January is a beautiful month full of promise

According to Snohomish County records, this little house at Goebel Hill Farm was built in 1924.  Sadly, it was so far gone when we became its owner that it was not restorable.  So sweet, so cute…so unsafe – it was scary!

1924 House

When it rained, water poured through the roof.  One entire side of the house was missing and covered with tarps.

The tarps had been there so long they were unraveling and birds were lacing the strings through their nests!

When we removed the tarps and exposed the side with the missing wall the house reminded me of a giant dollhouse..well..kinda.  You see why we had to take it down.

Being the thrifty souls that we are, my husband and I dismantled the house ourselves piece by piece. It took us about three weeks to carefully remove every salvageable piece of  lumber, siding, and architectural element we thought we may be able to re-purpose later.  When we crawled up the narrow staircase to the second floor to salvage flooring for the barn loft, my heart skipped a beat! Out under the eave were several forgotten canning jars someone had stored in the attic many, many years before. Everything was thick with moss and debris.

This is where we found the Canning Jars! See them there in the attic?

We scooted back down the staircase to figure out a way to retrieve them without falling through the ceiling.   We found a long pole and I stood on the hillside adjacent to the side of the house with no wall and poked around in the pile of jars.  I maneuvered them out of the attic on the end of the pole, one by one, while my brave husband stood below the rickety house and caught each jar.  We managed to save over 60 beautiful blue glass canning jars and a pile of zinc lids with milk glass inserts. These gorgeous jars tug at my heart when I think that some woman worked hard to fill them all each fall to help keep her family fed through the winter.  How can you not admire that?

You hear that the past was a simpler time, but as Hal and I sort through the clues left at Goebel Hill Farm over the last 90 years , I am awed by the amount of effort and commitment it took for people to survive from year to year.

I am starting this new year full of hope that my life will be as meaningful as the woman who filled these jars each year to feed the people she loved.  I hope you have an equally inspired New Year.

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