Thieves!

29 Feb

This is the story of our front door.  I have been eagerly awaiting this moment on the blog.  This might be my favorite story that we tell to anyone new who comes to our house (and we tell it to absolutely everyone that comes to our house for the first time).

The date was October 12th, 2008.  I know this because it was my Birthday.  We had not yet closed on our house, but we expected to in the next week or so.  The Boy was taking me out for a Birthday dinner at El Taco Real in Hammond, IN.  We like to go there on my Birthday because the waitresses actually sing “Happy Birthday.”  It is so sweet and nice as opposed to the ridiculous and embarrassing shenanigans that most restaurants pull on people–and they have really good Mexican food.  We had both dressed up for the occasion and headed out for our meal.  On the way we got stopped at a stoplight on the busy Route 41 in Schererville, IN.  While waiting at the stoplight, I looked out the window and noticed that a bunch of trees had been cleared and some old houses that I had never seen before because of the trees were now visible.  It was obvious that these houses were being prepped to be torn down and replaced with another strip mall.

As I looked at these houses that I had passed hundreds of times before but had never seen because of the trees was that one had a really great front door.  A really great mid century front door.  The house that we were about to buy had a really bad front door.  It looked like this:

Ding!  I pointed it out to The Boy and we decided to turn around and go check it out.  The sun was setting and we parked in the parking lot of an adjacent fitness club.  I stayed in the car and The Boy trekked over to the house to survey the situation.  I could not see where he went and it took him awhile to come back, but he returned to the car with a sweet brass starburst shaped door knob escutcheon. He said that there were two doors and that they were in rough, but salvageable condition.  We made the decision to postpone our dinner at the restaurant until later that night and instead go and get a truck from The Boy’s Dad.

We donned black sweaters, borrowed the truck and some tools, and again parked it in the fitness center’s parking lot.  We got out of the truck and I followed The Boy towards the house.  The scene was haunting.  There were a few empty houses and out-buidings. The soil had been overturned and was soft underfoot and stillness and silence hung heavily in the air even though there was a major highway not 100 feet away.  We entered the house through the back door with flashlights in hand.  We weaved our way towards the front of the house through an old laundry room, past the kitchen and into the living room.  The ceiling had fallen in many spots and debris littered the floor.  We worked quickly to remove the door hinges while the headlights from passing cars cast eerie shadows through the remaining trees.

After both doors were removed, we carried them out the back door.  The doors were solid and heavy and the cute kitten heels that I was wearing for our night out sunk into the ground with each step.  There was a row of hedges separating the abandoned houses from the fitness center.  As we approached the hedges, we noticed that a security guard from the fitness center was parked next to our truck.  We had parked at the far end of the fitness facility and there were no other vehicles in that area besides the truck.  We crouched in the hedges as he sat in his SUV.   After a few minutes he got out and went inside the facility.   We knew that the truck looked suspicious where it was parked, so we made the decision that The Boy would drive the truck away while I stayed behind as a “lookout” to see when the coast was clear.  I sat in those bushes for close to 20 minutes, guarding our doors and waiting for the security guard to leave.  We both had our cell phones and I kept The Boy updated on the situation.

Finally, the guard drove off.  I waited a few more minutes before calling The Boy to come back.  He backed the tailgate right up to the hedges, jumped out of the truck, and we quickly loaded the doors into the back and sped off.  As we drove, I heard police sirens in the distance and worried that they were coming for us.  Door thieves.

“But officer, were weren’t STEALING the doors, we were SAVING them!”    Needless to say, we did not get caught.

The doors were in rough condition.  The glass had been broken out and they were spray painted with graffiti expletives.  We ended up only using one of the doors and The Boy refinished it to match the wood paneling inside our home.  The result:

I love he wood grain.  This style of door was very common for mid century homes.  If I had to do it over again, I think we would just get a doorlite kit from Crestview Doors.  But it’s a great story to tell and we did save the door from the landfill.

Oh, and case you were wondering, we did eventually make it out to the restaurant that night where the lovely waitresses sang “Happy Birthday” to me as only they can, and we relived the exciting events of the night over tacos and Margaritas.

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One Response to “Thieves!”

  1. eric dean spruth ma, atr March 1, 2012 at 7:21 AM #

    I have enjoyed this site… I love living, playing, and working hear in Miller Beach. Thank you for creating this to share some of the magic of living hear with the world! eric dean spruth ma, atr http://www.sacredtransformations.org

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