Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's a HOUSE! (well, sort of...)

The decking is complete. It appears unfinished because we like the look of the rafter tails against metal roofing. Again, this is the south face and that large opening is not the garage. That will be a wall of windows which will be shaded by a patio roof. On the gable ends will be overhangs something like this. Next time I'll get some photos of the north side.

We begin to see the silhouette of the house and I love the compactness of it. I think my fascination with living in small spaces goes back to childhood, but then, doesn't everything? I grew up in a very "Leave It to Beaver" neighborhood in southcentral Ohio, where the Scioto River joins the Ohio on its journey to the Mississippi, "Where Southern Hospitality Begins" in the foothills of Appalachia. These were golden years for the Portsmouth (widely pronounced Porchmith) area as Detroit Steel was in high production and Goodyear Atomic (A-plant) had put a lot of people to work after the war. The mighty N&W was still mighty, hauling coal from West Virginia mines to the river along with passengers and other freight. Portsmouth even had a great Art Deco train station. Many people were making the Rt 23 trek to jobs in the North but many were still able to be employed in the area. In just over a decade, Detroit Steel would become a miles long skeleton forever emitting the smell of steel being made and the coming years would see the Goodyear plant change hands and missions and take years to clean up. N&W would become N&S, the passenger lines closed and the beautiful station eventually demolished to build a jail. But the fact that jobs were available in the 60s helped make my childhood what it was. In my little neighborhood of Coles Park most Dads went to work (at the A-plant, the steel mill or N&W) and most Moms stayed home. There were no fences, everyone knew everyone and in the summer and after school all the kids just traveled from yard to yard playing baseball, kickball, tag, tetherball. Around 5 pm you could hear Moms calling children home to dinner. After dinner we would all rush outside accompanied by the admonition "You be in before dark!" I'm not sure why because those who had parents working at the A-plant probably glowed.

The family who lived behind us had 2 girls about my age and we were great friends, spending lots of time together. They had a playhouse. It was the greatest thing I had ever seen. Probably about 6x8, it had a front door, a window and a gable roof. Even then I would think of ways to "fix it up"; put curtains in the window, a little paint, just the right light fixture, plant a few flowers. I would imagine myself living there. Growing up in a big rangy house, with 2 parents, 3 brothers and one bathroom I was probably craving peace and quiet and privacy. The object of my desire sat on the lot line between our houses under a big old sycamore tree, a perfect setting and far enough from their house and my house that it seemed private. Yes, I think that must be when I became so fascinated with small spaces and have been attracted to them since.

"It's the friends you can call at 4 am that matter." Marlena Dietrich

Robin, Me, Olga, Amy

These wonderful women are in that group! (With Amy it wouldn't matter, she'd sleep through the call). On the day of the wall-raising they presented me with "blessings" to squirrel away in the walls of the house. Charms, a small edition of Shakespeare, a cross and lots of good thoughts. It's the little things that make a house a home. Thanks for being a part of this.

Building Stage:

Finish interior framing, fix a bump in the roof and work on the gable ends. The windows are ordered. And then we have to find the utilities. Sounds like a lot of digging.

Until next time...