Thursday, October 26, 2006

Behind Door No. 1

Wordgirl called on the internets to show her the door. Their front door to be more precise. She even proclaimed October 24th, when she sent out the call for portals, "Show Me Your Front Door" Day.

Now I don't know about you fine folks, but my house is NOT my castle. As a 6,500 square-foot converted barn, the place has been bucking for palatial recognition since it was built, but so far hasn't passed majestic muster. Renovations, though at times astounding, have been slow and have meandered through waves of previous inhabitants of many eras and varied talents.



When we moved in, one of the first things we did was replace the decrepit, weather-inviting doors. Since we had little money, we replaced them on the cheap with Home Depot specials. We repaired steps of the porch and put in a small garden with greenery and flowers. The garden has always been temporary. And with the exception of the year we were married, it has always looked like it was planted and tended by chimpanzees.

This year, however, the area surrounding our entrance has been ignored so that a weed of a tree has volunteered where lower forms of vegetation had previously flourished. I never got around to pinching it out when it was small; call it inattention. So it grew. It encroached on our steps, snagged our shirts as we walked inside. It even seemed to mock me in August as it towered over my head. I still neglected to chop it down and dig it out; call it laziness.

And though we've changed a lot about our house -- we've slapdashedly renovated the kitchen, sanded and painted floors, redesigned the layout and configuration of rooms to accomodate a child, and even turned a barn storage space into a huge open space, where we celebrated our wedding reception with dozens upon dozens of friends -- time still marches on and the pristine space (though never quite finished) seem increasingly less pristine.

I find myself apologizing for my house whenever we have guests. And we have guests because I refuse to accept any shame, even though I sometimes feel it. I refuse to worry what the neighbors say because I know that the only thing that really matters is the little girl who yells "Mommy's home!" when I come through that front door. The rest of it is just a few walls, a few windows and a door.

10 comments:

kimmyk said...

I have always wanted to live in a barn. Like to renevate one and have an open floor plan. Always been a dream. I'd love to see more pics sometime. I'm sure it's quite lovely and most importantly-Homey.

Melissa said...

6500 sq feet??!! Holy camoley! Like kimmyk, it's been one of my husband's dreams to live in a converted barn. We watch HGTV too much, which is a bad thing, because it only serves to remind us how tiny our 50's ranch feels for five people (one bathroom - eek!).

PS - I think a lot of us apologize for the way our house looks but it's like I always say, "A house is just a structure. A home is what's inside." Or did someone else already come up with that . . .

wordgirl said...

6,500 square feet? Holy cow, that's huge! I still like the front door, though.

Kristen said...

Man, I can't imagine having a house that huge - especially one I'd be trying to renovate! I feel overwhelmed just trying to get our house up to par with where we want it. You're right though - the only ones whose opinions matter are the ones who live there. One day you'll get it the way you want it!

toyfoto said...

Let me just clarify: We don't live in the entire 6,500 sq.-ft structure. We live in approximately 1,600 sq. ft. of it. (Think second-floor walk-up, railroad-style apartment). The rest is, well, "storage."
And Jed has a LOT of stuff.
This barn is definitely NOT quaint.

Andrea said...

Maybe not quaint, but still sounds very nice to me. And I like the front door, weed and all. I can't decide if you're just being modest and downplaying how awesome it really is, or if you're being honest about the non-quaint nature and you're talent as a photographer is just so incredible that it looks quaint in the pics.

Though for some reason, I equate quaint with small. 6500 sq ft is unfathomably huge. I can see the potential through the Internet. And it is a sight to behold.

I love that you live in a barn.

toyfoto said...

Oh yeah, and the picture on that essay I linked to about "living in a barn?" Not the barn I live in. I live in this barn.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/toyfoto/50989904/

sweatpantsmom said...

I do the apologizing thing whenever we have guests, too.

My husband calls it the Mandatory Disclaimer Tour.

Anonymous said...

One could say, "Annabel, watch where you're going when you're on the stairs."

Then again, one could go outside and tell this to a tree since it will have the same effect....

Diana (jesamin) said...

I always wanted to live in a church with barn running in a close second. I got an old farmhouse. Good enough. But we don't use the front door, don't even have keys to that lock!