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Bettendorf house spruces up with splashes of red
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Bettendorf house spruces up with splashes of red

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Driving down Bettendorf's busy Spruce Hills Drive, you might catch it out of the corner of your eye.

Something different.

Something different about that house near the top of the hill.

Red. Yes, red — that's it, splashes of red that draw attention to a house that might otherwise go unnoticed.

The difference is the handiwork of Linda Mingo, who moved into the house earlier this year after her Valentine's Day marriage to Albert, who has lived there for more than 30 years.

"I thought it would update this house," Linda said. "Make it look nice."

She bought bright red paint and changed the color of the shutters, the house numbers, the front door, the garage door and a side door. She even painted red accents on a shed in back. 

She bought red chairs for the front and red mulch for between the day lilies, boulders and birds' nest spruce on their sloping front yard. And, although they weren't expecting this, they selected red replacement shingles after an April hailstorm damaged their roof.

Linda's most-recent red addition is a new red bird bath for the top of a tree stump on their front lawn. Next year they intend to replace the stump with a new maple tree but for now, it holds a new attraction for the birds.

And, for contrast, she painted other areas bright white — the chain link fence around the yard, the front step and its metal railing and the wall of the house next to the garage.

She chose red because it's a favorite color and because of their Valentine's Day marriage.

Albert and Linda are both hearing-impaired, and both have been married before. Albert's wife died of cancer and Linda is divorced. They knew each other years ago but got reacquainted in the past year when Linda accidentally sent him a Facebook message. She intended it to go elsewhere, but it went to Albert instead.

They got to talking, and Albert proposed on Christmas.

"It's a love story," she said of their getting together.

Passers-by might notice another white accent in the big picture window above the garage: a large statue of an angel.

Linda likes angels and had it inside the house, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she decided to move it to a place where others could see it too.

"It's to give everybody hope that everything's going to be OK," she said. "To stay strong, to stay healthy. When they look at that angel, I hope that's what they feel."

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