Yea .... I live here.

OK -- I'll admit it.  It is the time of year that I am getting crabby and cranky.

I've planted and weeded and weeded and planted.  Somethings are successes.  And other things .... well, not so much. 

It is exceedingly dry and the rain storms skirt around my neighborhood .... leaving us hoping and praying the next clouds will have rain.

I've tried to keep the house neat and clean with dismal results.

I wanted storm windows ... ain't happenin'.  I wanted to strip the paint off doors..... not getting done.

Yea ... I might be a tad bit crabby.

But for all of that, what bugs me the most............ is having my house put-down by guests to my farm.

This is my house ... on Friday August 19th.  Windows need storms.  Siding needs repairs and painting.  But the roof is new ... the gutters are good.  And it is ours.

On our second date .... Honey invited me here to supper.  And as I tell people, I knew when I walked in the door ........ this was where I belonged.  I was home at last.

(Now it took Honey longer to realize that he wanted to share this with me!  But on to my story!)

On Friday .... I was working in the attic, trying to get some stuff organized.  I have an alarm on the driveway which 1) did not go off or 2) I did not hear.

The phone rang and it was a customer that was in my driveway.  She called and chastised me because I had not come outside.  

I apologized for not hearing the alarm and asked if she had knocked on the door.

Why would I knock on the door?  No one would live there!  Yep ... that's a quote!!!

(As you might guess, my perky customer service attitude was not at it's sparkling best at this point!!!)

Yea .... I live here.  

And though I know ... its not fancy ........ it has an air of dignity, a history of hard-work and a lifetime of sheltering the families that lived under its roof.

Our house is a Classic L farmhouse.  It is a variation of a popular housing style ... the Queen Anne Victorian.

A short lived style ... it was the  predominant house style of the farms of the upper Midwest...... Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  It was the replacement for the log cabin or the sod house that first provided shelter.  By the Panic (Depression) of 1893 .... the Classic L was replaced by the American Foursquare style.

Our house in 1927.  Yea .. the outhouse is no longer needed.
Our house was built in 1892 and  faces east  ... the sun greets you in the morning.  All Classic L farmhouses faced east or south to protect the front door (which opens into the kitchen) from the cold winter winds and snow.  

Ours is fairly original ... we just removed the two chimneys.  There were always chimneys for the cook stove in the kitchen and the wood stove in the parlor.  The kitchen has its original wainscoting.  All the doors remain the same.  The trim is original and the ceilings are at their original height.

I know its not a McMansion.  I know its not in the latest, greatest neighborhood. This is a farm house!  It has the dust, the dirt, the age that 120 years of sitting in the middle of  a cornfield gives it!

I'm sorry that I snapped at the customer comments.  

But most of all, I am sorry that she is so shallow that she doesn't realize the pride that was built into this home.  She doesn't understand the heart of the people that hand-hewed  the rafters and ceiling joists.  They birthed their children here ....... and lost their crops.  They hung on by the skin of their teeth during the 30's and wondered, if the bank would extend another loan during the 80's.

In the book,  Death of a Dream, there was this little poem that was found in a child's composition book among the rubble of a Classic L farmhouse.

Then give me but my homestead
I'll ask no palace dome.
For I can live a happy life
With those I love at home.

I pity someone that doesn't get it.


She said…
I think it looks fabulous! The first time I went into my now husband's house I thought - I like this guy, but I HATE this house. I lived there for 10 years and people thought it was a nice place. But it had a bad spirit. We finally moved into my dream house which I love so I understand finally how it feels to love your home.

I hope you charged her double.
Ginny said…
Hope her flowers (if that is what she came for) had bugs in them!! Shallow indeed!!
Lizzard said…
When I a saw the picture of your home I could smell the familiar smell of an old house and hear the creaking of old boards as you walk across them to the next room. It is a shame that some people might not ever be open minded enough to enjoy the story an old house can tell! It has been a life-long dream of mine to own a home just like yours!
myomyohi said…
I too live in a 100+ year old house, and love it. There are few houses built today that could stand as long and proud as an old farmhouse. It is her loss that she was oblivious to its charm, history and personality.
Barb said…
So with you on this one, Cathy. Our house was built from 1923 to 1925(I think). It's a parsonage and the parishioners built it...with pride. It needs so much updating but I can live in this house and feel like I belong. I'm kind of old and need updating, too.

