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

Tuesday, 6 February 2007


That's "aged" not as in the verb, but the adjective, pronounced "age-ed" (two syllables), a quaint and archaic way of saying "old". It's a word Dickens uses to name a character in Great Expectations, one of my favorite books. And it describes our house. I have no idea of the precise age; its construction seems to have preceded the days of silly things like building permits. I have found a photo of the house at the local museum that, judging from the clothing of the ladies on the porch, pre-dates the first World War. I do know, thanks to R's historical project, that the land was granted to someone in 1828 and a family lived here from at least the 1850s to 1910, when it sold to a family who owned it from 1910-1970. We bought it from the descendants of that buyer in 2004.

Our basement has a stone foundation with a dirt floor, and 4 feet above that are the joists - not 8x10s or whatever, but logs, most still with the bark on them. Big, sturdy logs cut from the farm, most likely, and made to hold up a house. The larger logs are found in the barns, huge buildings made of cedar logs. I honestly didn't know that cedar trees came that large. My only experience with them was little stringy things in hedges.

The floors of the house are 1-1/4 inch thick pine (I think), and the subfloor is more of the same, with the seams between the boards offset. They need to be refinished but to me they are beautiful. Under the wall-to-wall carpet I tore up to expose these beauties, I found a trap door that goes down to the crawlspace. It was one of those discoveries that remind me how much we are living with the work of others here. The house has so many questions that we can try to answer but most I know we will only be able to guess at. Add the barns into the mix, and the mysteries just multiply.

The windows can be drafty, the roof leaks if the wind blows just the right way, the floor has a slight angle to it in some rooms, none of the doors are exactly the same, and it's home and I love it. Of course there is more I want to do here, but I never want to lose the character of this little house. It was, and shall remain, a farmhouse.


sue said...

Your words remind me of a cottage, complete with pokey halls and a fire that smokes... (there is a third thing but I couldn't remember it...)

barb said...

It's 'dark, narrow stairs'. I fear that ours are too short to qualify for that.

But the association did make me laugh.

Jennifer said...

your words remind me of a farm house that one would go to as a child to see the grandparents. i used to dream that i would visit a farm, hang out with the animals, go down by the creek, catch some frogs. come back for dinner of fresh hot bread, freshly picked strawberries and a pitcher of lemonade. then sit on the swinging porch swing while grandpa whittles a duck out of wood and tells a story or two about how dad always got into trouble. and then the sun would set in it's purple sky...can i move in?