January 4, 1913
Living in an old house poses challenges. I have friends who have bought old homes and barreled right in and updated, and brought many changes to their “new” homes. In a way I am jealous, they have storage, they tore out walls, and they have settled right in. Our house, built by my grandfather has always had a someone who quashed any progress. This time it has been me stopping Hangdog. Before that it was my dad stopping my mom, and before that it was my widowed grandmother stopping her first-born son, my dad. The board in front of the sink is worn like an old stanchion – its silky smooth feel is comforting to me, to Hangdog it is a board, or actually a stumbling block. But gradually, I am getting over the feeling that I am destroying something by making my own changes. This weekend I tore down a wall figuratively and literally, I pulled square nails that my grandfather had hammered in place in 1881.
We need to re-wire and weatherize the whole house, but living in the house while working on it is a major pain. The first order of business was putting in a new service so the work could be done independently of the old system. And since we wanted to do this once, we plan, plan, plan. Preliminary work this summer involved putting in the underground conduit and pulling wires to the shop and the house. Now the inside stuff begins. I am not doing the wiring, I have the job of deciding what stays and goes. Trust me 100+ years in one place means lots of stuff. Add in that hubby and I are collectors. So since before Christmas I have been going through things that need to go. All the chairs I bought to re-cane have found new homes. I know I will most likely never cane a chair again, and if I need to make repairs I can. It feels good to purge, but just once in a while it is fun to stop and peruse some of the ephemera that has in fact survived by chance.
As small as your note book and tells the story better. I agree, I think my pictures sometimes convey what I want to say much better than I can set down to paper.
When I see the moon, I feel a connection with the farmers that have walked here before me. The routines have remained the same, the tools have changed a little, but not really so much. Trailing into the canyon to check the spring, milking a cow by hand, or splitting wood for the cookstove while waiting for the Chinook wind to warm us up probably is exactly the same, and from the looks of the 1913 weekly Farm and Fireside, the more things change – the more they stay the same.