Walking into the house in Idaho in June of 2021 while my Mom was in the hospital felt weird. We had been in the home without Mom, but this felt different. I didn’t “feel” her. The house also didn’t feel like the house I knew. Fast forward a bit, and we have started the clean-up and repairs the house needs and named her Idaho Deer Haven. The home feels better and closer to what it used to feel like. Just different.
I started to write about the master suite room first for a series of posts about the Idaho home, but it felt wrong to start there. So instead, I decided to backtrack and start with where it all started.
Walking Back Into Idaho Deer Haven
Of course, it wasn’t named at first Idaho Deer Haven. It was simply Mom’s house. No, not home. Home is a weird term for me. The trailer I grew up in still had that home feel base to me even though we moved from in 1997. After we moved in with Gene at his house on Cedar. Later Mom & Gene bought and built this home. I never lived in it. Yet we visited often, mainly when we still lived in Coeur d’Alene. So I guess it was a home of sorts in the long run.
We visited when Mom was in the hospital to try and find her checkbook, bills, etc., so I could pay them. The house was awful, though. Mom had always been somewhat of a hoarder (but at a clean hoarder level, if that makes sense), but this was overboard and dirty. And I was just sad, especially when I saw the stockpile of beer. We got what we needed and left pretty quickly. Tim, her boyfriend, was still alive and living there. We didn’t have a problem with him living there since it meant someone was there.
We returned in September (2021), right before Tim went into hospice himself. And found a massive leak down in the garage. Now there were cigarette butts all over the house to add to everything else. I was so overwhelmed by the state of the house. Mom passed in July, and Tim passed away in October. The house mess was now all ours.
Getting the house in order
Over the last year plus, we took many trips to Idaho. Often a week at a time, which was helpful. Some were part of Jason’s FMLA, and some were his vacation time. We spent a lot of time at the house and never felt like we were making much progress because it was all so overwhelming.
We took our air mattress and slept in the living room when we started going over because the rest of the house needed super cleaned and cleared out. The living room was pretty easy to clean; it wasn’t awful. Bit by bit, we got it done. Our first real dive was the master suite room so that we could get out of sleeping in the living room & have a space to relax a bit more.
After that, I feel like we poked here and there. Until we planned the Celebration of Life for Mom & Lily in September of 2022, the week plus we were over for that, we made a huge push and finally got a yard sale and the other two bedrooms useable.
More to Come
There is still so much to do for the house before I feel we can start renting it out as a vacation rental, but at least now, I think it’s useable, and we can have people over, which is nice. I am excited to share all the progress with you, and maybe some of you will want to rent out the house once we get it up and running!
Walking back into the Idaho Deer Haven home was overwhelming and sad. Thankfully, it’s getting better and feeling like a home we enjoy. I can’t see what we achieve with it.