Friday, August 24, 2007

It is still hot

But perhaps because my fingers are now blistered and not throbbing with pain (man, I am going to be such a WHINER during labor), the world seems pink and rosy.

I've got this character who is an architecural paint conservator-- these things develop, I promise; it's not like I sat down to write a novel with a guy who analyzes paint chips-- and he is teaching a seminar to a bunch of future architects, who care naught about paint, but are somewhat interested in old houses.

One of them asks him why old houses feel different, more harmonious, to her than new homes, and he can't come up with an answer. He thinks about low-ceiling Pennsylvania Dutch farmhouses, stately brick Federalist homes, funky Queen Anne cottages with their curliques and preciousness, and it's hard to find a common denominator-- other than age.

Is that it? The only reason old houses are cool is because they're...old? And if anyone loves new houses-- tell me why.

P.S. Shout out to DANIELLE, who is arriving tonight from Nashville with a cooler of grass-fed sirloin, all-natural pork chops, and antibiotic-free chicken, along with her lovely self, her less lovely dog (I will post a picture; she's so funny-looking), and some dvds of Weeds. Gonna be a grand time here in Mississippi.


Anonymous said...

I love old houses . They have character , little corners here and there ,hidden stair cases and cubbies, treasures hidden in the walls and burried in the dirt around the foundation . They reflect people's personalities and their busy lives when hard work for plain survival was essential. Of course they come with a cost !!! None of them are well insulated !!!. It still beats the sterile look and feel of a new home .A new home has no dialogue , much like a youth in front of a vedio game .
Old houses sometimes howl back to the wind outside . They creek and crack in the middle of the night .
I love an old American house .
I must confes that growing up ,although ancient our house in Vevey was not as eloquent as this one here is. That my friends ,is because a real trained work force built the house and my Master Macon father maintained it !!! Papa used to say " What is not forbidden in Switzerland is not allowed !" The home is not allowed freedom to fall apart !! I never worried about powerful storm back in the old country ! I often pray for safety in my old American house !! TaTa . God Bless , mama C

Anonymous said...

I think it is patina. Patina in antique furniture comes from years/decades/centuries of polish and use, and the best polish of all is that of bare hands. Same with houses----though old houses can have very negative patina also. It all depends upon the lives lived within them---I remember the first time I walked through Oak Forest's doors, I felt the strong presence of love. Throughout many years of bad and good times, storms and all, i have always rested confident in the feeling that within these walls was a sanctuary.

This house was not built to impress, I think, but with a view towards suiting the occupants and also, strength. And it shelters within its land well, with the mountain to the north.

New houses are about either ego -the builders or the buyers--or flash and maybe conveniance. And cheapness. Not strength,not durability,and not respect towards the land around it. A generalization of course.