title of blog

Honey, I'm Home's Morning Mantra ~~ Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says, "Oh NO, She's up!"

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Closet, A Closet, My Kingdom for a Closet

Today is a tad of background on my little cottage house. I adore my house and know all the problems inside and out. My little gem was built in 1935 as a farm house...just a tiny farm, though. The original family was a husband, wife, and 2 kids that shared one of the bedrooms. The road was dirt and about a half mile long. There wasn't a house next door, across the street, or anywhere else in sight. The closest neighbor was the Franklin Farm that was about a mile away. If you stood in the middle of the road and went all the way to the left, you'd come to the next dirt road that ran perpendicular. There was actually a sign in wood like a cross with the name of the road painted on it, "Three Chopt Rd", which came from 3 chops of the ax as a marker. Going the other way, you'd come to another dirt rd that had a sprinkle of gravel on it. It was barely wide enough for a car and in fact was used mostly with wagons, horses and tractors. Today it is a main road and 4 lanes.

We moved to this house in 1948 when I was one year old. It was truly in the middle of nowhere and people used to ask my father, who was a lawyer, why he moved so far away. Why, there wasn't even bus service! Now, we didn't have a car (or a TV)and I don't think Dad ever thought that out in advance, so someone came to pick him up in the mornings and took him "downtown" to his office every day for a year. In '49 we went all the way to Roanoke in the mountains to buy a hospital-green Plymouth, running boards and all. What a treat! ...except for that horsehair stuffing the seats. That stuff would stick the devil out of your hiney. Anyway, back to the house. The house appears to be good sized, but here's the way it really is:

Facing the house, divide the house into top and bottom and then into halves. Go through the front door and there is a staircase dividing the house in half. To the left is the living room and it takes up the entire left side of the house from front to back and has 6 windows and a fireplace. Bliss. On the right side of the stairs is the dining room with 3 windows but it doesn't go all the way to the back. It runs into the kitchen which is horizontal and goes from the back of the stairway (not the living room)to the other side -- narrow, sort of like a galley (3 windows excluding the window on the back door). That's the downstairs, 3 rooms. Now the upstairs is like this: Up the stairs and you're in the hallway with a window at the top of the stairs. To the right is the bathroom and a bedroom. Going the other way is the other bedroom. Boom, nothing else; 2 bedrooms and one bath. Do you know how hard it is at my age to bolt up those stairs a half dozen times a day to get to the bathroom? And the closets. Here's how that goes. Top hallway, one closet approx 18 inches wide and 12 inches deep. I can cram a dirt devil in there, lol. Then, each bedroom has one, count 'em, ONE closet. Each is under 6 ft tall and is 24 inches wide. It's the depth of the closets that is a killer, 14 inches. That's it. A little rod on each side, 11 inches each. A real killer. But when the house was built as a farm house, closets were only for overalls and the ONE suit and dress for Sundays. In 1935, it must have been heaven to have so much closet space. But there is an upside, sort of. In those days, women did not undress in front of their husbands, so a little "dressing room" was off the side of the bedrooms. When Dad died, Mom turned hers into a better closet. The one in my room is where this computer is and works out ok, although it's a bit cramped. Still, better than nothing. I never would have had a place other than this to even put my computer. As for clothes, well, tg for dormers in the bedroom windows. I have dressers in all of them, and trunks as well. In my room alone, I have 3 dressers and 2 trunks in use. You learn how to fold clothes very quickly in old houses. So there are pluses and minuses, but aren't there in anything. My rooms are few but they are good sized and not like the chopped up little rooms of many homes today; and the house is solid as a rock, too....oh yeah, thick plaster walls , those can be a problem, I forgot. Now there is a full basement that I forgot to mention, and that's where the washer and dryer and the furnace is. Seriously, I hate going down there. It's like a scarey cave and it floods all the time. My Lucy went down there ONE time and hasn't tried again. She came back upstairs, wide eyed like she'd seen a ghost. She must have told Sam about it because now he only peers down the steps and never tries to go down there, either. "Scaredy Cats".

Still, there were always wonderful, adventure filled days in this house. Since there was nothing close by, and back in those days everything was so safe, even at 4 yrs old, I could meander through the woods for what seemed forever all by myself, and even walk the mile plus to the Franklin's farm house. The Franklins were our closest and only neighbor. They raised cows, chickens, pigs, most things that farms have, but many mornings we'd hear a cow mooing in our yard. Mom and I kept a rope ready for this. We'd make a little loose collar for the cow and walk her back to the Franklins'. Not only was it a fun walk and I loved cows, but when we got to the Franklins', they'd always thank us with fresh hot biscuits and churned butter with preserves. YUM. That's all I have to say. YUMMMMMM.

So that's it for the history lesson of my beloved little house. I hope to be here until my last breath as this is truly home to me even though it's now not even close to being in the middle of nowhere, lol. It's still H-O-M-E, but give me a real closet, please.



