A long time ago in a land far away someone put this hitching post into the ground.
1908 to be exact.
Before there was internet.
Before there was cable television.
Before there were stirrup pants and drive-through windows and microwave popcorn and phones that you carried in your hand and falsh eyelashes that magnetize themselves onto your eyelid.
Before the very sidewalk I’m standing on was around.
This hitching post was here.
113 years ago someone would ride up on a horse and hitch the reins to the post while they went inside for sweet tea and strawberry pie.
Then decades later.
Somewhere between poodle skirts and high-speed rail my family moved into this house.
All those years ago.
I still remember walking through those empty halls and looking out the window and seeing this.
My mother told me what it was and what it was used for.
She was all about it.
So I was, too.
We decorated it for holidays with red bows for Christmas and patriotic ribbons for all the patriotic days of the year.
I am the keeper of the hitching post.
And the house.
And the stories.
And the befores and the afters.
So I thought it might be fun today to look back.
To see how far this sweet house that I love has come since we bought it back after my mother sold it to the family we bought it back from. If that sounds as confusing to you as it did to me when I typed it, you might want to start with this story here.
Want to see a little before and after?
Here’s where we started with the kitchen.
This is what it looked like a couple of days after we moved in.
(total aside: please go all where’s waldo with that black organizer on the counter. It shows up later in the tour spray painted silver.)
And after this.
Now the kitchen looks like this.
This picture was taken yesterday from the same angle as the very first before picture.
It looks different because the wall was taken down to make room for the bar.
Let’s take a 360 tour of the space.
Here’s the view from the hutch.
And here’s the view from the back door.
That room at the far end of the space is the family room.
I don’t have a before of this space, but picture paneling on the ceiling and laminate on the floor.
We extended the flooring from the kitchen into the space.
The door off the kitchen leads to the laundry room.
Here’s a close-up of the laundry room built-ins.
Across the hall is the downstairs office.
Here’s the before.
Just a few dark walls and that desk which was originally my dad’s.
This was my father’s office.
The desk in the space was his desk.
If I squint, I can still hear him telling me to come and tell him how my Dairy Queen shift went.
Here’s the before of the view out of the office walking towards the bathroom and the kitchen.
And here’s an after picture I took several years ago.
Just a little paint, some measuring gauges and Buddy.
Here’s the before of the space when you walk into the hallway.
Here’s a view of the same space.
We just added the runner on the stairs.
You can see a better view of it here.
When you walk through that door you’re in the front room.
Here’s where we started.
And here’s where we are now.
Here’s the other side of the room with the fireplace.
(total decorating aside: if you saw the videos from the book—this is the room that we rearranged with different furniture.)
Here’s the before of the dining room space.
Here’s the after.
That was a lot.
If you are still here at the end of all those pictures we have to be friends.
I forget how much it’s changed until I look at all the befores.
Sometimes I’m so busy painting and rearranging and moving things around and shopping yard sales that I missed the big picture.
Isn’t it funny how different things look when you add a little perspective to the journey? Sometimes you never realize how far you’ve come until you take a look back.
But one thing has never changed.
This hitching post.
It’s seen a lifetime of stories and it’s still standing.
I told it to stick around.
The best is yet to come. 🙂