Monday, December 17, 2007

Fun Monday - This Old House

Another Fun Monday, and this week's hostess is Kitten, who wants to see our house and road. I wish I could have shown you our road, but our neighbor has a Dixie flag hanging in her carport, and it's tough to avoid. Our little town was born in 1896, and based on reports from an elderly former-neighbor, our house was built in 1903. Here it is, in a less wintry time: We had a busy first year as a couple - we met, married, got pregnant, and bought a house. We moved into this Victorian bungalow in 1993 and soon became familiar with its idiosyncracies. One thing I will dearly miss is this lovely pocket door, separating our living and dining rooms. It is a HEAVY door, and it takes most of my weight to pull it shut. I believe the handles are original.I also like the transoms above most of the doors. We don't have central heat and air, so they are often used to help shut off or circulate air from room to room, or from the outside to the inside. There are five such transoms in our house, and there is plenty of room for them with our 10-foot ceilings.We also have a pretty bay window, but it faces the neighbor's house - which is only 7 feet from ours. So, yeah, the view isn't that great.

When our house was built, there was an outhouse and a well in back. Thankfully, we have indoor plumbing today! But back then, I'm told property taxes were partially calculated using the number of closets - so they were added later, as the family could afford them. All THREE closets in our house are the same size, and jut out into the room - like this one in the DINING room. Notice the difficult-to-reach storage space above them.Our home also has the original trim and baseboards, which have fancy grooves and are VERY wide. And need painting.There are two flues in our home, one of which is no longer in use. It is in the bathroom, and a previous owner sheetrocked over it. This is the one in our dining room, where our gas stove vents. The gas stove is our only source of heat, except a small electric heater in the bathroom. See why I'm so ready to move?Our contractor had one of our doors sent back, and when I asked him why, he said, "It was 1/16th of an inch off at the top edge." I laughed. I've lived in "The Fun House" for so long - where NONE of the doors shut properly, the floors are crooked, and the walls meet at strange angles - I'm not going to know how to act in a "straight" house. Good thing I have friends who are not. In this photo, you can see that the floor, doorway, ceiling, and cabinets are all at different angles. I remember dropping some gumballs in my kitchen after we first moved in, and they all rolled to the other side of the room.It also makes cooking fun - b/c the oil in the frying pan tends to congregate on one side. Luckily, the cabinets are straight, so my dishes don't slide around.

The house has the original wooden windows, and I'm sure it's full of lead-based paint. There are only two outlets in each room - except for one lonely outlet in the bathroom. My house is a maze of extension cords and power strips. It's amazing we haven't caught the place on fire.

Somehow, I will still miss it. It's the home where we brought our new baby home - where she took her first steps - and her growth is measured by marks on our kitchen wall. I may already have a buyer for it, but it will be hard to say that final goodbye.

52 comments:

Willowtree said...

Old houses have tons of character, but they take a lot of effort too.

laurie said...

oh the joys of an old house! i know about the inconveniences--we have almost no closets, too. none on the ground floor at all, which is a huge bother because where do you put all the winter coats and hats and boots and mittens? not to mention the vacuum cleaner?

but your house is gorgeous, even with only two outlets and weird jutting closets. imagine! ten foot ceilings. doug would be thrilled. and i love transoms.

what a great house.

Sandy said...

What a lovely look back! Now, go enjoy the new house.

Pamela said...

Too bad the marks on the wall couldn't go with you.

I remember growing up in a house where things rolled to one side, too.

WalkingTheBeach said...

I grew up in a house built in the early 1900s, it was so full of character, then my mom got the idea to remodel and all the baseboards and high celings disappeared. They found stained glass windows that had been covered up by plaster walls. The new owner of the house restored it to it's old self. I would love to go back and see it.

You will love your new house with all the outlets and bigger closets.

Karmyn R said...

Even though you can't take all the marks of baby steps at least you can take all the memories!

Dreaming What Ifs...

Hootin' Anni said...

What a charmer!! I bet this home can tell us some stories if only the walls could talk. I love it.

Jo Beaufoix said...

I love your house. We live in a 1930 property, but our old house was built in 1856 and was made of solid sand stone. You can't beat the character and feel of an older home in some ways, but they do come with some crazy maintenance issues. :D

Gattina said...

The house looks very pretty and I am amazed that it is so old ! We don't have any wooden houses here in Belgium people think they won't last and every house is built in bricks. Now I can tell them that it isn't true, lol ! I learn a lot here !

kitten said...

You have a lovely home! I bet your gonna miss it. Lot of history there with just your family!

Lil Mouse said...

my parents have a pocket door in their house. i have lived in places where the fridge was uneven and you had to hold the door or it would slam shut on you really hard. also having lived in a teeny university apt, you could only use one burner really, because if you made something in a big pot, the other burners were nearly covered, or you couldnt get another pot on the stove, that was for sure, also they leaned a bit so it was good for draining the grease off of meat if necessary, but tough to get stuff cooked... that gave me a giggle for the day thanks!