  1. LOVE the history of your beautiful home, Jenny. Thanks for sharing with us! I have only one other friend who is living in their "original" home here and like yours was built back in the 30's. I can remember going to slumber parties at her house and girls would be ALL OVER 'cause it's tiny. I still love going there all these years later.

    Have a happy day~! :)

  2. P.S.
    It's my granddaughter, Brittney, who was in the accident in Dec. and my great-grand who was making brownies. hahaha

  3. It's like I would be reading a novel. Unbelievable but true! You are lucky to have this beautiful home in this beautiful place. I bet there are no ghost in the basement. Well, what can I say ... you are living my dreams. I'm glad it's you Jenny!

  4. Jenny I loved the tour of you house. Its home I would say and can tell by the way you write how much you love it. Mine is old also. It been all redone and can you belive it is about 80.
    Third generations to live in it. At one time also it was in the middle of no where and since this part of Canada isnt that old my hubbys grandmother helped break the home quarter we live on with her bare hands. She has so many kids , was a midwife to many and travelled so far to get anything.. Well you know the story of how they did it all. Now we are spoiled and yes I too have to run up and down stairs with landry . That I dont mind so far ,keeps me in shape. As for the nature sounds go here.
    http://www.playlist.com/ Search music or nature and make a playlist. It took me sometime to figure it out. You have to add the gadget to play music to your blog. Its fun and not eveyone likes music but I do.
    My cat Paris the only one I have now heard the birds and started to hunt in my office and growl. She is such an outside cat tht she thought something was in her home. I laughed and laughed. One nature sound she was more jumpy with so I did take it off.
    Thanks for stopping . Jenny its so good to have your bubbly smile , your words on my blog and best of all read what you write once again.
    Now look I have written you a blog.
    Have a great night.

  5. PS .. Old homes I think are better than the new ones they build. Seems one of my neighbours builds and the next has too. I would love one more closet. Might have to take out the chain saw. :)

  6. Jenny I love your photos. They are all beautiful.
    I dont have my camera equi. listed but its a good idea to do that I think. Now to figure that one out. Where to add it and how. Toddie may know with her links.

  7. Oh I loved your verbal tour Jen. It sounds like you enjoy your homestead, ah good thing. No closet space? I have this old tall cabnet thingie, oh it has ah name...ennaway the upper part has two doors that open and you can hang clothes in and the bottom part has two deep wide drawers. I love mine even though I have a whole wall of closet in both bedrooms! I love basements and I don't have one in my home. Everything on one floor is a blessing for this kid, who knew? I loved your tour and it felt like home type feeling. Thanks Jenny. So did ya have that rain dance?

  8. Wow this sounds like Jenny writing again. Such memories and such a great tour. Now if it had been me living there as a kid, I would have gone to the Franklin's and sneaked the cow to my house just so I could return it for biscuits, but that's me. lol Oh about the car story. You know I was just getting into it especially when those hairs would stick you in the hiney and next thing I know it was "well anyway". Geez just when you were getting to the good part too. Maybe you should make one of those bedrooms into one of those giant "womens" closets with all those little draws and doors and shoe racks. That would be way cool. Oh geez look at the time, I've been here writing and now my comment is longer than your blog. Gotta go...have a good un.

  9. hi jenny, It was interesting to read the story of your home, didn't realise you had lived there always? for some reason I thought you had just moved in. It is much more fun on here than I thought it would be, although I do miss the original live spaces, see you soon - nita

  10. You house sounds sooo lovely. Amazing to be in an area so long to see the changes. Yes life must have been so carefree as a child there. Pour kids today just don't have the freedom we had as kids.

  11. ah Jenny, I love your home, from the description you give so clearly, the love you feel comes through in your words...for the pluses and the minuses, the memories you must be able unlock, day by day, waking up in your childhood home... Wonderful.
    The basement does sound a tad scary, so I'm not surprised at a young Lucy's reaction...I'd have felt the same way too. I think old houses are so much better than the boxes built by todays standards, just hitting the legal requirements, all made the same, no character at all, just a square box, nothing to help create a pure imaginative thought, emotionless I suppose..
    Home is the hearts place, it contains all the feelings of the past, the happy times and the sad, and where there's age, well, the past still lives on...
    Just had to load all my programs again. lost a lot of info when my PC crashed, one thing though, I didn't lose my Music..Mark Knopfler is playing at this moment..Ragpickers Dream album. Hope you've got that one, I play it so often I almost know all the words (probably wrong...but I do join in!!) lol. xx

  12. Hello Jenny,

    I love the house and the house story. Sorry about the PC crash. I love that you have rescues. My dog Lucy was a rescue. Yep, it was 103 degrees in NYC where I am. I'll check out the Ragpickers. Thank you and good morning, Jenny.