Wednesday, February 10, 2010
This Old House
Many of you know that we live in this old 1800's farmhouse and are in the process of restoring it. Sounds romantic, doesn't it? An old farmhouse with original heartpine wood walls, ceilings and a lot of history with family that grew up in it who lives nearby to tell you what went on here from the time their parents bought it to now. Many tales and memories that have been had here. Many dreams fulfilled, and some lost. Tales of buried bodies from ages past and the little man that lives upstairs (he passed away years ago and only bothers those he wants to). It is tucked away on a small acreage. A little rural area where the house is not easily seen from the road in the summer unless you are looking for it. A place to have farm animals and to usually enjoy a quiet life.
We have a Pecan tree so large that you couldn't begin to tell it's age, but by looking at it you know it has been here for ages. The owner that bought the property said it was huge when she and her husband bought the property in 1947 (along with 332 acres) and the Pecan was quite large at the time. It is home to racoons, squirrels, wood peckers, mason bees, a black snake, an host of others. It is also a roost for vultures, crows, Robins, Cedar Waxwings and other birds that are flying by and need a high roost. The picture below is of 'The Great Pecan' that was taken one morning as the sun was rising. You can see the dead vines we had purposefully cut from the tree that were strangling its life.
We have torn down the original wood ceiling in the den/dining area. Parts were beyond restoration, so the best thing was to take down the wood and use it in other areas and then to replace (with wood) what was there. As we tore down the ceiling, you could see the attic space above and the original wood that was hand made.
This is one of the roof rafters that holds up the ceiling. Notice that is is a real tree!
This is what the beam looks like that is attached to the wall. Notice the marks on it from the hand work...
The nails that were recovered from the boards in the ceiling...
Yes, sounds romantic doesn't it? Now picture this...winter...below freezing...15+MPH winds blowing outside (might get gusts to 50MPH) and you can see the outside through the cracks in the walls. You want a breeze? Just hang out in the dining/den area that is adjacent to the kitchen. You'll get a breeze alright. Heat? What heat? Heat doesn't help much, and at 10:00 in the morning you can still see your breath in that living part of the house. If this is romance, someone else can have it!
Calgon, take me away!!!