We knew certain things moving into this house five years ago.

We knew that one family had owned the place for at least the last fifty years, that the daughter was selling it as part of a trust, that it needed major updating but seemed to have been well taken care of. We knew it had space for us to grow (though how much we’ve grown has been a surprise). We knew it’d be work (for our family as much as us). We hoped (fingers crossed) that it’d be worth it.

Most everything else we’ve pieced together as we’ve discovered items throughout the place–keys and auto body shop numbers and maintenance details in the workshop and garage; penciled notes with details regarding house upkeep behind cabinets; framed pictures in the attic; and campaign signs and cards and cans and every random thing you can think of in the basement ceiling and walls.

I’ve said to Brad in the past–though there have been plenty of days I’ve wanted to wash my hands of the whole deal–that I feel like we were supposed to live here.

The guns we found today, with the envelopes attached to them outlining where and when they were purchased, the make and the model and the “dangerous don’t shoot” warnings, the name and address of the owner–our address–were, in an odd way, proof of that.

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Not because I feel some connection to the guns. I could care less (which is probably a dagger to the heart for those who do like those things). But because of the way they were packaged and hidden away.

It was intentional. He wanted someone–and not necessarily his family–to find those after he was gone and to read about them; to know they were his and, in a way, know him.

I said as much to Brad, who responded with, “Oh, definitely. This whole place was his time capsule.”

Given how I document our life, and Brad’s somewhat old-fashioned commitment to building and leaving a legacy for these kids (if they don’t kill us before we have the chance), it’s hard to imagine two people having a substantially greater appreciation for what he was trying to do–what he succeeded in doing, really–than us.

Tomorrow we’ll be cursing the basement remodel and the “what the hell were they thinking” electricity and flat workshop roof that leaks as fast as the snow melts. Just a bit ago, I told Brad–as he attempted a makeshift fix on a pipe damaged during demo today so I could do laundry–to quit saying, “It’s always something around here,” and he said, “Well, isn’t it?”

It is. But I think it’s supposed to be. And I think we’re the ones who’ve been blessed (or cursed) for very good reason to handle it…

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