrow. I really believe the kitchen is going to be the best room in the house-if only I had taken "before" pictures. And, we have not spent a fortune...the kitchen cabinets, for example, came from a demo job at the lake (the owner thought they smelled like fish). So Bobby installed new cabinets at the lake and brought the "fishy" ones home where we cleaned and painted with a fun, faux antiqued treatment.

There is still, and will be I am sure, lots to do to bring this grand house back to its proper place...after the inside is complete, I hope Brantley will move on to the outside. The big wrap-around porch could use some help. But for now, at least, the house is in much better shape and the boys have a place to live that is affordable, even if it is "on the other side of the tracks."

Be sure to check out The Park Band...their debut album, Peace of Mind, comes out September 18...


  1. This looks great!!!! I love it! Yall did a wonderful job; looks like a beautiful house.

  2. Thanks for the CD you sent! I can't stop listening to it! Brantley and Tucker are so talented!