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— On Friday mornings, there may be anywhere from 12 to 30 people in Sherrie Woodward’s kitchen. She loves to cook and makes breakfast for the Pea Ridge High School football players and cheerleaders weekly. She has carried on that tradition for six years now.

This kitchen in which she now cooks is not the one she was accustomed to for the first seven years in her home on Conrad Street, the one that was there since the house was built in 1972. The Woodwards lost everything but the brick wall on the front of the house in a fire in 2007.

“The old kitchen was here,” she said, pointing to where the dining room table now sits in the open floor plan of their newly-remodeled house. Light from the large window outlooking the four acres the family owns pours into the room. The dining room table is adorned with holiday place settings while the ambiance from a small elegant tree decorated inthe corner testifies to Christmas spirit.

“In the old kitchen, we couldn’t have the dishwasher open and walk by at the same time, it was so small,” she said.

The new wide-open kitchen with granite counter tops and rustic white cabinets was once the girls’ bedroom.

“It took six months - Wade and some people from church and the boys worked on it every day. We kept the same length, same foundation. I just wanted it all open.

Katelynn and I got to help lay the floor,” she said.

Woodward said the only thing she picked out in the new interiorwas the countertops. They are perfect for her handmade pasta, she can lay the noodles out on the expansive surface to dry.

“After losing everything and everyone was safe, I didn’t care (about how the new house was built). It wasn’t about material things anymore,” she said.

The Woodward’s house decorated for Christmas could be a picture in a magazine, but a magazine doesn’t offer the housewarming smells of the burning candles. Woodward makes a lot of the decorationsshe has, and turns things like old headboards found in a barn into pieces displayed on the wall.

She also collects snow people.

Amazingly, none of her Christmas things were burned in the fire, only some got water damage. They were spared, as well as her family pictures and baby clothes she was saving for her future grandchildren.

Woodward has plans for a big tree in the center of the room, the dining room decorations and a new snow people nativity scene.

For the Tour of Homes thisyear, she will have an added touch - Patty’s Corner.

Woodward spent time every year with Patty Villines, a friend who died earlier this year, decorating her house for the holidays.

“She would fix me lunch and we would drink endless coffee,” Woodward said. “There were a few things Patty and I would work on for hours. Every year, we would say we were going to take a picture of it and we never did.”

“She knew I liked decorating.

She asked me to make some bows for her one year, then it went fromthere. I’m really going to miss that this year,” Woodward said.

The Woodward house, at 1766 Conrad St., is one of five on this year’s Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Pea Ridge Historical Society.

Tickets for the Tour of Homes are $5 in advance or $6 at the door, and can be purchased at any of the banks in Pea Ridge, City Hall, the Pea Ridge Historical Museum on Saturdays or at The TIMES office.

The tour is set for Saturday, Dec. 5. For more information, call Mary Durand at 451-8563.

News, Pages 1 on 11/04/2009

Print Headline: What was old made new again

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