Fianna said...

I love the pocket door!! I absolutely adore these old houses this week!!

Bren said...

What a dollhouse! I love, love, love old houses!

Peter said...

Its hard to put a price on memories.

M@ said...

U should tell tig jr. to stop eating those lead paint chips.

Tiggerlane said...

willowtree - I will miss the character, but not the effort.

laurie - thanks! My hubby has to hang his clothes in the laundry room - and we put on a closet addition to store the vacuum cleaner and Christmas stuff. Thank goodness for our shed!

sandy - only a few more weeks - and life will be SO different!

pamela - I will have to take a photo of that wall, just for memory's sake.

walkingthebeach - we had ideas to restore this house, too - but the MONEY involved - sheesh! I always wanted stained glass in those transoms.

karmyn r - I DO have a lot of photos of the house, and The Offspring - back when she was cute and harmless!

hootin anni - I heard once it was a doctor's office, and we used to have a "spirit," but it's not around now.

jo beaufoix - every time we had a project, we would uncover some hidden problem - I am having a hard time picturing a house made of sand stone. How cool!

gattina - the wood in our house is so old, it is almost petrified. We tried to hang mini-blinds once, and bent a ton of nails! The drill even had a tough go of it.

kitten - I will miss it, but not the maintenance!

lil mouse - my fridge is the same way! I'm always propping my butt against the door, to keep it from slamming shut!

fianna - the pocket door is my favorite feature of the house.

bren - I love the outside of it - it is toooooo cute.

peter - Oh, but I have a price, ready for sale!

m@ - I think that's why she is warped. Or maybe it's from living with me.

Kaycie said...

What a charming old house. I bet you'll miss it more than you think.

Karina said...

I guess this is what they mean when they say a house has "character" right?

janet said...

old houses are so wonderful. but you will bring the important parts to your new home -- your memories and your family.

Sauntering Soul said...

I love your old house! The oil in my pans also goes to one side and I have 2 closets and a teeny tiny linen closet so I feel your storage problem pain. Also, I can't completely close any of the doors inside my house. I relate to almost everything you said. Except I don't know how you survive without central air.

ellen b. said...

What a great old house. I love the architectural details! I understand completely about the gumball. Our floors slope too!

Junebug said...

I finally have my post up and I took a short trip like you did once. It took forever to load though.

Melissa said...

Our first apartment was completely sloped. There's a picture somewhere of the kitchen, and the cabinet doors are all slightly open because of the tilt!

Your old house is just so charming I want to pinch its cheeks, but I totally understand being done dealing with it. I feel the same way about this place. None of the walls are straight and it takes so much work just to keep things working right. Hopefully someday I'll be lucky enough to build a beautiful new house too. :)

Melissa said...

Twenty-third!!! ;)

Tiggerlane said...

kaycie - I'm sure I will. However, I will be keeping it for a few months after we move!

karina - yeah - except I'll take the nooks and crannies, and NOT the problems!

janet - thanks - and I have lots of photos, which will help.

sauntering soul - not having CH/A is a pain - especially in the winter, b/c of the drafts. In the summer, I just have the noise of the window units.

ellen b - I will definitely miss the little details. I'll have to document them in photos before we totally move out.

junebug - I'll run right over and check it out!

melissa - some of the bookcases are actually nailed to the wall - ha! And you are TOO funny!

Suze said...

Love the pictures and the post!

Debs said...

Your home is beautiful!! Not that your new one wont' be, I just have a weakness for all things Victorian.

Michelle said...

You have a beautiful old house!! I LOVE the woodwork!!!

ChrisB said...

Your house is so full of character I understand why you will be a little reluctant to say goodbye. But the new house is so awesome, I think it might only be a fleeting sorrow! The old house will still be there in the photos and memories you take with you.

nikki said...

Old homes do have a great personality to them! I miss parts of our old 1940's home. You can't find some of the details in newer homes.

nikki

Christine said...

Reading WT's comment makes me feel better about all the work we are putting into our house.

Your home does have such character and I enjoyed the tour. We did the same thing with marbles in our living room, and they rolled forward. Made me laugh when my husband told me our house was crooked.
You do have some wonderful memories in your old house, just think of all the memories you will be making in your new one!!

Enjoyed reading your post!

Christine@ AreWeThereYetMom

Sara @ Mom-Me saramason.wordpress.com said...

What an adorable house. I love the trimwork. Sara

Bond said...

I love pocket doors.... did you have any built into the new home?

COME ON OVER TO THE COUCH AND VOTE EVERY DAY THIS WEEK.

