Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hitting the nail on the head

I want a house that has got over all its troubles. I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house.
- Jerome K. Jerome

Right now we're poly-ed out of most of our house. The remaining wood floors at the Darling Duckling have been stained and today the first coat of polyurethane went on - that means the downstairs hallway and library and stairs and upstairs hall are off limits right now. More time for packing up stuff, I guess, even though we fell funny after not swinging a paint brush for several days now.

If you could see the stack of boxes that is our current library you would have no doubt that we are avid readers. All three of us. 40-something liquor store boxes are pretty much a dead give-away. No, really. Good thing we have a great public library system here in Jacksonville - that way we don't run out of reading material what with all of our books packed up. One of the books I picked up and enjoyed greatly was/is

Renovating old houses - bringing new life to vintage homes
George Nash
The Taunton Press
ISBN 1-56158-535-1

It is jam-packed with great information and DIY advice including instructions on how to repair old windows, terminology and and and. And best of all, it comes with a number of really neat old house quotes and an introduction that I feel best manages to capture why we feel about old houses the way we do and what makes people come together and fight for their preservation like "SOS Preservation".

Excerpt from "Renovating old houses - bringing new life to vintage homes" by George Nash

"People who work with and live in old houses use fuzzy words like feel, aura and essence to justify their obsession. These are aesthetic categories that attempt to describe the perception of beauty, the way so many old houses almost seem to live a life of their own, breathing in slow, subtle rhythms of shifting lines and weathering wood.
As do all living things, a house achieves a delicate equilibrium, a precariously maintained and constantly changing relationship to time, the seasons and its people. It responds to the care (or neglect) given it - growing, changing, adding windows and doors, sprouting porches and sheds as the years progress.
And when its people depart, a house begins to die. The process occurs with a grace, beauty and terrible simplicity. The tilt and sag of the walls, the weathered shades of clapboard and peeling paint, the tired angles of the roof, all give mute expression to the ebb and flow of the lives once harbored within..."

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