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[Quiet Thoughts] The Power of a Fresh “New” Look…

3 years ago

1173 words

Photo: The Azaleas were a big surprise this season. They didn’t last very long, so I didn’t get a good picture of them in full bloom. Oh well…

 

I’ve been excited about writing this post since Tuesday. I’m just going to share my cool awesome surprise and then start yapping away. Let’s do it.

Check these out.

This is one of the oldest pictures of the house... pre-porch being screened in. This was probably taken in 1930 if not before... my neighbor couldn't recall. Believe it or not, that's her mother and grandmother standing on that porch. Cool, right!?
This is one of the oldest pictures of the house… pre-porch being screened in. This was probably taken in the 1920’s (the house was built in 1914ish)… my neighbor couldn’t recall. She told me that her mother and grandmother are in this photo.

 

This is the house in a picture taken circa 1935. The house isn't "new" in this picture--somewhere around 15ish years old by this point.
This is the house in a picture taken circa 1935. The house isn’t “new” in this picture–somewhere around 15ish years old by this point.

 

A closer view of the house and the porch after it had been closed in.
A closer view of the house and the porch after it had been closed in. The house doesn’t have shutters anymore, and it makes me really sad. They add so much charm and life. I asked my neighbor if the house was white at the time (as the photo suggests) and she said yes. I don’t know what color the shutters were. She said that her mother got rid of them because they are a pain in the butt to clean and attracted bees to build hives in them… I feel like it would be worth it to pursue finding some and putting them up.

 

That is the barn, attached to an outhouse for what is now my neighbor's house. The outhouse is long gone... so is the window! Whaa? According to my neighbor, there was a beautiful sleigh in there. Never any horses, to her knowledge. They used to store a huge horse-drawn sleigh in their and their car.
That is the barn, attached to an outhouse for what is now my neighbor’s house. The outhouse is long gone… so is the window! Whaa? According to my neighbor, there was a beautiful sleigh in there. Never any horses, to her knowledge. They used to store a huge horse-drawn sleigh in their and their car.

 

This is a closeup of a pretty garden that the original owners of this home had in the middle of our yard.
This is a closeup of a pretty garden that the original owners of this home had in the middle of our yard.

 

I’ve written this before, but my next door neighbor was actually born in my house. Her family had owned it for a century before it was finally sold to us. In her mid-80s, the woman next door is so very sweet and kind, but she has trouble walking, so I rarely get to see her. After school on Tuesday, the boys decided that they wanted to play in the front yard so I got out my project basket to get a few rows of knitting in. Next thing I know, here comes my dear neighbor with a gift bag and a large manila envelope.

Of course, this was the day when my house was a total and unprecedented disaster, as we were still recovering from our travel to Maryland. But still, because I didn’t know when next I’d have the opportunity, I invited her to come in to see the work that we had done. Seriously–the floors hadn’t been swept, there was laundry piled in the living room chair, there were toys everywhere… that woman thinks we’re a slob, I’m sure. I just couldn’t stop apologizing in embarrassment, and she really didn’t seem to care. She didn’t get up the second floor, but she was impressed with what we’d done with the kitchen, dining room and playroom. The kitchen, especially, surprised her.

She told me that the windows in the 3-season porch (now the playroom) used to open back in the day. They used to sleep down there in the summer time and let the nice breeze roll over them. The hinges and whatnot are long gone, and the windows are sealed by paint… so I don’t know how possible it would be to make that happen again. We spoke about the possibilities for a few minutes before she decided to sit down and hand me the gift bag.

She’d framed the pictures of the barn with the out-house, the pretty garden with the bird bath, and the picture of the house with the front porch open.  I was so excited and amazed for words. She explained that the front yard had a driveway that wrapped all the way around the front yard toward the barn. The yard had two beautiful apple trees that the my neighbor and her siblings used to climb. She showed me one more picture that she didn’t let me keep: the two trees twisted and destroyed by The Great New England Hurricane of 1938. She was 6 years old when the hurricane came through, and picture featured her, her sister and her brother standing next to the mangled mess. The house was still standing, though, unharmed.

