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Monday, 29 August 2011

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways. ~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning

I admit to a love/hate relationship with my home.  Old houses demand constant attention or they retaliate with cracks, leaks, warps and creaks.  There is no storage, dirt floor basement and two closets.  Oddities are embraced as the result of a single man building it by lantern light after pulling stumps and working his fields with a horse.  If things don't always line up in the structure, I can understand why.

Generations of inhabitants ruined it renovated it to suit the times and I found it with asbestos tile ceilings, plywood living room walls and eight layers of wallpaper upstairs.  The corners of the bedroom walls were round!  I think that makes them not be corners but you can't call them the rounds.

With two small children, a musician husband and mortgage rates at 20% (You read that right younguns.), we sold a new townhouse in the city and this is what we could afford.

What it did have going for it was this!

And this adorable church!

And a real general store that let you run a tab! 


That it only had a 60 amp hydro service was no big problem if you didn't run the stove and dryer at the same time.  That it hadn't had heat in it for years was no real problem if you didn't mind wallpaper and cracking plaster falling on you while you slept.  But, the spiders!  The gargantuan spiders!  That was a problem.

When my aunt bought me a gallon of white paint to cover the hideous, shellacked, plywood walls my partnership with the house began and I feel we have developed a nice rapport.  I tore out layers of improvements and revealed the high baseboards, pine floors and rough plaster walls.  I left the primitive board doors on the bedrooms though one doesn't close properly.  I planted trees and shored up the eroding riverbank. 

The house, on her part, has withstood storms of snow, ice, rain and a tornado without flooding or shifting; the stout walls shelter man and beast century after century.  The best thing about old houses is that they let you express yourself.  They've seen fashion come and go, hard times come and go, birth and death, happiness and sadness and they know they endure.  I think that is worth the loss of a few closets!

I'll post lots of decorator tips on storage solutions and you can be sure I utilize them all!