I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

old house

I love our old house. I've said this many times. Sometimes the quirks are charming, like the trap door I found in the living room floor when I pulled up the wall-to-wall carpet that had been there. Others can be annoying.

We need a new oil tank. Apparently ten years old is time to put old oil tanks out to pasture (and there's a picture that will make me snicker for a while), so we're getting a nifty new one that apparently will last 30 years. It's sort of the bionic man of oil tanks, but costs significantly less than six million dollars. The nice guy from the oil company recommended that the new tank be inside, in our basement. I laughed.

Two steps down the narrow stairway to our dirt-floored, stone-walled, 3 1/2-foot high crawlspace, he laughed too. The joists are tree trunks, bark still attached to some. The basement always does give me some pause. Given the age of our house, it would have been dug by hand, the rocks for the foundation set aside as they were found, others brought in from the fields or wherever one got rocks back then - certainly not Home Depot or the local landscaping company. I can see why they didn't make it an 8-foot high ceiling with a walkout door.

Then, last night another quirk raised its quirkily-annoying head. Our front door is under the bathroom, and the paint had started to pull away from the wall. Hmm, not generally a good sign. You're supposed to put the paint on and have it stay there, I always thought. Last night D was standing there, prodding the plaster that should have been solid underneath but was definitely softer and proddable. Wet plaster under a room with plumbing. Drat.

D: "There are things I like about this old place, and things I don't like so much."

me, being positive: "Well, what things do you like?"

D: "I like that it's cozy when the furnace works."

me: "Anything else?"

D: "I like that it's on the farm."

me: "See? Lots of good stuff."

D: "And I like that you're in it." note: big brownie points awarded there.

I can't wait until a warm day to open the windows. Spring and summer breezes make this place's quirks all fade somehow. Now about that plaster ...

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