I am so grateful for these pictures because it is so nice to see this house in its former glory. It looks so proud and beautiful.  Not a lot has changed about the house itself, though change has happened all around it. It’s wonderful to see it for what it was, appreciate it for what it is, and dream about what it can be again.

And so my Quiet Thoughts are about inspiration and the energy that it can give you. I’ve been looking at this house differently all week long, even in my frustration and exhaustion over the lead problem. These pictures make me love this house all the more and make me dream of what it was, is, and can be. It makes me appreciate time.  My Quiet Thoughts are also about what happens when you choose to open the door and let something new in. I feel like gifts like this come early and often in our days, not always wrapped and framed, but sometimes whispered or flashed before us. How receptive are we to the little pokes at the heart and soul that the universe likes to send us?

It is yet another cold and rainy Friday in Massachusetts. On this day, I wish you better weather than what I’m experiencing. As a matter of fact, I wish you toes in cool sand, and a sun setting over water on the western horizon. I wish you your favorite pullover, a fire burning, the plucking of guitar strings and the sound of crashing waves. Or maybe the sound of crickets chirping in the moonlight, the flash of the first fireflies just outside your window. I wish you the sweetness of your first summer peach, the salty delight of your first summer corn, and the heavenly scent of smoked brisket in your nostrils. I wish you the screams of delight at a summer fair, the crunch of a candied apple, the the sizzle of half-smoke that you know you shouldn’t eat (but you’re totally gonna). I wish you an invitation to tea that turns into an afternoon of giggles and gossip. I wish you a sincere moment of connection, an epiphany realized through a good and honest talk.

I wish you a weekend full of joy. And love. And Summer Peace.

Until Monday, take care.

12 Replies to “[Quiet Thoughts] The Power of a Fresh “New” Look…”

    1. This is pretty special! I mean, we were already attracted to the house because of the charm and the history… but to have it solidified like this is really something special. It takes away a chunk of the frustration I’m feeling about the lead and puts back in that dreamer’s optimism that I was feeling at the beginning of this journal. I guess we need a reboot from time to time, you know?

      I hope that you have a most excellent weekend planned, missy!

      By the by, my pachysandra is living, but my herbs in the pots are dying… at least the sage is, anyway… it has been hella cloudy and gross around here. Do you think it’s straight up lack of sunlight?

      1. Hard to say without seeing them. Too much water? Water once or twice a week, maybe a cup or two depending on the size of the pot? Sage and lavender can handle drought.

        Keep soil moist and well drained for most plants–if soggy or always wet, they can root rot.

        Since they’re in pots, move ’em to a brighter spot if necessary. Overcast light shouldn’t bother them as long as it’s bright.

        Oh and don’t let me get too cold. You should be okay up there by now. And ideal 70′ is nice.

        Sorry I can’t offer more.

        Pachysandra’s are fairly tough. Stick it in the ground and forget it. They’re pretty though. I loved mine to pieces.

        1. ohhhh….. once a WEEK, you say??

          Not once a DAY?? Like I was TOTALLY doing???

          Yeah… I looked at the soil and it’s….uh…. dirt soup….

          yeah….

          So the sage is dead. Totally dead. The lavender is dead too.. Oregano, Basil, and Thyme seem to be ok. Gonna stop watering them, like, now.

          Annnnndddd buy more sage seeds. The lavender was just whimsy…

  1. I love reading your blog and I love your beautiful house. What s lovely post! Wishing you a lovely weekend with your family. Hugs from my house to your house xxx

    1. Thank you and thank you! I’m so excited that you found me! And thank you for the digital hugs because we NEED them right now! We return our warmth and well wishes to you and yours as well. 🙂

  2. WOW! I would LOVE to have photos of my house from the very beginning. You are so lucky to have those. And, start looking for some shutters. I love how it makes the house look! So pretty. And, a sleigh? Coolness.

    1. Hey thanks, darling! It’s so nice to have these. I gave them to my other neighbor who is now like “I will examine these and scan them and get you more history” So… uh… the plot thickens? I’m worried that this is going to get weird and I’m going to find out that there is an ancient burial ground in my backyard or something…

      Gonna pop by your blog this week to say hello because I haven’t in a long while and I totally suck. Hopefully, this will be a “normal” week full of “normal” time and thus READING opportunity as opposed to just writing!

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