Jack Jr

DustyOther parts of life Leave a Comment

December 26th 2022

About 17 years ago (or more, I don’t know) Mark and I were driving into Newaygo (“the back way”) down Division from his grandparents house off Kathy street (where Mark also did the last part of his growing up) and saw that this really cute little house was for sale. I’ve lived in this town my whole life and didn’t know it even existed. Mark used to drive/run past it all the time and had always loved it. Turns out, the owners were our old teacher/athletic director/drivers training instructor’s in-laws. Jack and Ruby Edwards.

They were a super sweet cute old couple that had lived in this house for many many years. It was very old peoplish. It has red carpet and old furniture neatly lined up again the wall for a safe passage to the adjoining rooms. The attic was not used (the stairs were death traps) nor was the basement much but it had huge garage doors to drive into the basement. The garage was tiny and has peeling paint but a great teal metal door. However, it was starting to dilapitate. The yard was immaculate as Jack spent his days walking it and picking up sticks. He had been a janitor for the public school for years and I guess he would buy a few cement blocks with each paycheck with hopes of bulding a bigger garage/outbuilding closer to the house. He never did. There was just a 3wall partial outline of bricks where it was suppose to be.

We purchased that house when the market wasn’t awesome and we had no business doing so. We weren’t sure what we were doing with is so we rented it out…for many many years. We had a couple good renters and many bad but we decided in 2019, when the last renters were moving out that we would finally really renovate it. Demo turned big and basically we ended up totally redoing almost everything. It was quarantine time..we didn’t have much to do. The thought was that we might short term rent it out or use it here and there until all of our kids moved out and then it would be our retirement house. We didn’t entertain the idea of selling much at all. I decided to call the place Jack and Ruby, after the sweet previous owners. Seemed appropriate. So on Instagram you can find alot of the process @jacknrubysreno.

Obviously…the plan changed drastically and now we are living in the little house. We sold the big farmhouse with the woodstove and pool to simplify our lives as we were going through dialysis and chemotherapy/immunotherapy and then we would assess life later. But life assessed us first and now we are living outside of Hatchers school district in this (cute) little house that, although it does not have the work of the woodstove and pool, it does indeed still require work! The yard is big and the trees have lots of leaves. The house isn’t totally done and of course, all houses require work and maintenance. Mark and I had dreamt of the idea of using the back space of the garage for something extra…like a workout space, or a woodshop…or an office….maybe an apartment. Before he died we started working toward the apartment idea and after he passed away I just kept going. It kept me busy and I felt like I was completing what we started together. Mark and I discussed how this could be a source of income for me so I wouldn’t have to go back to work right away and be available for the kids still.

Well it feels like it took forever…but I finished. I mean, I have some more things I’d like to do but I can upgrade as I go. I did have my first guest who gave me great feedback and now I’m up on airbnb. 10-20% off to the first 3 guests but if you book just through me you get that too. I started the price lower than was suggested to me to start bookings, knowing winter will be slower.

Let me tell you a few things about it (you can also follow it on instagram @Jackjr413 )

The Hoosier, was my grandmothers and now is back in a kitchen where it belongs.

The sink…I bought for the main house…FINALLY finding a high back corner sink…and it didn’t work out so I put it in there. It shows all its flaws. I did buy a refinish kit but the directions got lost when help unpacked my house :(. But its still an option.

The sink base was for the main house but I found something better.

The cabinet above the kitchen sink my mother made for one of my birthdays…from barn wood off the no longer existing barn at the Studer farmhouse on Kenowa, which was my first house renovation.

The wing frame above is from a Taylorcraft airplane…

The cabinet that hosts the microwave, fridge and water heater I made completely from leftover wood I had stored. Don’t look too close. I’m not a millwork carpenter.

The moving island was a porcelain table belonging to my grandmother’s sister, Grace. I’ve had it forever and it was our first dining table at the Studer house.

The bathroom has nothing significant but the sink is the cutest little thing you ever did see. OH, the mirror was on the wall of this house when we got it. We moved that think around so much and it never got broken. OH! and the light above the sink…was in the main house bath…very art deco.

The sofa was ours and although its very worn, its very comfortable! Thats hard to find now. The bench/ottoman was also made by my mother and she just helped me recover it with coffee burlap bags.

The white chair I picked up from someplace online thinking it was a sleepy hollow…but finding out later its a carl! if you know you know.

The dresser by friend was throwing out so I fixed her up and made it the record player home base.

The armoire was also my grandmothers and when they moved to the current farm my father still lives in…it fell out of the truck. My grandfather fixed/glued it back together and you can can still see the crack but it’s cedar and has the original tag on it.

I bought old wooden paint ladders and used one to climb the loft and the others to creat a railing so no one would fall out.

The floor was going to just be concrete but someone was throwing away this just -layed-but -had -to -be -taken -back -up, laminate “wood” floor, so I got it for free and layed it.

I have more plans…to complete above the sink a more united cabinet shelf ordeal but that can come later. I plan to make some sort of private outdoor area with small grill for summer and maybe a small trail out to the creek right from their door. I need to upgrade the door lock to a keypad and a few other small things but we are going to just go with it for now…I mean if you wait for things to be totally done, you will never do it.

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