Old Houses

Jennifer asked what the best thing about living in a house built before 1800 was. The answer is pretty easy – the character. We have beamed ceilings in our kitchen and family room, original pumpkin pine floorboards in the dining room and C’s room. When you walk in our front door, it is clearly unlike any other house in town. The house has been added onto and added onto, so it rambles a bit, and there is a secret staircase from the kitchen to C’s room, which has been hidden so he doesn’t discover that there is a way downstairs that doesn’t involve trooping past our room.

I grew up in old homes. To me, they have character, history, a hidden story to be discovered. They are also drafty, expensive to maintain, and dark. And as much as I love the character and intrigue of our current house, the chill that constantly permeates it and the lack of sunlight in almost all rooms, wore me down. Plus, we are short a bedroom, really two bedrooms, as when C gets a bit taller he won’t be able to stand upright in his room because of the gables.

We spent the better part of last year trying to find our house again, with more light, more rooms, and better insulation. It doesn’t actually exist, however, so we settled on a 1939 colonial. And while it meets all of my criteria, sunlight, bedrooms everyone can stand up in, and decent insulation, it is, well, a bit dull. Being a standard colonial, it is a box. There is no ramble to it, no secrets to discover, no hint of times past. Basically it looks like every other house in town.

So we will be leaving our charming old house, assuming we can sell it, but it makes me sad. I have a feeling that if it comes back on the market once the kids are grown M and I would probably buy it again in a heartbeat. But for now, we will let someone else enjoy the mystery, intrigue, and personal relationship with the local plumber.

If I can figure out how to use M’s new camera, I’ll try to post some pics of the old house for you. Plus, I have to show off how nice it looks as the house has never looked this good since the day we moved in. Not that anyone is coming to see it. But they might! Someday!


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