The old farmhouse we currently live in was built back in 1928. It was the first house built in Yarrow, the land newly reclaimed back then by draining a shallow but very large (20,000 acres) lake. Yarrow was to be a Mennonite colony and the first fellow that came here and built the tiny house was a fellow named Isaak Sawatsky (no relation). Over the years the house has been renovated and added to many times. These additions and improvements included inside plumbing, a basement, a back porch, extra rooms and the front stairs. In the 1970's the Heindrichs bought the house and did a major renovation. It changed hands a few more times before we bought it in 2003.
Our intent from the start was to eventually build a new house on the small acreage, but the shop I enjoy came first, for it provided a space to make our living. Nine years passed, while we dreamed and planned for our dream house - when the time was right.
The old farm house was laid out in a rather peculiar fashion because it had been aded on to so many times and the rooms were tiny. It didn't really suit us but we patched things together, putting money in when it was critical, but mostly we just made do for it wasn't permanent and would be torn down eventually. We never used the front door of the house for it was hard to get to on the inside. The ivy vines on the front steps quickly got out of control, eventually taking over the entire front porch. We just left it for it discouraged anyone from going there. We weren't bothered by door to door sales folks very often.
The new house will be built between the old house and the road. Because we want it to be as far back on the property as possible the front steps of the old house will now have to be removed. The rest of the house will stand until the new one is done. Today was the day to see what was underneath all that ivy. We hacked and pulled and hacked some more until it was all gone. The railing also got the removal treatment. Pretty soon we'll go up on the roof with a saw and make it a whole lot shorter. Then a big excavator will remove the steps and any hope of ever using the front door again.
It is time for change at the Sawatzky house. The new house will have a welcome mat at the front door. :)