Friday, August 2, 2013

Tales of Alaska and the Alaska Highway: Our Old House

There is always a risk when you go back years later to visit an old familiar place.  Will the things you loved about it still be there?  Will the new owners have taken care of it?  What changes will there be?

First we stopped by our old home in Anchorage.  I hardly recognized it!  It used to be blue and white...and I don't recall there being any trees in the front yard! They have moved the driveway from the front of the house to the side, but the shed we had to put siding on in order to sell the house was still there.  We lived there from 1973-1977.

Next we visited our house in Wasilla.  I really liked some of the changes they had made, but other things I did not like at all.  Where our large dining area used to be, the put in french doors and added this beautiful deck.  Actually it looked they probably replaced all the windows to something more modern and energy efficient.  As you can see, they also added a little window in the upstairs bathroom.

The rest I didn't like as well.  Our backyard which was a big open play area with few trees they wanted to make a giant flower garden out of, which is fine, but it looks rather like a wild jungle enclosed by a fence just in the middle of the yard to keep the moose out I suppose.  None of the basement windows were visible as they were completely covered with either the deck or shrubbery.  They did say their friends were envious of all the storage space they have.

When we built the house, we knew about the high winds that came up from time to time, so we put a metal roof on the house and never had a problem with it while most of the neighbors had frequent flying shingle problems.  I loved the sound of rain on that metal roof.  As you see, it is now just an ordinary shingle roof.

Here is the front of the house which is also apparently supposed to be a large flower bed, but it has gotten out of hand.  Brush grows up so fast in Alaska.  The sidewalk used to seem pretty wide to me, but as you see, the flowers are now encroaching on that area.

That nice deck wraps right around the house to the 'garbage door'.  If you wonder why we called it the garbage door, it was the door where we took the garbage out.

Over the years, many people commented about our little grove of trees just east of the house.  Those trees were just buggy whip size when we first left them there after getting rid of the brush around them. When we left, it was a nice place for a picnic.

There where people are standing and looking towards the east, there used to be a chicken coop and yard, pig pen and greenhouse.  Those are all gone now.  The plants in the middle of the picture on the right are still the berries we planted with some rhubarb gone to seed right behind them.  The rhubarb we actually planted in the old pig pen after the pigs were gone.  It grew great there.  The raspberries are totally gone...choked out by grass.  The garden area is also gone, which surprises me, because it was my understanding that the garden area is what drew them to the house in the first place.  Back where we had a couple of little apple trees on the east side of the lawn, you can see the current greenhouse.

Our driveway used to be 'T' shaped.  We could back out into the turnaround area and then head out to the west going frontwards.  Now it is more 'L' shaped.  The turnaround area now has this workshop/garage structure on it.

Here from the side you can have another view of how much the various trees have grown.

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