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.


Anonymous The Decorated House said...

How lucky this sweet house is to have you who cares about her past and yet wants to be the best of her future. I once drove by a house near me and saw the French doors at the curb that I knew were from when the house was built because I still have my original ones between the dining room and morning room. It was so sad.

9:51 PM  

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