Monthly Archives: October 2013

One Year

Today marks one year since we moved in. A lot of big stuff has happened for us and around the house in that year:

– We completed multiple major house projects: Living RoomKitchen (full before\after coming soon), Family RoomBedroomsLandscaping and a laundry list of all sorts of smaller projects. The work has been hard but it’s incredibly rewarding seeing the finished products. Our house will be featured in our community’s annual home tour, with the goal of “breaking in” Mid-Century Modern styles as a viable stop for a tour that has historically only included Victorian and Arts & Crafts style homes.

– We hosted a big housewarming party that we called Retro Martini Night. It featured martinis of all sorts and a big dance party in the living room to end the night. People were here until 2am.

– We were married in August. It was a lot of work but a lot of fun. We had a huge amount of family come as well as all our friends. It was a blur, but easily one of the most fun weeks we’ve ever had.

– Grandma Rynkus passed away in January, only a few months after moving out. She was experiencing steadily increasing heart failure, which severely impacted her demeanor and activity in her final months. This was sad in many ways – my mother and surviving aunt (the other died about 15 years ago), so the Rynkus children – have had significant troubles among themselves and with lots of others over the years, and unfortunately have directed their troubles towards those in my generation of the family. As the oldest, I have dealt with most of it, up to and including the two of them deciding to leave me out of my Grandmother’s obituary in a form of spite, which in a lot of ways overshadowed her passing. Fortunately, the rest of the family on both sides is filled with great people, and Mary and I are very excited to be preserving a legacy here in the house, however.

– Mary’s Grandmother passed away in September. Her passing was unexpected, but she lived a long and interesting life as well. We were happy she was able to be around for our wedding and be a part of it. After the services, family came here to the house for a long afternoon of visiting and catching up. Her family does not have the drama of parts of mine, fortunately.

– Mary and I are expecting – our first child should be arriving sometime at the end of April or early May 2014. (See how I just casually threw that in there last?)

More to come, as always!


Family Room Before and After

This is another “older” story – this one occurred this last spring, but I’m only just now getting around to sharing.

In the spring, Mary’s family called up and asked if we would be willing to host Easter for the family. Of course, we said yes – we have a house built for entertaining. By this time a lot of the biggest projects in the house were set, but only one more remained: replacing the flooring in the lower level family room. Around 2000, my grandparents decided they wanted to replace the carpeting that was in this room. They replaced it with a berber carpet and a spongy pad underneath. A little bit more history here first, though: Originally this room had a gray and pink tile floor, and around 1980 they laid glue-down office carpet, which remained until the berber came along. Here is where this room started from when my Grandmother was living here:




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What’s in a Name?

How did this blog come to be named “The House on Rynkus Hill”? It seems obvious, since the house is situated in a neighborhood on top of a hill. But, it’s more than that – Grandma used to talk about all the things that happened when they were younger and had just built the house. At the time, the neighborhood had many, many more children in it than it does now, and they had three kids they were raising too.

As it turns out, this lot provides a really great place to go sledding in the winter. It’s relatively tree-free, and has a nice sloping run from the street all the way to the tree line in the back – the perfect distance to sled down but not be daunted trying to walk back up. So, the kids used to say they were going to go sledding – “over on Rynkus Hill.”

My brother, sister, cousins and I sledded on the hill too when we were kids. Coincidentally, we still do. This was in January, shot with the Polaroid: