Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Sidewalk Going Nowhere

There’s a battle brewing—within the walls of my house.
As yet, I have not determined the nature of my enemy, except to say that it is “of Nature.”

The 1835 house we live in was, as many original homes in this area, badly in need of work when we found it. But the land was good. After all, a house can be repaired--the land, less so. With a stand of oaks behind and acres of rolling pastures, we bought the old farm 15 years ago, more excited about what we might find in the pond or be able to raise in the barn, than the challenges the old house would throw at us.

The two small upstairs bedrooms were barely adequate for our family of four--not to mention the closet problem. There were none.

The kitchen was what had originally been added to the brick house as a woodshed. An unfinished dark room, tacked onto the back of the house, with bare rafters overhead, barn-board walls, and a sloping floor—really only a problem, if you had applesauce on your plate, or peas.
An electric heater, plugged in under the sink, would prevent the pipes from freezing in the winter.

Our bedroom had what was probably the feature of which the sellers were most proud—its own toilet, placed in the far corner of a green-floored, attic-like space adjacent to it and situated under the eaves. Beside it, the only window in the room.
The perfect place to sit.
And read.

We wasted no time that next summer, putting on an addition—giving us the best of both worlds.
A house up front, with “character” and “charm.”
An addition behind, with everything else.

It is in this space between the structures, old and new, that strange sounds are heard.

(to be continued here)

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Crayons said...

Wow, Nina, what an introduction. It seems to me that you have an intense relationship with this house -- something that modern home dwellers will never have. I can't wait to read more.

MojoMan said...

Insert photos here!

cestoady said...

I can hardly wait for the other shoe to drop.

Anonymous said...

I hope it turns out to be not too disastrous. We've had Nature knocking on our door, too, at different times: woodpeckers that think our house with the cedar siding is a tree, swallows that want to build their nests under the eaves... It's always interesting to see what turns up next when you live in the woods.

Marvin said...

I'm hooked.

Mary said...

Ok, Nina, you are teasing us! Your home sounds like it has a lot of character and charm. I'd love to see photos.

I'll be back!

Weeping Sore said...


Ghosts? Mice inside the walls? A hidden box of treasure shifting with the wind? Mysterious aliens and/or faeries from another dimension?

Sandpiper (Lin) said...

Oh, I love this! It reminds me of the rambling old house my parents once owned in Maine. It was one of those houses that kept getting added onto over three centuries. The old wood, the imperfect window glass, the crooked floors that creaked, etc., lent such wonderful character and charm to it. I look forward to reading more.

KGMom said...

Oh good--a house mystery.
More, please.
Keep it coming.

Seabrooke said...

It sounds like you've got the same sort of priorities for a home as myself - as long as the land is perfect, the dwelling can be adapted - or created, if needed. :) I'm still working up to buy a place of my own, so I envy folks who already have their own room to roam. Eventually! Look forward to hearing the stories from that old house, having grown up in a century house myself.

Kathi said...

Don't keep us in suspense, Nina! What is happening in the junction between Old House and New House?


nina at Nature Remains. said...

Crayons--I think that, like many things, the more you wrestle with something,the stronger your bond with it becomes.

Mojoman--Photos up--but, he's camera shy!

Cestoady--hang on, hang on, he's still with us!

April--yes, and something DOES always come up next!!


Mary--"character" and "charm" are nice ways to say, "everything is costing us more than it would if it were new!"

Weeping Sore--I believe this has 4 feet, but that's as much as we know right now

Sandpiper--as much as I grunt and moan, we like keeping the old and preserving it. I'm sure your home was lovely!

KGmom--we hope to solve this mystery this afternoon...who knows!

Seabrooke--we've been under repair for so long, we hardly notice it anymore!

KatDoc--we will see!