The Love/Hate Relationship of Owning a Historic Home

22 07 2009

Lady and Dad

Today, we have a guest post from hands-down, one of my favorite people in the whole wide world – my mom, who I affectionately call Lady.  And not just any guest poster, the South’s most recent published author! Her book, Released was, well, (for lack of a better word) released last week. It’s about her experience with anxiety and depression. Go here to check out this powerful book.

But today we have the pleasure of her giving us a little insight on owning a historic home, with its joys and its trials. She and my dad have always dreamed of owning an historic home, and purchased theirs in downtown Lexington about 3 years ago. It has been fitted and previously run as a bed and breakfast, and while they always seem to have a steady stream of company, The True Inn is just currently just their own private retreat for now. The best part about the house is that it’s located within walking distance of Rupp Arena!

If you’re not up to the task of owning a historic home, get thee to one in your town as soon as you can. Most of our Southern towns are just chock full of these treasures. So, for another of our Southern Summer to dos: Visit (or own!) a historic home.

 Continue reading below for her take on owning a historic home.

 Ask anyone who owns a historic home and they will probably tell you they have a love/hate relationship.

 Our home: Built in 1843, in Lexington Kentucky. President Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary Todd, have spent many evenings here for dinner, it’s been a stop on the under ground railroad, built by a minister, and an abolitionist. These are some of the history facts of the house.

Some of the things we love are the history, of course. You can sit in the house and wonder how many feet have walked these floors, how many dinners where families have laughed and cried together, how many fathers have taught their daughters how to dance before their first date. How many moms have kissed their children goodnight and then the parents have danced all alone while the children are tucked into sleep, how many Christmases with children coming down the steps in their footed pajamas and their faces light up with joy at the sight of presents under the tree. Oh the list goes on and on as you sit and ponder what must have happened within these walls, and now we get to add our own memories to the home.

We love that we have room for people to stay here for a weekend retreat, people who just need a little break in life. People who listen to people’s problems day in and day out, but yet know one thinks that they might need a break themselves. You see, we let people who are in ministry stay here for free, who just need a reprieve.

We love that we can have game night with young couples and encourage them in their young marriages. Or youth groups can bring their kids to come and have a party where they can just hang out. Or college kids can come and have a quiet place to stay, to study, and get a taste of home. Big meals with family and friends. You see, there is a lot to love about an old home.

But there are times when you want to just throw up your hands and say I quit!

Every time you think you might get to decorate a room, a ceiling falls in and the money you were going to use goes to fixing the ceiling. Or the roof starts leaking, or the dish washer starts leaking and damages the floor. Or a tree dies (and I don’t know if you have had a tree cut down lately but it is very expensive) and it’s so sad the tree is very old and big. Basically, about the time you get to do something fun to the house to make it a little better you wind up spending it on just maintenance.

All in all though, we get to feel like we are here for a time and the caretakers of the home for now.




7 responses

28 10 2009
Released Released « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] all remember my wonderful mother (whom I affectionately call Lady) who wrote for us a great post a while back about her historic home. Well, she’s not just a great guest blogger, she’s […]

8 12 2009
O, Christmas Tree! O, Christmas Tree! « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] had to show y’all this Christmas-y image of the 12-foot tree at A True Inn. Her secret to make it look so glowy? She wraps each branch (and branches of branches) individually […]

22 04 2010
My Bluegrass State: Unbridled Spirit « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] Historic Homes in Lexington […]

3 05 2010
On the Banks of a Tennessee River « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] (Luckily, Lady is currently at Cracker Barrel, enjoying a good breakfast, and is well on her way home to Kentucky now, but my dear friends, the Phillips are still stranded in their home and thankful to […]

20 02 2011
Let’s Have a Tea Party! « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] mother is a fantastic gift giver. She, even from 2500 miles away found a way to make my birthday very […]

9 05 2012
Distinctly Southern: Haint Blue Porch Ceiling « Sweet Iced Tea

[…] love nothing more than sitting on a certain cool porch on a hot summer day, obviously a pitcher of chilled sweet tea nearby, leaning back in a […]

3 06 2013
New Urbanism: A Southern Revolution | Sweet Iced Tea

[…] am a big fan of old houses. There’s nothing like the charm of a great old neighborhood with large, shady trees, […]

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