My Thoughts About One of My Favorite Places--Northeastern Indiana's Amish Country

Monday, October 28, 2013

Buying a Dawdi Haus, Part Two

So as I said in my last post… My main and original Amish friends have been eying the home next door for a number of years now, and when it went up for sale, they bought it to use as their future Dawdi Haus (Grandparent House)—their retirement home.  Since I never show photos of my friends’ houses, I’ll not make an exception here, so you’ll have to imagine a blue house on a hill.

This is out of the norm in three ways:  Firstly, it is not on the home property—it is next door.  Secondly, it’s an “English” house, not Amish.  Thirdly, they are not ready to retire; their youngest son is only fifteen.  They are going to rent the house out for a few years, until they need it.

They bought the house from empty nesters who had let it go to rack and ruin, both inside and out.  They have already started the process of gutting it.  I saw it recently, and what a mess!  On the outside, they are going to build a small horse barn, but for now, they turned the small yard barn into a horse barn for the renters.  There is an in-ground pool that was in terrible shape, which they are filling in.  The gardens had been neglected for years.  The garage floor and part of the driveway had to be torn out, and their cement-contractor son-in-law is pouring a new floor—complete with a garage drain—which is quite necessary when your ‘garage’ isn’t for cars, but for laundry days and buggy-washing.

The inside looks like it was done in the 70s.  Lots of old carpet which will be mostly torn out; the Amish prefer linoleum.  (It’s hard to vacuum carpet when you don’t have electricity.)  Lots of dated built-ins that were loaded with mouse poop.  A balcony which had been enclosed and now is home to hundreds of flies.  A tiny kitchen which will be a lot more Amish-friendly when a wall is knocked out. 

But the house has advantages.  It is large and roomy with lots of natural light, and it sits on a hill where it has beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.  It will be beautiful when it’s done.  And it is next door to the old family farm.

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