Archive for January 11th, 2008

The Empty Nest

Friday, January 11th, 2008

When we go on a Grand Canyon river trip there is always a tremendous push right before we launch. The last few days before Lee’s Ferry are a blur of shopping,packing,rigging and list checking. When we push off from the shore it all shifts. The journey is before us and the hard work of the preparation fades quickly into the excitement of the being on the river…and there is no going back.
Yesterday we closed on the sale of our home of 29 years. It felt like that. The tough work of sorting through the stuff, the trips to the dump, the thrift store, the packing and moving are all behind us. With the ink drying on the papers there is no turning back. That dear place is quickly fading into the past and out of present view.
I spent an hour alone in the house with my camera talking to the ghosts and trying to make a record of what was left. Hard emotional work…..looking back. The next time I stop by there I will knock on the door.
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The dinning room where we gathered to pray, share food, tell stories and entertain friends from the world over.
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Tom Schulte installed this linoleum floor using my design. It speaks to his love of craft and his care for detail.
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The 1929 Home Comfort was the heart of the home. For reasons of conserving energy (and cash) we kept or thermostat set at 60 degrees day and night. This enforced a gathering around this heat source. The kids often sat reading with their feet in the oven. This appliance could tell a few stories.

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The living room.
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Window detail. THe casing for all of the windows in the house were scrounged from the old Candlen home in Chester that was being demolished.
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Looking south.
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The funeral door was used in former times when a viewing of the the deceased was held in the home. It has been sealed since we bought the house. The patina on this door bears witness of time.
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Our bed room. The door in this view was originally an outside door. The bedroom was added to the house in 1981.
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Lee’s studio seen from the bedroom window. lee will continue using the studio until her new one is built.
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The stairs were also added in 1981.
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The three girl’s bedrooms upstairs.
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In Maori culture it is believed that as objects are used in daily life they accrue spiritual power called “mauna”. I sense this with houses. I don’t know a lot about what went on before our tenure in this house but the three decades we were there were important to us. We leave this house to its new owners with a lot of fondness. It has served us well. It is easy for us to leave it knowing it will be in good hands.