I’m lucky to work in a town full of wonderful old Victorian houses. There are two of them within a couple of blocks of my office, and they’re just gorgeous (there might actually be a couple others), despite the massive hailstorm that hit the area five years ago. But I’m not at work today, so I can’t take a picture of either of them decked out in their snowy glory.
I have a few pictures of a beautiful church I saw this summer, but I was shooting on the fly and most of the pictures came out either blurry or crooked. Then I thought of all the pictures I have of our house, both our old one and our new one, but they’re really nothing special (the pictures, that is, not the houses). Straight-on shots of one, a few different angles on the other as we were painting it this summer, but nothing great. Still, they got me thinking…
About a month ago, Seymour and I were trying to organize our basement. Again. It’s been an ongoing project ever since we moved in. Things just keep migrating from one part of the basement to the other, and finally, he’d had enough. He wanted to put a shelf in one of the rooms downstairs to bring some kind of order to the chaos it contained. (Yes, I went there. 🙂 )
But any time we do anything in our house, we have to measure first because otherwise (and even then sometimes), we’re off by a quarter inch and then whatever it was we were trying to do won’t work. And it doesn’t matter which house it is, either – this is the third house I’ve remodeled with Seymour (either in whole or in part), and it always comes down to fractions. I hate fractions.
He’d forgotten to measure before he left, so he sent me down to the basement to measure the room. And of course, I measured it wrong, which we didn’t figure out till later. But it wasn’t a complete disaster – the shelf still fit in the room, but barely. It wouldn’t fit where he’d planned to put it, but it’s in there, and order has been restored.
While I was down there measuring, though, I got to looking at the walls. Ours is an old farmhouse with a limestone foundation (which should tell you that it’s pretty old, since they don’t do limestone foundations anymore as far as I know). It reminds me of the basement in the house I grew up in, which was also limestone. Something about it appealed to me as a kid, and it still appeals to me a bit even as an adult.
Perhaps its longevity is what appeals: after all, it’s been used as a building material for thousands of years. Great churches and pyramids were constructed with the very same stuff that holds up my house. And we all know they don’t make anything like they used to.
Limestone crumbles easily, yet it’s got great durability and strength. Can the same be said of us?
I like to think so. Because without people, there would be no architecture, no basement foundations, no great limestone marvels. You can’t build anything great without people, no matter how many other supplies you might have.
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