Mera’s House, The Origin Story

The origin of my house goes way way back.  Not because it’s a really old house, although by Anchorage standards it is, but because this is the house that my husband grew up in.

My in-laws bought the house during the summer of 1972, while my mother in law was 7 months pregnant with their first child, Chester.  That child grew into a lovely, gentle, kind-hearted man who I am exceedingly pleased to call my husband.  In 2007 when my in-laws decided to move to fairer climes, my husband bought the house from them, and I moved in not long after.

red house outside

Before it was a red house, circa 1945.

Before it was a red house, circa 1945.

I love living in a house with history.  Pictures of my in-laws bringing baby Chester home from the hospital take on a lot of meaning when we look at them alongside pictures of us bringing our newborn daughter home to the same house. The tree my in-laws planted during Chester’s first summer is taller than the house and has to be periodically trimmed back.

the house in summer

While I feel incredibly fortunate to live in such a house, I have to admit that moving in to and becoming part of such a long history is not without complications.  You know how advice columnists always suggest moving into a new place with a spouse, instead of trying to merge one into the existing home of the other?  So, yeah.  When I moved into the house, Chester’s childhood room and his younger brother’s room were preserved in amber from their late 80s/early 90s teen years.  The posters have come down, but I have to admit that I have not yet scraped off all remnants of the poster tape.

A newspaper article about the major remodel done in 1983.  Look at that cutie holding open the gate.

A newspaper article about the major remodel done in 1983. Look at that cutie holding open the gate!

So.  My hope is to do justice to the house, to its history and to the family that made a whole life here, but to also make it feel like it’s mine, ours.

One of the many fur-bearing mammals that live in my house, Wolsey, aka Meatloaf.

Wolsey, aka Meatloaf, sunning his ample tummy.  Wolsey is one of the three fur-bearing mammals that share my house.

I’m not a designer or a decorator, or heaven knows a photographer.  I’m in this to learn, to have a great time with my best girl Katie, and to share inspiration as I make this sweet old red house my own.

17 responses on “Mera’s House, The Origin Story

  1. Susan Glassow

    I’ve followed your adventures in Oregon, Massachusetts and Alaska, and treasure your warm, stylish, creative intelligences. Looking forward to your opening new windows on our world! Susan Glassow

  2. ccbryner

    Mera – I’m so glad Katy told me about your blog today. As someone who has walked up the front steps of the little red house in Anchorage many, many times, I look forward to your stories and pictures. The parallels between the two red houses and the two friends draw a reader in right away. Congratulations to both of you on this blog launch!

  3. Marlene Miller

    Well you know I have a fondness for red houses… Anchorage, Eugene, Halibut Cove. 🙂 Mera, I fell in love with yours the minute I set foot in it, and Katie, seeing your photos, I’m now developing quite a little crush on your red house as well. I’m excited to follow your red house adventures!

  4. Christine Carter

    Mera, you are such a neat lady! This blog is a great idea and you are making it quite interesting. I’m looking forward to reading more.

    1. meramatthews

      Species, there you are! Check back tomorrow, I can neither confirm nor deny that your extraordinary awesomeness plays a leading role. xoxoxo

  5. Pippin

    It’s official I have crush on you all! I dig all of your style and especially your animals. I have a sweet spot for orange cats as I use to be a proud owner of one. Seriously, I am glad I stumbled across your blog as it’s a breath of fresh air.

    1. meramatthews

      What a nice comment, thank you so much! There really is something about big orange kitties, isn’t there? I’m so glad you found us, and I hope you’ll check back in with us regularly! 🙂

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