This little 1941 home is my new love and hobby. After years of saving and living frugally, we were able to purchase this little diamond in the rough. We paid $135,000 by winning a bid for this HUD home. In today’s market in California, this is unheard of. Can you say Amen!! God has given me another gift.
Now, I’m really grateful for this gift, however, it’s looking like we are also the gift to the house and the neighborhood as well. And that is how blessings seem to work, you are blessed and in return you bless others. According to my sweet elder neighbor Penny, this house has served the squatters, prostitutes, drug addicts and drug dealers of this town. No wonder I always feel off when I leave the house. I love it and all its charm but the energy is terrible! My Mormon realtor offered to find someone to do a blessing on the house and I said it couldn’t happen fast enough. Penny advised me to not put my blue shoes on the porch. Turns out that was the secret signal for “drugs in”.
Oh boy. So, we have some work to do and some sage burning, expelling dark spirits and avoiding any shoes on the porch.
This home once housed a sweet family that was so grateful to have it. I envision June Cleaver brewing coffee and making breakfast for her family, her Ward sitting at the dining room table with a paper in hand, the children getting ready to walk to school…because back then it was safe to let kids go out and walk alone.
Then this age came and my poor, poor house has seen drug abuse, sexual deviance, and all sorts of atrocities. I cringe to think of it…and I just don’t allow myself to go there.
But mama is here now!!! We are scrubbing, painting, replacing, fixing, mending, patching, and planting all sorts of goodness. I will fill that house with good music, Joyce Meyer, John Gray World, and Joel Osteen on the TV, I’ll have blessings spoken over it and I already have my sage. We will restore it to its former delightfulness and fill it with all the good vibes those 4 walls can stand. Boy oh boy, that house is in for some good times.
But first, we had to find someone or someone’s to help us fix this home with its stained carpets, peeling paint, holes, corroded pipes, and fizzled wires. We needed a fence, new doors, new kitchen flooring…
All sorts of men showed up with big ideas, promises of transformation, cheap rates, and said skills. All those men faltered in some way. Either they just never called back or they canceled on the day they were supposed to show up. Electricians wanted thousands and thousands of dollars to do needed and unneeded work. We were getting nervous.
One day I drove over to the house to meet an installation man. I prayed, “All we need is one person who is honest, hard working, has some skills, and is affordable! We are working on a small budget here.” I also prayed for someone that had some time and was a little hungry for work.
And God did provide! As I was with the installation man, an old Hispanic man with a limp and a tape measurer arrived and said my husband sent him. I took note of his age and the hitch in his leg but I figured he had some strong help. He would probably be the boss man. I showed him all about the house and property. He spoke clear English and it was obvious in a short time that this man had skills and knowledge that only an older man that had been in the business for decades could have.
He talked about the lath and plaster of the walls and how the house was built well and we wanted to preserve the old walls, he appreciated the charm and integrity of the home. When I would talk about replacing something he would correct me and say that it was fine and just needed fixing. He suggested we save money where we could. He used words like, “save money” and “use this and that because it’ll last longer, is of better quality but cost less”. When I talked about how I wanted the trees preserved when the fence was built he agreed and said, “trees give us oxygen”. He was obviously frugal and wise and green. I was in love by the end of the tour.
His name is Leo and he’s been working ever since. He shows up every day early and works harder and better than most 20-year-olds. He works alone and that old man can tear a whole wooden, 6-foot high fence down faster than I can get my grocery shopping done. Bali wanted to tear my old walls out and he looks confused with a machete. Leo won’t let Bali touch my walls or my trees. And this makes me love him all the more.
Bali and Leo work morning and night to rebuild our sweet home. Turns out Leo really needed the work just as much as we needed him. He has all day, seven days a week to work on the house and should be done within 3 weeks. I’ll be posting before and after photos as soon as the work is done.
God does provide. Always. It’s just not always how we pictured it or who we pictured. His gifts come in strange ways and packaging but have faith. He knows what he’s doing. Leo is a gift to us. He knows his stuff. He isn’t all talk. He actually doesn’t say much but he’s saved us so much money and stress already. He picks the best materials that will last decades and he works like a young man. He is never late or hung over. I don’t think many people would hire him because the first thing they see is his age and crippled leg.
But they are really missing out. This man is determined, honest, wise, shrewd, and skilled. He is also affordable. He appreciates the character of an old house and he tends to all my trees and shrubs carefully.
Thank you again, God.