ALEXANDRIA – Driving by the only log home on the block, you may think that Larry and Debbie Hymes chose their house for that outstanding building material. In fact, it was the potential in the structure and the appeal of the neighborhood that caused them to take root in the small community.
“We liked that it was a log house, but that wasn’t why we bought it,” said Debbie, bus driver for the Frankton/Lapel schools. “We saw that it had a full basement that could be finished. We wanted to be out in the country but not by ourselves. We were blessed to find this area with great neighbors who are always willing to help. It’s been ideal for raising a family.”
Thirty years has brought many changes to the home, mostly through the work of Debbie’s own two hands. By learning at her father’s side, she has become a proficient handyman.
“My dad wasn’t a contractor, but he also couldn’t afford to pay one when we needed work done on our house,” said Debbie, who also works in the cafeteria at Lapel High School. “He would find a friend to help him and I was always interested.”
As a loyal viewer of “This Old House” every Saturday morning, she has been a big proponent of “watch, learn and do it yourself.”
One of the big projects she tackled soon after moving in was the addition of closet space. Seriously lacking in older homes, closets were almost nonexistent in this log cabin, which was built in 1947.
“There were no closets in the bedrooms at all,” she said. “We never noticed until after we bought it. There was one that went across the hallway and a small linen closet, but none inside the bedrooms. Now we have six closets throughout the house.”