I’m not sure when it happened. It may have been the day I was standing on the top of our ladder, on the label that clearly reads “this is not a step”, while tearing down lath and plaster ceilings with a crowbar. It might have been the frosty Saturday morning last winter, as I paused in the squatting position next to our dumpster, mentally preparing to throw what I can only assume was a part of some horrible sectional up and over my head backwards into the mountain of trash we cleaned out of love house. It could have even been the time I reached into a partially demolished ceiling to pull out what I thought was a piece of fabric but ended up being a straight up mummy cat. Heck, it was probably all of those times, but somehow I was baptized into the love of old homes. Now, lath and plaster dust mixed with decades of rat nests and soot flowing through your hair and over your shoulders might not feel like that pure clean water, but it does do something cleansing for the soul. I didn’t always appreciate historic properties, or the character they have, but I have seen the light.
I knew I had become a changed man this summer while on a date with my wonderful wife. We were having dinner at a restaurant near a table of what I assume were a bunch of old high school friends getting together for the first time in a few years. During the course of their conversation, wait, that sounds weird. You should know that Candis and I have the joy of always being seated near the loudest group in any dining establishment, for real. So, during the course of their conversation, it came up that several of the couples were building houses with the same builder. They proceeded to go over all of the options that were available with their homes. “Did you go with the rounded drywall corners on page 4?” “How did you like option 4B for the kitchen cabinets?” “If I don’t have a bike room to fix my road bike in I just can’t move in” Now, I have nothing against new homes. I had one built and lived in it for ten years. I just have a new perspective on what matters in a home. I can picture the builders of our home sitting down to dinner and discussing the details of the love house. “Leonard, do you think that the latest batch of adobes had enough horse hair?” “Brigham, what is the word on the Utes? Have there been any attacks during the day, or can we work work without worry?” “Harriet, can you ride to the mill and check on the beams? This rain may delay the delivery a few days” “Brethren, if I do not have a room to work on my handcart I shan’t move in” Okay, maybe not that last one, but you see what I’m saying.
However it happened, I am ruined for life. I drive down the street and look for old homes. The older and more run down the better. I can’t help it. I have Candis to blame, I mean, thank for this new appreciation for the old, weathered, and beautiful. I am really excited to share our journey here. I am sure that there are plenty of other people like us, who stare at an old chimney and see the smoke from a hundred years ago. We see the joy in the simple lives that they led and hope to catch a small piece of that by breathing life back into the places they spent their lives in. I also know that there are people who think that this is a waste of time, and these homes should be torn down to make way for the “new”. That’s fine too. I really can’t judge that, but it’s a stupid opinion. Anyway, along with the blog posts, we really want to take everyone along on some of the day to day things that come along with doing this. Here is the first of our videos, a two minute clip of us checking in on the stained glass for love house yesterday. We hope you have fun watching.