Building forever with your soul mate

From Bill & Bruces' move to their new house, here are the fireplace before & after pics. Photo by Bruce Hartley.

By Bruce Hartley
Life Columnist

A house is not a home until you make it your own. A phrase I heard along the way during my 50-something life journey.

Last November, my fiancé Bill and I purchased a cute bungalow home in Claremore, Oklahoma, with plans to make it our together home. Bill stayed in Missouri to see his youngest son graduate from high school, so we knew I would be living in the new home alone for a while. He also needed to sell his Missouri home before he could move to Oklahoma.

Good news, his home is now under contract with a closing date in July. This sale is big news for us. After a five-year long-distance courtship two hours apart, we will finally be making our corner of Claremore our own together home.

A few weeks ago, we began renovating our Claremore home that was built in 1949 (with additions in 1970 and 1980). This home was owned by a single family before us, and we are excited to make new memories and traditions as the official second owners.

Bill and I both love flowers, and the original owners left the yard full of lovely landscaping and gardens. Perfect for us!

Home renovation is a new thing for me, and I wondered if it would be a test for our five-year relationship. Luckily, we have similar taste in home décor. Yes, we are fans on HTV and the many fixer-upper shows. Our décor style is farmhouse retro chic.

The first thing we did was our paint shopping. We have dark wood 70s paneling in the kitchen, laundry room, and two guest bedrooms. We also have a red brick fireplace in the country kitchen. We decided to start in the kitchen by painting the fireplace and wood paneling two different shades of white.

My advice for couples- figure out who likes to do what. I am a detail-oriented person. Bill is the big picture guy, and he likes to cover big areas with the paint roller. We knocked out the kitchen and laundry room in two days. We learned we work well together.

For us, working well together is a blessing since we are engaged to get married on New Year’s Day 2020.

The next job we tackled was removing carpet from a guest bedroom. The guest bedrooms and living room are in the 1949 part of the home. As we pulled up carpet, we discovered original hardwood floors that were in awesome condition. Pulling up the carpet was a dirty/tedious job as we had to pull up staples, wood tacking strips and nails. After cutting and removing the carpet and pad, Bill pulled up wood tacking, and I followed pulling staples and nails. Again, another successful project in which we both had jobs to do and our teamwork was flawless.

We started this start of our renovation over a three-day weekend and even had time to meet with a prospective handyman about some construction we can’t do ourselves. Meeting this person made me very happy and excited for additional home renovations as we prepare for Bill to move in during July.

The next test for us is packing, loading, and moving his accumulated household of nearly 20 years from Missouri to Oklahoma in the summer heat. This task will be a big undertaking for us, but I am confident it will only make us stronger as a couple. We will decide who does what job in the move, and that will be the key to success along with positive communication.

We will share more tips on home renovations and living together in the coming months as we journey to our wedding day, honeymoon and reception.

Please know we all can find love and begin a forever journey at any age. Don’t give up. We all deserve to find our forever person…and home.  

Copyright The Gayly. 7/17//2019 @10:22 p.m. CST.