My last post about leaving a home seemed to resonate with some people. Here’s the flip side, as I’ve gotten to see it over the last few days.
In the past week, our little home has had a little facelift. A tummy tuck on the kitchen ceiling, some botox in Evelyn’s room, and some fresh color in the living room. There wasn’t anything that was drastic or needed to be done – our little house is old and, as they say, they just don’t build them like this anymore. Still, some touched-up plaster, new paint, and freshly scrubbed light fixtures have really spruced up the place. It’s pretty amazing, really, what touching up the scuffs on the paint job can do! The simple element of touching up the paint on the windows we had restored last summer made a huge difference to the “completeness” of our living room. I can’t believe I put it off this long. Or repainting the back steps. Amazing what a freshening up can do for a room.
In doing so, as I mentioned, I uncovered all manner of dings and scrapes. What I started to really appreciate was what those dings & scrapes revealed. Various layers of paint colors. Amazing carpentry work. Mysterious bits that related back to when electricity was first installed in the home. Wood trim in one hall that was stained GREEN.
And it got me thinking – who would stain the trim GREEN? Really? My immediate reaction is to blame it on some awful decorating fad in the 1970s. It’s just habit. I once had orange & olive shag carpeting in a home as a result of the travesty that was the 70s, and therefore blame all ugliness on the decade. I digress. But really, it could have been something really popular in the 1920’s. This house was built in 1909. I like to think about what this neighborhood looked like then. What they wore. How they decorated. How they acquired furniture and groceries. We have a back door slot for milk & coal deliveries. There was a built-in ironing board (until I broke it – drat!!!). We have a brass mail slot. We have beautiful, efficient, comfortable radiators that make us SO totally toasty without dry air. There are old pulleys in the restored windows, which are made from the most gorgeous redwood. There are amazing, timeless elements all over this home, some of which we have JUST discovered after six+ years here.
How cool is that?
So, yes, I have to say goodbye to this home and the version of myself that lived here. But on the flip side, I have been a part of the long line of tenants in this home. So many families have come and gone, all leaving bits of themselves as well. It feels really good to get this place looking tip-top again. It’s a privilege to polish up the corners and present it at it’s best. I just hope that the next tenants love it as much as we have, and continue to fill its rooms with joy and laughter.