On a side note. We have friends who have started a wonderful "you pick" blueberry farm. Their farm has supplied us with a freezer full of blueberries for the past four years. I love going there and I love the blueberries in the winter. They take great pride in their dream and keep it neat and tidy. Last year while I was waiting to check out (in my old Amish farmer's hat and beat up, holey sweats and oversized man's shirt)a very neatly attired lady came up to the table and said to the owner (who was lanquishing in the heat of the day) "You really need to do a better job at weeding over there". I wanted to bash her with my blueberry bucket. The owner stammered and said something apologetic about the time it takes to keep up all the acres, etc. I just couldn't believe it. So see, "they're" out there everywhere. Snobs with no soul....not like you. You've got a soul bigger than a big ol' country barn. I know, I've seen it!!
fullfreezer said…
I think your house is lovely!! It looks much better than those snout houses- those garages with houses attached that you see in the suburbs. Yours looks like a real house.
Zan Asha said…
Ha! I have been in your shoes woman; I've had people step into my crazy Bronx neighborhood, come to my Halloween and Middle Eastern themed house and either LOVE it or HATE it.

Most people CANNOT believe I live in the BRONX. "Why would you live there?" they wail. Well, because I can rent AN ENTIRE brownstone floor, three bedrooms and a garden for cheap, while they pay THREE times as much to live in a BOX (literally, in most instances!) in a nice they can say they live in a nice neighborhood!

Most of these folks are indeed shallow. They hate the house decor, probably hate my hair and my looks...but like Mama said (Trust me, HER advice works here): those are the kind of people you don't want hanging around your life anyway. And it's true. Let that crochety woman go, and know that her life is limited, because she can't open her mind to beautiful people and different things around her. She'd probably have a hard time visiting a wonderful exotic country because the food is different, the people might seem "too poor" or any number of things! So let her go on with her silliness and you live in your beautiful home, which I *adore*, and I'm sure so many people adore!
Colleen said…
I love that you have a picture of your house from the 1920's.

Your story reminded me of the house on the farm that my cousin lives in. Yes, it is over 100 years old, but it has character. I wish I could have a house like it, always loved that house, even as a kid. Even had fun with the outhouse, that was still a working outhouse, when I was young.

I say just ignore the rude people, and maybe feel sorry for them because they just don't get it.
I think it's just beautiful!! :)
My great grandfather, who was sent to the US at the age of 14 in order to survive post famine Ireland said "Two sticks akin a ditch at least you can call it your own"

You Miss Effie are RICH !
Karen Patrick said…
I, too, live in a 100+ year old house in the sticks. I wouldn't live anywhere else, but I may be forced to soon as my husband and I contemplate moving to town as this old place is getting to much for us old folks to take care of the way it deserves. I breaks my heart to even contemplate.
youngtatter said…
Don't be too hard on her... she really might have just been clueless and you might have been the first truly honest and transparent person she's ever seen. I hope you amazed her and she is never satisfied in her small life again. You never know!
Beth said…
You know I love it!

And the pies were fabulous. So good to see you. Peace and goodness.
Jade said…
Your home makes me happy.

I love seeing it and I love visiting it.

It is beautiful and unique. Its history is fascinating. And I would jump at the chance to live in a house just like it.

Let's hope it was just verbal diarrhea on her part.
Carla said…
I so love your home. It has character that cannot be bought. I totally understand how you feel about the remarks others hand out.Our home is old, and we have worked to make it ours.I would not trade even-Steven for any of the new homes in the neighborhood.

A good friend had the nerve to ask me if I truly liked all my old things. I quickly told her that I would not trade with her, and that I truly do not like bright white, plastic, glittery fu-fu like she has. Didn't hear from her for a few days.
Anonymous said…
As you know I too live in an 1886 Utilitarian Farm House (not fancy).
I HATED it when I first moved into it. But slowly it grew on me and I learned to appreciate it for all it offered me and all the people who had lived thier long before I bought it. I am sure "first steps" and "last goodbyes" happened here and now I give this old girl the respect she deserves! ~ Tamara
mapdblogger said…
Dear Miss Effie! Oh, this hit home with me, cause we have one like this. Tears came to my eyes as I read, been there, done that, continue to NOT MAKE HISTORY!

BUT, I love my house, my farm. It's peace, to me. Away from neighbors, traffic, although we still have too much of that. It's over 100 years old, mostly original, we have an outhouse, which is now a potting shed. Oh, you are my kind of gal! Thank you for that wonderful ranting - God Bless You!
Dorothea Prouty, BFE, OH
Jacqueline said…
Your home is gorgeous!
Jacqueline said…
Your home is gorgeous!

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