Winter Comes to Melrose

I have lived in Southern Florida now for seven years so have gotten used to the hot weather. Now I live in Melrose, believe me this is not Southern Florida. I am having my first winter in seven years. The family loves this change in the weather with the nights down into the low 50s or 40s and the days staying in the high 60s or 70s. I freeze so I have my little heaven in my own room where I have an electric blanket and a space heater so I can keep my temperature as warm or as cold as I wish. Now I have the best of all worlds with family close at hand when ever I need anything and the freedom to come and go as I please and someone to take me where I wish, it sure beats assisted living and that is what I was planning in Port St Lucie, if I could find a nice place where I could take my dog and still afford it. That was no easy task.

Let me show you what a beautiful place we have here in Melrose. I have shown you the outside so if you haven’t look at that go to my last two posts and see the outside and here is the inside.

The house

As you come down the driveway you see this big house hidden in the woods. You can see how very big it is just from this first sight. The addition on the right is the laundry room, mud room and garage. It is a large garage and I thought it was a two car garage but it isn’t.

As you enter the house this in the entry area. The rest of the house is carpeted except the kitchen and two bathrooms so as we come in we take off our shoes to save on the carpets. Thank goodness I don’t have to keep them all vacuumed. Holly and Landen do that. I did bring all my things with me from my home in Port St Lucie. Remember this rug, it was in my bedroom there. Otis is always front and center when anyone comes to the house or if anyone is leaving, he doesn’t want to miss out on anything happening. He does enjoy his new home and is very active here. Sally is Holly’s dog and she is about the same size as Otis but far more active than Otis ever was. She is teaching Otis to play. He never had another dog around as he was growing up so never learned to play. Just about five minutes at a time is all he can take, then it is nap time again. This is the heart of the house and is made up of four rooms, the sunken living room, the dinning room along the front of the house and the family room and Kitchen behind those. With the screened porch behind the kitchen. On with the tour.

The sunken livingroom

‘ To the left as you came in you find the sunken living room which I have been given as my work room/game room. That is my grandmother’s drop leaf table I have set up here and I keep a puzzle going on that all the time. I love making puzzles as most old ladies do and have never had room for one to be left up all the time. Luke likes to spend some time with me working on the puzzles. Last Christmas I was given some very nice puzzles and I have never been able to make them so Now I am making up for lost time. Also in here you see the daybed I had in the guest bed room in Port St Lucie. Here it acts more as a couch or place to sit and visit but can still be used as two single beds if needed. There is just no privacy here so it is better as a couch. Behind that is my large black work station and all of my genealogy material is stored in that. The whole back is a book case as is the front leg so there is plenty of room for all my notebooks. I also have a file cabinet in the mud room full of papers and pictures of family. I also have all the closing statements from all the houses we bought and sold over the years. The book case on the wall is also full of such stuff and histories I use for research and my first printer which still works. Oh, I forgot to mention the wicker stand in the corner, I used to use it as a night stand but now I use it hold the dogs leash and harness or flashlight etc where I can just drop anything as I come in and then will remember where it is when I want to go out again.

To the left as you face the door or to the right as you walk in is the dinning room. We have my small table and four chairs in here so you see it could hold a much bigger table and chair set but we don’t need it. With the life style of the families today they don’t sit down at the table to eat except at very special occasions. Most meal are eaten in the family room. Jen, also note the china closet on the far wall, it doesn’t look so big in here and is very handy for some of my dishes. The open hutch is on this near wall where you can’t see it from here. I have a few things on here as well as the other printer. Landen and I do most of our computer work here at this table so it is nice having a working printer set up right here.


Thought the door from the dinning room is the kitchen. You also get here by going straight as you enter the from door. As you see it is a good sized kitchen with lots of cabinets and draws. Putting all my things away have left most of the cabinets empty but they will be needed when Holly’s things are moved here sometime in the future. The wall on your right as you look at it is a whole wall full of five pantries. Those we have pretty much filled. I have the first one where I keep all the dishes I use daily and food stuffs that I use most often. There is one for canned goods and packaged food stuff and one for baking needs and then two for other kitchen things. There is room for everything you can think of.

family room

Open to the kitchen and behind the game room is the family room. This is where we all do most of our living. I forgot to mention the sky lights in the dinning room. They are also here in the family room which gives so much beautiful light in the whole house. I still have not had my cataracts operated on so really like all the natural light that comes into this house. The left hand wall is a large fireplace. It is wood burning and with the tree we had to cut down we got a nice pile of wood for that. I am sure we will enjoy that fire as the winter deepens. The far wall is the entertainment center and my roll top desk and the right hand wall is a set of five doors and large window above that looks out onto the back yard. There is a deck just outside these doors and that still needs some work done to it. The table and two chairs Norman and I had in TN on the lower deck, fits here just perfectly. One day we will have to replace that as it is getting pretty old and served us well but being out in the weather all year round is taking its toll on the chairs. Between the family room and kitchen is the door to the screened porch.

