Friday, September 22, 2006

It is the houses fault. There is no other explanation, no other possibility. The house is calling me back in time. Creating a longing for all things old and corky. What else could explain the sudden desire to collect patterns from the past? Do I have a need for one of these fashionable frocks? Nope. Am I a domestic goddess? Not so much. Yet here I am collecting these little bits of tissue thin paper, little pieces of history, little mementos from a time gone too soon. There is just something about them that speaks to me. A message they are trying to send across time and space. These ladies of the day have something to teach, but what? The contrast is too marked for me not to notice. They in their heals and freshly starched dresses, me in my slippers and wrinkled pjs. They with their hair sleekly styled, functional, yet elegant, me suffering from a severe case of bed head. Who knew one's hair could stick out in so many directions at once? Looking them over I come to a startling conclusion; they had never been embarrassed by the mailcarrier seeing them in their footy pajamas at noon, with spazzing hair and evidence of last nights chocolate cake in their teeth! They don't know what they missed. I am reminded that I don't either. Is that it, is that what my sisters in domesticity are calling me to see? It seems as though these CEOs of the family, these Homeland Security agents in high heels, these 'let me at those dust bunnies' warriors knew something I don't. When there is work to be done, do it in style....think I'll give it a try.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Funny little things...

I am blessed with a sister with vision. We found these little somethings at a local thrift store, and she encouraged me to begin another collection. I consider myself a semi-collecter. I have begun more collections then I actually maintain, they are for me, portable interests at best. I like them, I display them, I admire them, and then I tire of them and 'off with their heads' they are gone! Luckily I don't carry the same sentiments for my family members. I am finding it easier to love my little collages of stuff in this old house. Somehow they feel like they belong a little more then they did in suburbia. However, I get the feeling that the groupings see me as the outsider. They are the "in" crowd, I am the "wanna be." All of a sudden I am 12 again and it is time to pick teams for kick ball. Stupid clocks, maybe its time for you to get the tick tock out of here!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Reminders of the past

Living in an old house I find I just can't help myself. The house beckons me to wonder. I find them everywhere, clues left behind giving a hint or two about the past and the way in which the house served another generation. Left over oddities that lead to speculation, puzzlement, and hypothesis. Sometimes the conclusions are easily drawn.

The abandons strike plate above has a set of matching hinges They have been neatly painted over, making them semi-permanent. Obviously left from a door that would have led out to the back yard. Instead it now it leads to the sun room. No need for a door, someone decided, instead just the hardware remains thick with paint. I have thought about removing the strike plate and its cohorts, the hinges, but I feel guilty condemning them to retirement. I think I'll wait a little longer, maybe we could just relocate them...easing the transition from service to retirement.

Our second picture is of the staircase landing. A closet rod hanger is all that remains from what must have been a system for keeping cold air in and warm air out. Elementary as this system may seem, it worked. I picture the curtain being opened and closed as needed by the homeowner. Was this part of their daily routine? These are the questions this little house calls me think about.

Lastly we see a piece of leftover hardware again. This double opening must have once held a set of interior French doors. Oh to have those back again! We know from neighborhood folklore that this house used to be a flower shop. These doors would have separated the shop from the home. Have I already said that I wish I had those back...how fun to separate our now functioning family room from the rest of the house. The doors must have been heavy, perhaps the glass wavy. How fun, maybe a new set of doors should be added to the wish list. Now where did I put that list?

These and other reminders of the past are one of the things I love best about living in an older home. These walls have seen so many things change. Some have changed right along with the times, others remain in place standing guard on the present, representing the past, looking forward to the future.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

An adventure has begun. We took the plunge and with eyes closed jumped feet first into the realm of old home ownership. OHO, as we refer to it, is far different from its counterpart, new home ownership, or NHO. Both offer many wonderful opportunities, challenges and rewards, OHO is just scarier.
Meet our little love, Flora. We named her this after her original use, a florist. As we speak, she is a work in progress. Peeling paint, missing porch rails, over grown vegetation are but a few of her special needs. She's quirky, she's tiny, and she's just a few strands short of a pony tail, but hey we love her!
Follow along on our journey through OHO...you never know what adventure await us.