Monday, August 11, 2008

My House(s)

There's an old, sort of crumbling Victorian house in a town not far away. I drive past it fairly often as it's right on the main street, and the town it's in is between home and my parents. There's a carved wooden "H" painted white above the front door, and a screened-in porch wraps around half the front of the place. The lawn isn't much, and the house needs new shingles and a fresh coat of paint, though the red bricks that make up the bottom half of it are in decent shape. I joke with Matt sometimes that he's going to buy it for me someday, since it already has my initial on the front.

All my life, it seems, we lived in old houses. When I was about 9, we moved from a house on five acres that we'd had built, into a home that was built about 1910 and hadn't been redecorated since 1964. Out came the green shag carpet. The cracks in the plaster walls and ceilings were patched, and everything got painted or wallpapered. The plumbing was kinda funny, and you couldn't have too many things plugged in and turned on at the same time or a fuse would blow. When I was about 13, we moved into another house that was similar, though the decor wasn't quite as horrific. (We still tore it out and started over, though.) The plumbing was worse there, and the entire pipe that ran from the house to the big pipe in the alley had to be dug up and replaced. More plaster walls with cracks, more blown fuses. The basement was spider-infested, and the roof wasn't great, but there were lots of windows, and my family, especially my mom, made it our own.

A couple years after I moved out and got married, Mom and Dad moved into yet another old old house. This one was built in 1895 (I think--somewhere around there). But they decided to live upstairs and turn the downstairs into a tea parlour. It took a lot of money and work, but it's finally open and beautiful, and Mom loves running it.

You'd think that with all my experience in century-old houses, I wouldn't much like them anymore. And as long as I have the choice, I'd rather not move into one and have to replace pipes, fix the wiring, dig up the lawn and put in sprinklers, repaint, reshingle, recarpet....

...But they're so cute! Having looked at each of the 536 photos in the Steampunk Fashion Pool on Flickr, I searched for "Victorian" there and came up with some costume stuff, but also a lot of houses! Ooooh boy, so cute! I would move into any one of them if they were all fixed up and lovely, inside and out. (Yes, I have just a few conditions.) The colours of the purple one! And the brown one looks like it has a little bowler hat on the left side there! And that turquiose one, all nestled in amongst the trees! Lovely, lovely!

So I think I'll stick to houses that are my age or a little older for now.... unless a fabulous opportunity presents itself.

And if you want to see a really cute video about a little house, go and check out the bottom of this post from my friend, Carrington. I remember watching this one, too, Carrington!

1 comment:

mikkers said...

I think its wonderful that your family really got involved in every house that they lived in. Nowadays people are all about the new stuff and being wasteful with creating rather than upkeeping. Getting the chance to rebuild and renew something is just as important!