Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Living with Quality

One of my friends is housesitting this month for her employer at a large rural farm site over in Kodak. My husband and I went over for a cookout last week. I had been told that the house was an old log cabin, but I wasn't really prepared for the awesomeness of the old house.

I'm told that that the house was taken apart, moved and reconstructed on this site. It looks like it's probably from the late 1700's or early 1800's; notched logs, stone basement, three stories high, old wide wooden doors with iron latches and a huge cooking hearth.

I guess the thing that struck me most was the sense of the house being like a fine piece of furniture.
It's all built from old wood. And the wood holds such a phenomenal fragrance. It's centuries of cooking and hearth fires and just... life. I don't really know how to put it. It made me acutely aware of how bland and lifeless most modern houses have become.

My co-worker really really likes hats. He recently acquired a fine old bowler as payment for housesitting for my boss. (Another house-sitting theme).

He brought the hat in today and we both sat and marveled at the fine detailing and craftmanship. Silk lining, leather band, tiny stitches, laced band tightener with bow, fine felt and a perfect fit.

And again I was struck at the lack of quality that we encounter in our day to day lives here in the 21st century. I mean obviously we have nutrional quality, job quality, medical quality etc...but as far as goods go, we have given way to cheap and easy.

And here's my quandary. My husband and I are talking about buying some land during the next year and putting into place, plans for building our own house and lil' farm.
And frankly I'm a bit scared. I'm really afraid of ending up with a cheap boring personalitiless home. I'm afraid of low ceilings and plywood and vinyl flooring and the foreverness of it all.

I'm just completely ignorant of home-building and I want to make sure that we are able to create something akin to a "fine piece of furniture" and hope that's something we can afford to do. I want a fragrant wooden house with tall ceilings and deep closets and thick doors and solid floors and the baked-in scent of many winters worth of wood fires.

God, we have a lot of work to do to make this happen.


Debra said...

Andie Ray, owner of Vagbondia on Market Square, had a really cool book in her store. It had "small spaces" in the title and it was about building a small house and splurging on items like wood, molding, tile, etc.

It was a very good book and might give you some good ideas.

Gina said...

I start housesitting for friends tomorrow who built a modern log cabin home. The sheer presence of so much wood is so nice compared to drywall and manufactured paneling. Take it a step at a time and savor each step before you move on.....I've never built before but if I ever do, I'm going to enjoy it and string it out as long as I need to.
:-) Gina