Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sunday Ramble

There is always plenty of work to be done around this place. Just keeping the wood chopped and kindling ready for the stove is a full days work each week. But Emery loves being outside and says chopping wood is good for the soul. I think he is right. Gives a person time to think, be outside, and still accomplish much.
This morning Emery and I talked about what this house would have been like when it was first built.
The walls were constructed of 1x12 inch boards, bat and board style. No 2x4's used. The walls were 1 inch thick. There was some sort of paperboard stuff on the inside and then some wallpaper. That was it. No insulation to keep out the winter chill.
The original house was built around 1905. It consisted of 3 rooms all in a row. The living room, the bedroom with a hallway running past it to the kitchen. The bathroom was outside ! By the time we purchased it, two more bedrooms had been added and a bathroom. But the original outside walls had remained much the same, just some wooden siding put over the old external walls.
In the original house, there was no closet to hang clothes up in as you were taxed for each room and a closet was considered a room. You certainly wanted to keep taxes to a minimum so no closets. Even now, we just have three tiny closets, one in each bedroom. Keeps you from holding on to things you don't use that way. Not much space for collecting things that are not important in daily use.
The entire house would have been just about 600 square feet, total when it was first built. We cannot imagine living in such a small space now a days. Through our years in this house, much has changed. Two additions, insulation everywhere, thermal windows, new floors and more. Changes and no doubt more to come. All the work of our own hands and still we have plans for more changes.
Having dreams and plans are both good things. It keeps us feeling hopeful. Keeps us looking forward.

We are experiencing many changes right now. Grandchildren on the way is a big one. But just watching all of our children begin their lives as adults with their own families is exciting. And we are proud of each one of them. Melissa and James are people that want to make a difference in the world and they are both doing that with jobs that make the world a better place. Teaching and sharing music with the world.
Melanie and Casi, so filled with joy over the upcoming birth of their firstborn. They have jobs that mean something and show accomplishments. Steven and Priscilla also joyfully planning for their first baby. In the Mennonite world, no one talks much about being pregnant and most woman never tell anyone but their husband until it becomes very obvious that they are with child. As if to hide it as long as possible. It is thought they feel a bit of shame or something, like in the old days. Its hard to understand in our modern world, some of the ways of the past or traditions that we see as silly. Their church is a bit more modern but still some of the old ways remain.
I remember one Sunday in church a dear friend of mine came over to me and said, "we are having a baby" I asked "when are you due ?" the reply, "in about 8 weeks". No one knew but her husband, not even her other children. She had hidden the protruding tummy quite well under her cape dresses. This was not uncommon and still isn't in most plain churches.
So if I don't talk much about Steven and Priscilla's baby, you know why. I want to be respectful of their ways. She is nearly 3 months along now so in time there will be more discussion. We do of course talk about it within the family and talk about baby clothes and such.
They are going to be using a midwife for the birth and have the baby at home.
The sun is fading in the west, the sky turning golden. Time for me to head to the kitchen and think up a meal to prepare. Perhaps there are enough left overs. I hope so. I feel lazy. I would rather be knitting than cooking tonight.

Melanie and Casi registered at Target this weekend for baby things. What fun they had doing that. I will have to check out what they have on their wish list.


Anonymous said...

I love the photo of the cats and chickens calmly sharing the same space :-)

smilnsigh said...

"...says chopping wood is good for the soul."

As well as being good form of exercise. No need for *Zeee Fancy Gym.* -smile-

Yes, the small amount of space, in which some families lived in the past, is pretty amazing to us now. Even we who don't think we need acres and acres of s-p-a-c-e now.

One of our son's first house purchase was one of those. Things had been added and he and his father practically re-did the whole thing. But the original footprint was known, and it made us really wonder, at how they did it.


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