Tiggerlane said...

suze - thanks, tho I realized how filthy my house is after I took the photos.

debs - I know I'll miss the charm - but the CH/A will make up for it!

michelle - I wish I could take the woodwork and crown molding with me - I know it is worth a mint. I'm afraid it would ruin the house if I did.

chrisb - so true - one of our neighbors even drew a picture of it for us - so we will have that, too.

nikki - I've seen builders try to get that same feeling, but it's impossible. I think the lives that move thru these places leave an imprint that can't be duplicated!

christine - yeah - every time we would start a project, we would find another project lurking behind the wall...but it is worth it in the end. Keep plugging along!

sara - the trimwork is one of my favorite things about the house - I will miss that.

bond - no - no room or place for one in the new house...I need to show everyone the updated floor plan, so they can see what is going on!

coloursofdawn said...

I can see how you will be looking forward to all the space you will have. Your little house has lots of character, but once you have left it behind, it won't be a tough on you as it is while saying goodbye.

Jenni said...

I've said before how much I love your house. I can understand why you'd want to build a new one, but I do love some of those quirky things that give an older home so much character. I know what you mean about saying goodbye to a house you've lived in for so long, too. When we moved from the first home we ever owned, I never imagined that I'd miss it even a little. I love our new home, but two of my children were born right there in that old home and that's where they grew up and learned to ride their bikes, and so much more.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

I absolutely love your house. Maybe because it has so many of the quirks I've come to know and love in mine. The floors tilt and corners meet at a couple of odd angles too. I have one closet downstairs and it's tiny. (Only two upstairs sadly).

A lot of the same details - the scroll design in the woodwork by your transom too.

Your new house looks terrific, but I think you're right that that final goodbye could be tricky.

Desert Songbird said...

Cute little doll house, but I know you mean about "idiosyncrasies." Our first house was a little doll house like this (though not nearly as old), but we only had it a year. Good thing - I couldn't fit any furniture in it!

lisa's chaos said...

I'm sure you'll make new memories in your new house too. But it sounds like you have a lot of cherished moments in this one.

Kaytabug said...

transoms? So that's what they are called. My Childhood home has 2 of those in the 2 bedrooms upstairs. I never knew what they were for. Thanks for the education!
I am totally in love with that pocket door! That is so cool!
The heating situation...I totally see why you cant wait to move. The sentimental sap I am sympathizes with you saying goodbye. Any chance you can cut that wall out and put up a panel of Sheetrock?

Kerith Collins said...

ok...i am in love with this house...i want to marry it i think...i would love it so much.
kerith
http://momdumchronicles.blogspot.com

Robinella said...

First homes are special in so many ways. My first was built in 1914 and had the uneven floors, walls, doors too. We loved it and Pete was born there.

Kila said...

I know it's seen better days, but I just love your house. I'll miss it, too!

kitten said...

I have our winner post up!

Memphis Steve said...

My Wife would love that house. She still complains that she misses the house we just moved out of. But she's quickly growing to love the new place. Still, a house as old as yours has all kinds of character and coolness that more modern houses just can't compete with.

Tiggerlane said...

colorsofdawn - it would probably also help if I recorded the screaming neighbor kids, and played it when I was feeling nostalgic, too.

jenni - yeah - I think the memories made in that home will really make it tough. I hope someone makes new ones, and just doesn't trash the place.

rottencorrespondent - I know it will be tough - you just can find the same charm in a new place! I also hope my quirkly belongings don't embarrass my new home - my old home liked them just fine!

desert songbird - you are SO right about furniture....luckily, when we first married, we didn't have much - and still don't. Of course, we ordered all new stuff for the new house...it will be a big change.

lisa's chaos - at least in the old one, I didn't care so much if the cat hacked on the carpet.

kaytabug - if we sell it to the home builder we are talking to, he might like me take that piece of woodwork!

kerith collins - it can be yours for only $50K!

robinella - I will be sad to leave - I hope the memories will last forever.

kila - sounds like you have the same challenges in yours!

kitten - I think kila tied me...

memphis steve - so true - and I still haven't dug up the yard for treasure - but I know I would find cool things.

Jeanette said...

When we sold out house that we had lived in for 21 years I cried and felt like I lost my best friend! The new house was twice as big, had 5 times more windows, was 1,000 square feet bigger and I spent the first few months there missing my old house like crazy!

kitten said...

Thank you for the friendly reminder!

kitten said...

Thank you for the friendly reminder!

Tiggerlane said...

jeanette - yeah - that's one reason I'm not going to sell my old house right away. I can take my time, going thru stuff, and visit it. I also want to see the azaleas bloom one last time.

kitten - no problem! It's a tough job to host FM - and you did GREAT!

sirdar said...

Those old houses have such great character. You are probably right...you won't know what to do in your straight house. Enjoy the old one while you can.

Tiggerlane said...

sirdar - I will...except times like this morning, when the old city sewer got backed up AGAIN...and we couldn't flush the toilet. Sigh.