About Class Act Fabrics
contact me at:
Class Act Fabrics
PO Box 307
email me at
Linda (at) classactfabrics (dot) com
My parents built the house of their dreams in 1970. They had purchased farm land with a beautiful view about six or seven years before they started building and walked all of it looking for the ideal place to put their dream house. They found it on a small knoll overlooking the flats with a view of the hills all around.
Now, you'd have to know my parents, or at least a couple of farm-raised, hard-working people who had come from large families, survived the second World War, and learned to make it themselves or make-do without, in order to understand how they did things. They had spent years fixing up a big old house when my sister and I were pre-school and pre-teen. We watched them tear out and re-lay wood floors, lay tiles and linoleum, build walls, tear out walls, make doorways and take out doorways, and, wonder of wonders, install an indoor bathroom! Wallpapering was a normal task with my mother and varnished woodwork was common. In the nineteen years I lived in that house, I came to realize that Mom and Dad could do anything.
Dad was always reading the handyman magazines. Mom was always reading the woman's magazines. They were always looking at the latest developments in homes.
And Dad was always dreaming of the "next" house.
So when their second daughter (me) had graduated from college, they decided it was time to build their dream house. It was going to be smaller than the fourteen room house where the two girls were raised. It was going to have a central vacuum. And a brick fireplace in a carpeted family room, and a special window for Mom's plants, and a laundry room and two bathrooms!!
They took advantage of the "kit homes" of the day and planned the exact house they wanted: a split level with 4 levels: from a drive-in garage and a large mudroom/pantry, 7 steps up to the large family room with fireplace and laundry with half bath off to the side, 7 steps up to the kitchen/dining area/ frontroom with picture windows all around , 7 steps up to the bathroom/ two bedrooms/ sewing room with cedar closet.
They chose the exterior with much thought: brick that would last forever and redwood siding that would never have to be painted. A flagstone wall holds back the earth from the paved drive leading into the garage, and flagstones make up the front porch, sidewalk and steps down to the driveway. Those flagstones came from local quarries where Dad got them and cut them himself. (He taught my sister and I how to cut flag when we were growing up.) And the flowers, shrubs and trees in the yard came from my grandmother's house and the old house and friends. Well, they also came from my zealous over-buying and lax planting..... Mom was a sucker when it came to "saving" a plant. And she had a green thumb clear up to her elbow!
Dad had 200amp service put in when 100amp was the norm. He knew he wanted an air conditioner some day. He put an attic fan in when they were a novel idea. Mom got her central vacuum system. When the aluminum window frames (guaranteed to never need painting) condensed with water in the winter, he had them taken out and put marble window sills in. He tried solar heating.... and then found that the electric heat storage units worked really well and went with them. When Mom found that the softened water was killing her plants with the salt, Dad put in a faucet that bypassed the water softener just for her plants. He tried ...and tore out... a garbage disposal. He even put in an intercom/radio. The only thing he really didn't take into account was the width of the doorways. When Mom became wheelchair bound with ALS she just barely made it through the bedroom door.
Dad had plans for a grand woodworking shop and had the spot all graded and ready. But he died before he could build it. Mom had it built then, but a little bit smaller than Dad had planned. She didn't get to use it either. She was diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gerhig's disease, in 1996 and passed away in November 1998.
Mom wouldn't leave her home though. She had a ramp built leading off the deck so she could move in and out of the house. And we had a wheelchair lift fitted on the 7 steps from the living room/ kitchen/ dining room area to the bathroom/ bedroom area. She hired good women in the neighborhood to come in and help her, just a little at first, and as the disease progressed, to all day and overnight. And she just kept learning and teaching others. We got her a computer and she learned email. We got her a fax machine and as long as she could write she could berate the lawyer and doctor. And she taught the women who helped her how to crochet and tat and care for plants.
And now, we have sold Mom and Dad's house. Neither my sister nor I could move into it. We think we have found someone to live in it and love it like Mom and Dad did.
Here are some pictures of it.
|This is 1971. The house is almost finished. You can see the fresh redwood siding and the pink new bricks. The flagstone is being laid for the front porch. Awfully bare with no trees yet.|
|In 1977, Dad and Mom built the deck at the sliding glass door at the living room. The redwood siding has darkened nicely. Bedroom window at back behind deck.|
|1980... early morning looking out the bedroom window, Mom caught visiting deer under the apple tree. Grape arbor at mid-left is just starting. So are chestnut tree and blueberry bushes.|
|1987. In this view off the front porch you can just barely see the deer under the maple tree. They had lots of deer, turkey, pheasants, squirrels, etc.|
|1988. Mom took this view of the back of the house from the back lawn. You can see the deck at the left of the house.|
|1990. Here are two fawns that visited. This is taken from the deck towards the back lawn.|
|1990. The fawns as they moved a bit to the right. The upper one is next to the grape arbor. Trees are growing now! This is from the bedroom window.|
|1990. This is the front of the house with trees growing nicely. Mom and Dad were trying to mulch the steep part of the lawn so they didn't have to mow it.|
|Winter 1985. taken from the barn yard. You can see the house through the bare trees now but come leafing and you won't.|