You may remember that last spring, we moved into the house that my great grandmother spent her days in, with the full intention and ambition of loving it back to its glory life of 1925 (but with air conditioning and indoor plumbing). I do realize that last spring was about a million days ago (1 mil. = 215) and I haven’t said much about it since. This is partially because we’ve been working on it. And partially because, for whatever reason, I’ve had a bit of a hard time writing about it.
Regarding the working on it: Well, you see, there’s a lot to it. And as I sit here, it is literally surrounding me. There are so many things to do, and the list seems to be growing. In other words, this property truly is the physical manifestation of a project waiting to happen. And that can be sorta exhausting. Or exciting. Or exhausting. Depending on the hour.
Regarding the writing about it: I don’t know why this is. I do believe a lot of the hesitation stems from the fact that it really does mean so much to me. I grew up visiting this home quite often. My four-year-old self played hopscotch on the porch, my fourteen-year-old self sneaked out of the old person’s party to watch 16 Candles up the street on a neighbor’s new Laserdisc. (Oh the magic of the home video disc format!) And it’s not just me. A lot of people have entered and exited these doors in a lot of different stages of their lives. The other day, I found a box full of photos from the late 1940s. A few of them were taken around the house, in the house. People that I loved, people who are no longer with us, spent their days here. What were they really like? What were they really thinking? I think about this a lot. For me, imagination and realization have always lived hand and hand. And I’m realizing a lot about my present, the more I imagine about their past.
In fact, the past, present and future all exist simultaneously in every doorknob, in every window. And there are past memories and future hopes waiting to be uncovered in the most unexpected places. For instance, the other day we were working outside in the formerly overgrown backyard…
The next photo was taken yesterday from the exact same spot.
Here’s a better look.
The barn was always there, it was just covered up by that useless, overgrown fence.
And the path was always there too.
We just couldn’t see it.
Well, we could kind-of see it in some places. Sometimes.
But it just looked like a few random bricks here and there.
So we started digging. And the more we uncovered, the more we found.
Turns out, my great grandparents laid this path together when they were in their seventies.
I love that.
And I love that there are treasures to be found with just a little digging.
Do you see how the life symbolism is literally coming out of the ground around here.
15 by 30 feet of fertile, if not a little rocky, space. Space to grow some things.