Finding Lost Treasures

By: Stormy Glenn

Cade Creek 18

Chapter One

Staring out over the sun-kissed landscape, Hector Cruz breathed in a deep breath then let it out slowly. He’d finally done it. He’d taken the plunge and used his nest egg to purchase a home of his own. It wasn’t fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but it was his.

Both the house and the barn needed work, everything from paint to new floors, updated electrical systems and upgraded plumbing. The yard and field were so overgrown with weeds and grass, it was hard to tell which were which. The fences surrounding the pastures were old, faded, and broken in so many spots, they might as well have not been there at all.

Hector gripped the porch railing with his hands as he stared out over what years of hard work and sacrifice had brought him. It really wasn’t much, but again, it was his.

He’d had enough savings stocked away to pay cash for the place. If he was frugal, he might have enough left over to do some of the upgrades, especially if he did most of the work himself.

He wouldn’t be able to quit his job anytime soon, though. Not if he planned on eating in the future. And he did. He wasn’t going to give up now that he was finally able to realize a lifelong dream.

He’d have to start with cleaning the place up a little. In order to work, he needed a space to work. The internal workings of the house and barn needed to be replaced first. He wanted a forced heating and cooling system installed to replace the old furnace, which was seriously on its last legs. The damn thing groaned every time Hector turned it on.

It was a little scary.

The electrical system was another thing that needed to be updated. According to the real estate agent, it had been updated once since the house was built in 1910, but that was in the sixties. It needed to be updated again.

The place also needed internet installed, because there wasn’t any. Hector wasn’t much of a TV watcher, but he needed the internet to stay in touch with a few friends and family around the world. Phone calls weren’t always possible.

The plumbing needed an update. Hector had plans to rip out the closet off the master bedroom and turn it into a master bath. In order to do that, the rest of the pipes needed to be replaced to handle the load.

Beyond that, most of the rest of the work was cosmetic. There were already hardwood floors, but they had been hidden under some horrendous green shag carpeting. Hector wanted to rip it all up and bring back the beauty of the hardwoods.

The trim through the entire house had been painted over in white and needed to be stripped and refurbished. And, the walls all needed to be stripped, prepped, and repainted. There was some hideous flower wallpaper in the kitchen that just had to go.

That was the inside of the house. On the outside, the porch railing, porch, and steps needed work. The paint on the house was faded and peeling. It needed to be stripped, prepped, and repainted, as well. The same could be said for the barn.

All in all, the place needed a lot of work. Hector smiled. He didn’t mind a little work considering it was his place. He could do whatever he wanted with it. If he wanted to paint the entire thing day-glow orange—he didn’t—but he could.

Hector stayed on the porch until the sun started to set then turned and walked inside. He had a small sleeping area upstairs, but his stuff was in the living room, off to one side. Most everything he owned was either stacked on the floor or in a storage unit in town. He didn’t want to bring it here until he had the place a little more livable.

And that could be a while.

Hector grabbed the bag of food he’d brought from town and carried it into the kitchen. He had picked mostly stuff that didn’t need to be refrigerated. He wasn’t sure the ancient fridge in this place could be trusted.

He set the bag on the counter and unpacked everything, leaving it all stacked right there on the counter. Grabbing the premade sandwiches he’d purchased, Hector lifted himself up onto the counter then began unwrapping it.

As he ate, he stared around the large country-style kitchen, envisioning what he could do with it. The first thing he wanted to do was put in a larger window over the kitchen sink, and replace the sink. The one already there was old and chipped in places. Hector had his heart set on a farmhouse sink. He’d seen one in a magazine once.

The faded pale green cupboards had to go. The cupboards themselves looked to be in okay shape, but there was no way in hell he was going with pale mint green. White or wood colored he could deal with. Green anything was a no.

The floor could be redone, too, but that was a personal choice. It wasn’t in horrible shape, but Hector hated linoleum. He wanted tile or bamboo hardwoods.

Hector finished off one sandwich and decided to save the other one for tomorrow. He put it in the fridge along with several bottles of water he’d purchased from the store. Until the plumbing was replaced, he was iffy on the water quality.

Hector cleaned up his mess then walked into the living room. He made sure he had his wallet, cell phone, and car keys, then stepped out onto the front porch. He locked the door before heading to his motorcycle. He knew this was Cade Creek and most people didn’t lock their doors, but he was from the inner city where people locked their doors even when they were home.