Tim and I bought a house in town about Christmas time.
A two car garage was added at some point. We replaced the garage doors and the roof and fascia boards. Next comes a good power wash, and then replace some boards at the bottom there, and give it a good coat of paint. The rest of the house is sided, and in fine shape. The windows are all themal windows, replacements, except for one in the upstairs. The house is well insulated. But the floors sagged something awful. The last owner had a washing machine in the downstairs bathroom that leaked, apparently for years, into the basement. The floor was rotted away, as were some of the main support beams in the basement. I want to show you these beams.
These are hand hewn. But the most remarkable thing about these is that these are scavenged beams. They came from a barn. These beams are older than the house. Let's do some basic math here. Suppose that these beams are from a barn, say, even 25 years older than the house, this would set them in the same time frame as our Civil War. Now, how old were those trees cut down to make those beams? These are some massive beams, a foot square. The trees were old, maybe 75 years or more. These trees may well have been growing when we were a British colony.
That's a lot of work there. You can see why they were recycled. Getting hold of these beams saved someone a lot of work. They merely made new notches and fit them all back together and built a house on them.
I wonder about the man who sweated all those years ago, making these beams for his barn. Was he the farmer, piecing together a farm, through the labors of his own hands, the sweat of his own brow, making a life for himself and his family, taking pride in his land, and his craftmanship?
Tim has the pegs carefully saved so that we can put these back together.
Look at the square nails. Now stuff like this can send me off on mental tangents for days, daydreaming and pondering. Here's my question for you. Now that I have scavenged these beams from our house, forced my husband to bring them home, what would YOU do with them, were you me?
Here's our latest find. When we jacked the house up, and replaced the beams, a lot of the lathe and plaster cracked. We ripped this out to be replaced, discovering two old chimneys. Tim also found this. This was in the outside wall of the original portion of the house, behind the original plaster and lathe that was hidden by some cheap paneling from the 1950s.
This is hand blown glass. No seams. You can see where the hot glass was twisted to make the neck narrow and shaped. The top was formed by 'folding' the hot glass back down over the neck to provide a good seal when it was corked.
And I'm off and daydreaming again. Do you suppose it's possible that the man doing the lathe and plaster work finished off his drink, and tucked the bottle behind the walls,
daydreaming about who would find that bottle
...and when they would find it...
And finished his good work, daydreaming about what the world would be like then?
That's the story I like.