Friday, June 4, 2010


November, 1968

Wow...we did it...we "bought" our first home. No more rent, base house.....this is the REAL THING!!!

We have been in Tacoma almost 8 years and we buy a house!!! That's us! Usually in the Air Force you are at one place no more than 3 or 4 years..... So naturally after 8 years stationed at McChord, we buy a house! Made sense to us.....

Master Carpenter was a Navigator on the C141 Starlifter flying to Asia every month doing his part of the Viet Nam War. He was gone three weeks every month flying all over the Pacific. Out of the blue he got the opportunity for a trip to Australia and New Zealand. During this time a lot of our contemporaries were buying homes. We had been married for nine years and I am beginning to learn how to "work" this guy! I convinced him we had to buy a home!!! Before he left for this "trip" he gave me "permission" to look at homes for sale. He also gave me a "cap" of $30,000 ....not a penny more!

No sooner had that 141 taken off than I was out looking...........I had an idea of the area and what I was wanting so it didn't take long. In about 4 days I found it!!! A dramatic, what is referred to today "Mid Century" ranch!!! Called the number on the builders sign and was in "love" before I had seen the entire home. It sat on a treed lot and was the most gorgeous home I had ever seen. But.........the BEST part............are you all with me? The PRICE......$29,950!!!

THAT WAS IT............

Now, I had to wait 10 more days before Master Carpenter came home. You have to realize we are not in the age of emails or cell phones. I had to WAIT to tell him!!!!!

The poor guy..his plane landed, I picked him up at the base and before he could give me a kiss hello I SCREAMED......................"I FOUND OUR HOUSE!!!!!!" He didn't have a chance! His trip to the other side of the world had to wait to be described, while I went on and on about THE house!!! I don't think it was a week before we had signed our first house papers....AND I am still hearing stories about his adventure to New Zealand and Australia.

Thinking back to those days, I think the two of us have to admit they were some of the happiest days of our marriage. We had so much fun planning projects and doing things together. We had wonderful next door neighbors, that to this day, we consider some of the best friends we have had over our married life. We haven't seen Sandy or Jim in over 35 years, but they are so much a part of our lives. Jim is in poor health these days and we wish him the best. We talk about once a year to "catch up" and it is always like we have talked just yesterday.

Jim and Master Carpenter constructed the Great Wall. A retaining wall to beat ALL retaining walls......I think that was Master Carpenter's first project of any size. It still stands today!!!!

We did window treatments, cornice boards, wall paper, paneling, converted closets to work areas, ....you name it.....

And in case you were wondering..................Did we have Harvest Gold or Avocado Green.......???

and the answer.............

Grandma during one of her annual visits. I miss her so very much. An interesting note, in this photo, she is the same age as I am now!!!!
Next question.....Yes, we had shag carpeting in the "family" room !!!


This was also the place where we acquired the infamous Stiffel hanging lamp!! The builder was not "QUITE" UP AND UP and had to settle our claim for a dining light fixture. I went to a showroom and picked the most expensive one I could find!!! That stayed with us for years and I think Patti has it now. At the time, it was very valuable!!!!

The wall book case unit was a Masterpiece!!!! It is, to this day, one of his best pieces of work.

Not to leave the "yard" work out......Look...Look at him doing all this stuff!!!! This is the MAIN reason we live in an area that includes ALL outside maintenance. Master Carpenter did not enjoy this intense, hard LABOR!!!!!

One of the saddest days of my life was the day I found out Master Carpenter got his orders to leave Tacoma.........We had to put "Our Home" on the Market and move to Tampa, Florida. I sat on the steps leading to the living room, and spent a long, long time sobbing...............

We are about to "sign" papers on what will be our LAST home!!! I say this because I truly believe it.......It will encompass all the features that make up what for us "today" is our DREAM HOUSE. I am calling this my BUCKET LIST HOUSE!!!! Considering that this first home was #10 and we about to move into #30 (with a short term apartment while waiting for the home to be built ...not counting it), the next few posts will continue the journey to the BUCKET LIST DREAM HOME!!!!!


Kids...this one is for you. Our famous guest!

This WAS a mountain beaver who was eating our azaleas. Master Carpenter became Great White Hunter and took care of him!!!!!


  1. I remember you saying that you loved it in Tacoma. What nice memories... thanks for sharing. YELBB

  2. This morning I am really having a trip back to memory lane. This blog post brought back so many good, wonderful memories. Even though we were only in the home for a little over three years, it was our BEST..(to date!). Those three years were our bonding, forming years..What's hard to believe is that I was only 28 and Master Carpenter was 30.

    I also want to note that one "design" tool used today as a basic wasn't during this period. We didn't PAINT. I never realized this until I reviewed all the pictures. Not one wall was painted! "Builders White" was a staple that was not to be changed!

  3. Now this house I remember. We had the Christmas living room (we only could go in there on special occasions!)and of course I remember the Fredericks! They were wonderful. Sandy was like a second (much young Mom) and she made the BEST hamburgers. I loved being with her and daughter Stacy (later on). As I recall, we had no grass so Dad or the boys didn't have to mow. i don't remember anyone mowing grass- maybe because I was the girl.We all enjoyed Tacoma-that was HOME.

  4. what a lovely post! One of my favorites to date! I hope that Adam and I will be able to buy our first home soon-ish and that we can have so many fond memories as you both have!

    I can't believe you guys were in that one place that long! I never knew there was a place where you lived longer that a few years! AND that light fixture!!! Remember that painting I did in high school of the kitchen in VA beach with Steve and Kim and I playing cards??? THAT'S the lamp!

    Anyway, great post! LOVE this series! and ps... glad you found PAINT!

  5. Patti....we did have a small grass area in the front before the slop down to the driveway and street. We also had some in the back. It was planted grass with seeds!! Not the easy way today with sod! Someone mowed it...I can't remember who?

    DG...You and Adam will have that first home and you will put so much of yourselves into it....Just take pictures and when you are old and gray (like us) you too can look back and laugh! I can't believe how young we were during the past few blogs.

  6. Who is the guy with the hair?