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House walk features home filled with family warmth

The Ortiz home will be featured in the “Home for the Holidays” Housewalk from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 30.
The Ortiz home will be featured in the “Home for the Holidays” Housewalk from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 30.

MORRIS – The mission-style bungalow at 321 W. North St. has been the home of Tim and Karen Ortiz for 19 years, and is one of the houses on this year’s Home for the Holidays Housewalk.

Just about every room in this cozy bungalow has been updated, but all changes have been done to fit with the style of the home. Karen said Tim’s mother – Gay Ortiz, a professional interior designer – offered assistance during renovations.

Upon entering the home, my eyes were drawn to the mosaic tiled, gas-burning fireplace in the living room. Between the living room and dining room are original glass-paned pocket doors.

Family photos – Tim and Karen have three children, Laurie (Geno) Woolsey, Taylor and Ben, and three grandchildren, Addisen, Miles and Erin Woolsey – abound throughout this home and add warmth and the feeling that this is a place where family and friends gather.

Karen’s love of decorating is evident throughout the home.

Karen works at Whimsy, a retail boutique owned by Traci Tessone in downtown Morris.

Karen said the family loves to buy locally, and that supporting the Morris retail community is important to the Ortiz family.

Tim is an optometrist in Morris at Ortiz Eye Associates.

Tim’s father, Philip Ortiz, now retired, began the practice almost 50 years ago.

The basement is where entertaining and just hanging out usually occurs, and there is an area devoted to hunting and fishing.

Many mounted trophies of deer, turkeys, fish and foxes are displayed, remembrances of hunting trips Tim took with his family.

In another area of the basement, a plaque caught my eye.

The verse “One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things” is displayed on a wall. Again, family photos fill the walls around the plaque.

The basement remodel was done in 2005, and older kitchen cabinets from upstairs were used to create a bar.

Speaking of the kitchen, that remodel happened in 1999.

Originally, the kitchen was very small. Now it is expanded, with high ceilings that give the room a spacious feel and unique window treatments.

Tucked in the corner is a small, specially-built table with two benches.

Karen said the grandkids like to sit there and work on art projects when they are visiting.

The Home for the Holidays Housewalk will be from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 30. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at downtown businesses, any of the homes on the Housewalk or at the complimentary tea done by Immaculate Conception Church and held in the school’s St. Angela Room at 505 E. North St. Tickets also serve as entries into a drawing.

Proceeds from the Housewalk are given to Grundy Community Hospice, Morris Downtown Beautification, and scholarships for Morris High School and GAVC seniors.

The hostess coordinator for the Ortiz home is Dani Christensen.

Home for the Holidays Housewalk

When: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 30

Who: Art Bouchard and Dawn Micale, Harold and Rachel Martin, Tim and Karen Ortiz, and Gary and Barb Behrens will be featured on this year's walk.

Tea: Complimentary tea will be hosted by the Immaculate Conception Church, 600 E. Jackson.

Tickets: Are available at many local businesses in Morris, as well as on the day of the event on the walk and at the tea.

Cost: Is $15 a ticket, which includes a coupon for a 25 percent savings on selected items at participating retailers in Morris from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1. Tickets also serve as entry into a drawing.

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