Here is a beautiful spot to just sit, relax or visit when the weather is nice. Right now it is too cold for me but the family still spends quite a bit of time here. This goes out to the fenced in dog yard where Sally loves to chase the squirrels and bark at the neighbors. Alley and her two friends love to answer her and come over whenever we go out to say “hi” Otis likes her but Sally thinks she is a pest who beats her to all the squirrel. There is also a dog on the other side of us but we don’t visit there as the area is not fenced in so the dogs can not get up and sniff noses so they have never gotten to enjoy him.

My patio furniture works well here as does my other two rugs from the Florida room in Port St Lucie. That takes care of the heart of the house. Back inside you find two wings one to the right and one to the left.


Coming out of the kitchen you go left and you find Landen’s and my wing. It is here you get all the privacy you could want. At the end of the hall is our linen closet . On the left is the bathroom and Landen’s room. On the right is laundry room and my room.

First on the left is our bath room. You will note there is a tub in here and I can’t get in or out of a tub so I go across the way and use Holly and Luke’s shower. It is a beautiful walk in shower with a wooden floor so it is not slippery. I guess it was originally a sunken tub that has been closed in as a shower Holly got me a chair to use in there so I have no trouble washing my hair in this shower, This is also the bathroom guests would use but so far we haven’t had any guests to use it, except my sister and she is more family than guest.

We will skip Landen’s room as we do respect other people’s privacy. I am sure Landen would not mind my taking a picture of his room, it is always clean and tidy but it is none of our business what he has in his room. I will tell you he loves the pipe book cases I had and he claimed both of them for his room. Across the hall is my room. I have a large queen size hospital bed here and still plenty of room for two bookcases, my dresser, pillow chest , walker, rocking chair and Otis’s steps so he can get out of bed when he needs to. I also have two closets on the left hand wall. One with shelves so I have lots of space for clothes and my yarn plus special books. On the dresser I have my TV and my heater. So you see when I wish to be alone or when I get cold I can just go to my room and enjoy a movie or a nap or just some down time like now.

This is the laundry room. It is between me and the dinning room. This house is so well built you can wash or dry clothes any time of the day or night and I don’t hear it in my room right next door.

Mud room

After the laundry room is the mud room. This is where I keep my file cabinet, all my puzzles and crafts as well as the freezer. Beyond this is the garage.

From the mud room you look out over the space just to the right of the front door. It was once a space with a wooden deck as you can see but much of this has rotted away and when we came here there were elephant ears and weeds growing in here as well as vines growing up the side of the garage. Those vines growing on a brick wall will eventually destroy the wall so we removed all the plants and vines in here. Now we will level this out and put in a wooden deck here and this will be our orchid room. It get enough shelter from the wind and rain and we have a small gazebo to put in here because orchids do not want any direct sun, I am told. It will be a nice place to sit and have a cup of tea. So come visit me in the summer and we can sit out here and have a visit and cup of tea.

Back of the other side of the main house is Holly and Luke’s wing. Again for privacy reasons I will not take you in there. I go in for my shower but Otis is not allowed as it is in Holly’s room that Sally. has her food dish full and out all the time. Otis can’t stay way from food so I don’t let him go into that wing at all. Both dogs have learned to honor each other’s privacy. Otis does not go into Sallys wind or when he does Sally sends him on his way and the same is true of our wing. Sally does not come down here. She can go into the laundry room but when she tries to sneak down near our room Otis drives her off. This is a very big house and thank the good Lord I don’t have to clean it. When Holly comes down to clean our bathroom, Sally will often try and follow her but as soon as she gets this far she has to bark and let Otis know she is in his wing and he chases her off. He goes into their bathroom with me when I take a shower but I keep the doors closed so he can’t go into Holly’s room or Lukes room and Sally is always still asleep in Luke’s room as I take my shower after Holly leaves for work and before Luke wake up. So life runs pretty smooth here in Melrose.

I hope you have enjoyed your tour of our home. Have a good day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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