Farewell to Bunker

Home, let me come home
Home is wherever I'm with you

-Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Isn't it strange how we divide our lives into "before and afters". Life before marriage, before kids, before college, before a job, before etc. Well, this accident has ended up on the "before" list as well. We catch ourselves clarify stories with "before the accident, we did yada yada". Bunker happens to be one of those before.  We realize our slight obsession with Bunker (our garage turned into a tiny home) may come across strange to some but please know, this place is so much more to us than just a house. It has somehow embodied our life "before the accident".

We had the tough job of saying goodbye to Bunker last week as we handed over the keys to a complete stranger.  When we sat on the porch and said our goodbyes, the memories just flooded back. When we returned to our apartment, we thought a "Goodbye to Bunker" blog may be in order. Not only to give all our new friends a peak at the place we keep talking about, but also a final farewell before we fully jump into the Quarry renovation. 

So if you know Bunker, you can just skip the next part and go right to the slide show. We all know slideshows are the best anyway.

The Story:

In January 2014, Derek and I purchased a property through an online site called Hubzu. The acre of land included a tired home built in the 1940's (Longshot) and an unattached garage at the top of the hill (Bunker). After gutting the home, we switched gears to focus on Bunker. Our goal was to renovate the garage into a livable space where we could live while  finishing the house. 

We did the work ourselves with some serious help from our friends and family. We moved into Bunker October 2014 and lived there until the morning of the accident. Bunker was known for her Memorial Day parties, her capability of hosting 15 people (and a baby) on a freezing Halloween night, sleeping 9 people snuggled in her 420 square ft space, her cricket infestation, her concrete floors, her ability to make you feel like you were living in the country when you actually lived right across the river to a Kroger, and her never ending list of little projects. 

I remember sitting in the hospital the night of the accident and texting my brother-in-law in a panic. For some reason, my biggest concern was where we were going to live. What were we going to do with Bunker? How could we make this place accessible so life could just continue on as before? Now almost a year later, I find it fascinating that Bunker was one of my first gut concerns. My good friend pointed out that we are just "home" people. We aren't necessarily "home bodies" but we love having a place where people are welcome, where we are comfortable, and where our imaginations can run free. That was Bunker for us. 

Fast forward 11 months. We rented out Bunker for 6 of those months and then we decided to put it up for sale. We knew the property wasn't ideal for a wheelchair and although we wanted so badly to stay, life had moved on and we needed to catch up. Every time we went back to Bunker, it felt like a punch in the stomach. All I could think about was the slideshow you are about to watch. I saw Derek tinkering in the house, climbing up into the loft, the endless games of Yahtzee, sitting on our porch talking to our neighbors, walks around our hilly neighborhood, the bonfire, games, and so many evenings of hearing him roll in on his motorcycle.

We know we will create new memories, a new life, a new "normal", just bear with us as we work on getting there. I promise our other blogs won't sound quite as wimpy. We have recently purchased a new home (The Quarry) and plan on starting renovations within the next couple months. We are really looking forward to create a new home for ourselves and for you guys to join along!


So, farewell Bunker. You were a great first home...

The Quarry

As many of you know, our journey to find a home started back in July. Even as Derek was still in the ICU, I was running around touring homes and hoping to find a great accessible place for us. Looking back, I am pretty sure that was some type of coping mechanism. I wanted to feel some sense of control, so finding our next home seemed like a great way to get our lives to stop spinning. Plus, who doesn't like dragging their friends around to showings, have that friend use their Go Pro, and then ask the friend to download the video onto a flash drive so a very sick Derek can still feel like he is part of the house hunt. Big shout out to Ben Summers for being that friend. 

Well, fast forward 8 months and we found it! Honestly, I remember the moment I saw this house. For months, Derek and I's texting thread was nothing more than links to homes we found intriguing. When he sent me this house, he said, "Too bad it is only 2 bedrooms and not in the area we were hoping." We both loved the layout and the way to owner had kept so much of the original character all while making it his own. I looked at it, commented that it was a cool house, and then went back to my NE corner of the city hunt. 

Two days later, we were meeting with our realtor to tour another house and she asked us if there were any others we would want to see. Derek threw this one on the list and I literally rolled my eyes. In my opinion, not enough bedrooms and not in the location of where we wanted to be. After visiting some homes, we made this one our last stop. I am pretty sure I was sold by the time I walked through the front door. 

So friends, welcome to The Quarry. We have some renovations in mind and can't wait to get started. We are planning on staying in our apartment until The Quarry is ready to rock and roll.

Renovation items:

  • Turning the current garage into an accessible master bedroom/ bathroom
  • Knocking down the wall between the family room and den
  • Opening up the wall between the dining room and kitchen
  • Tearing up carpet and adding some type of hard flooring 
  • Adding on an accessible garage
  • Enjoying having someone else do the work 

We are in the process of getting quotes for the work that needs to be done. Obviously, dream Lavenders and budget Lavenders may not see eye to eye on this. We are hoping we can complete our renovation while staying within budget and still getting the look we are going for. 

The Quarry

  • 2 bedroom
  • 2 bathroom
  • 2,100 square foot
  • Ranch
  • Limestone
  • 1 acre
  • Built- 1954
Family Room

Family Room

Kitchen- Original Cabinets

Kitchen- Original Cabinets

Guest Bath- clearly original 

Guest Bath- clearly original 

Current Master- will become main guest bedroom 

Current Master- will become main guest bedroom 

Our beautiful backyard

Our beautiful backyard

Of course, a photo of the outside is coming. I was just really hoping to get one of those cliche' WE BOUGHT A HOUSE photos. So, hang tight. I have to talk Derek into it first. 

With Love,

The Lavenders