Saturday, July 3, 2010

A Hole in the Fence to Old Memories

Tuesday morning I was sitting here, chatting with my friend about this and that, mostly enjoying a lazy recovery day, when we heard someone knocking on the door to the garage.  Now, this might not seem like a big deal, but to get to that garage door, a person must first come through the locked gate and then travel the 400 ft driveway to the house and garage.  For the person to knock on the garage door would also indicate some familiarity with my setup here, as the old farmhouse is currently not inhabited, as I have opted to live in the apartment above the garage while I renovate the old farmhouse.

So, down we went to see who found it irresistible to go this far out of their way to find me.  It turned out to be my neighbors and their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter who are visiting on their way through from Alaska to Georgia.  Their interest in getting in contact with me, was not for my friendship so much as it was for an opportunity to let the daughter see the house she had grown up in.  As it turns out, this old farmhouse was her home until she was 14 years old, she, her mother, and her brother living there with her grandmother, after her parents divorced.

I was happy to show them around, and delighted to hear the stories of what the house was like in her growing up years, though, obviously, this 34 year old woman's memories were not from the earliest days of the 1880 farmhouse.  Still, she marveled at the changes the previous owners had made, not necessarily for the better, just changes.  She showed me where the old spiral staircase used to be at the back of the house, now simply closet space in the upstairs back bedroom and a curious alcove in the kitchen downstairs.  She seemed a bit mystified by the movement of one of the master bedroom's windows, which she says used to be two feet to the right from where it is now. And there were closets that were added, making the rooms seem much smaller than those of her memories.

She told the story of the chimney fire that woke the sleeping family to a house full of smoke, and marveled again that it did not cause any damage, save that to the floor directly in front of the hearth.  And she showed us around the yard noting with amazement how tall the cedar trees are, and telling of the magnificent dogwood tree that used to grace the yard, and won the annual dogwood tree contest on a regular basis in this county.  Though we drew her attention to the tree that we find most amazing, the gigantic sycamore, she seemed to simply take it for was always a gigantic tree in her memory, so nothing changed there.

The granddaughter enjoyed herself visiting the goats, dog and cats, and exploring her mother's childhood home.  Before they left, we captured a couple of family photos on the front steps of the house.

One day, perhaps in the not so distant future, I will be able to better entertain them, once the renovations have been completed.  For now, I suppose I should consider replacing the missing fence board, For it was through that hole each of the five of them crawled, to walk down the long drive to knock on my garage door!