Blanks get closer to moving into new houseWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | email@example.com
Editor’s note: Toledo Free Press will follow the Blank family of Millbury for one year as they rebuild their lives after a June 5 tornado destroyed their Main Street home.
Contractor Mark Rigg is still trying to get the Blanks home for Christmas. But it is going to be close.
“We are about four to five weeks out,” Rigg said on Nov. 13. “We have a couple of weeks of painting. The cabinets are in, the driveway is done and the pool got fixed.”
Inside, his crews are putting in the interior trim and as soon as that is done, the painter is coming in and then the light fixtures will go in next. It will take a couple of weeks to put in light fixtures and then the carpet will go in last.
“We are trying to get them in for Christmas. I think we are going to make it,” Rigg said.
One major difference with this house will be the size of the kitchen. Julie Blank never thought she would rebuild again, but if she did, she always wanted a bigger kitchen.
Her nephew Kyle Williamson, who is hosting this year’s Thanksgiving, said he is glad his aunt will get her dream kitchen, although not at this cost.
Julie would rather be in her old house with everyone safe. The Blanks’ neighbors, the Walters, lost three of their four family members.
Rigg said he never saw what the Blanks’ house looked like before the tornado. When he was hired, “All I saw was a deck and a mess,” he said.
While the new house may resemble parts of the old house, which was built in 1999, this house comes with a history that will never be forgotten.
“It has been nice to see the whole area come back to life,” Rigg said. “Most of the houses in the neighborhood are well under way; the neighborhood really looks significantly different. I know the whole neighborhood is glad to see it.”
Julie is getting anxious to move back home. The kitchen appliances are supposed to be delivered the day before Thanksgiving. She anticipates starting to move the first or second weekend in December. Luckily, the perpetual hostess was not scheduled to open her home up for Christmas. It’s her sister’s turn this year.
“We are in a holding pattern,” Julie said. “We ordered all the furniture from a few different stores and set up delivery dates.”
The one for sure thing is her new inflatable Santa, although if that will make its appearance at their Oregon condo or their new-old house is still unknown.