Last night hubby and I took a trip to Hudson. We needed some boring stuff at Lowe’s to fix the leaking bathroom pipes (don’t ask). I always enjoy trips at dusk and on the way home the sunset was beyond spectacular. It gave a peculiar light to all the homes we passed on the winding roads out of town.
There were three of them in a row. One lavender, one bright yellow and one a kind of brownish pink. The lavender house was a little beat up, but I had to wonder at the color. Had the paint been on sale? Or maybe the owner had collaborated with the people on either side to make a colorful display for passersby. Impossible to know, but I’m going with the sale idea.
I didn’t have time to think more about it because soon after, on the opposite side of the road was the brown house. This one had obviously once been a church. You could tell by the windows, cathedral style. That and the double front door was a dead giveaway. Every time I go by I marvel at that window. Just inside the pane you can clearly see a tree. Bare branches, don’t know if it’s real or some gone horribly wrong craft attempt of the householder. But a tree. Really.
A little further on was an old grocery store. You know, the kind every small town used to have where the front door was practically on the sidewalk and the big glass window told you what was on sale that week? Plus they had the best cold cuts and potato salad around. The front is all boarded up now. But in the brief moment we were in front of it I noticed something. Out of the side of the building stepped two women. They shut the door behind them and walked towards their car. I turned as we passed and saw a light beaming from an upstairs window. Wow, someone had turned the back of this old store into an apartment. How cool.
I’m fascinated by doorways. Last June I had to take a side street in Kinderhook to get around the square which had been roped off for the annual craft and food fair. As I rolled down the street the car in front of me stopped. I looked around as I pulled up behind her and on my left I saw it. A doorway tucked in and surrounded by well trimmed vines, all curled and dangling. The vegetation made a kind of tunnel and an adorable “Welcome” sign hung on an old post near the sidewalk. I had all I could do to keep from hopping out of the car to knock on that door. I imagined a gnome or a wise old owl living there.
We live in a very old house. Lots of them around here. I’m sure when people pass they wonder what it looks like inside. I do that all the time with other people’s houses. It’s a natural curiosity thing, I guess. When we first bought our place I fell in love with the simple but elegant front hall staircase and the big dining room. And I thought we could whip it into shape in five years or so. Ha! Still working on it thirty five years later. But it’s all ours. It’s comfy and has sheltered us safely for all that time. A house that’s a home, ya know?
Image: Our domicile all decked out for fall. I'm painting the porch steps this afternoon.