This is my childhood home, situated at 58 Water Street, and there's a little "me" standing on the front porch somewhere in the neighborhood of 1978. I was two when we moved into that house. I remember walking in the front door to see the house before we bought it, and the elderly woman who still lived there greeted us at the door. How's that for an early memory?
When my parents bought this house it was one of seven or eight white houses in a row, on that section of the street. My Dad promptly painted it red. He meant for it to be brown, but due to his color-blindness, it turned out red. True story. Better red than brown, in my opinion.
This is an old house, built in the 1800's.
I watched floors being jacked up from the cellar to make them level. The fact that you can even do that will blow the mind of a young girl.
I watched original hardwood floors transformed from old to beautiful. I watched my parents hang wallpaper, paint, tear down walls, install beams in the ceilings, build cabinets in the kitchen, add and eventually enclose a patio, garden, compost, and live as a beautiful family in a very small town.
We were an imperfect blended family of seven. We only lived there for nine years.
When I started this blog I decided to name it after this house because this is where my love of design began, and I had no idea at the time. Because I was just a tiny girl. I was blissfully unaware, absorbing all of that activity. We were a DIY family before DIY was even a thing. Actually, I just had design-happy parents with skills who enjoyed fixing up the old house.
When we moved out of this house, my Mom and I briefly lived with my Grandma, just down the street and up the hill in the same sweet town. Then we left that small town, and moved to a less friendly place full of people I never really had a chance to know.
My sister and her young family moved in to 58 Water Street for a couple of years.
Eventually one of my best friends from childhood moved in. (I told you it was a small town.) This summer I visited the old house with my dear friend. Her parents still live there. Nothing has changed. The wallpaper is still there, and in very good condition, a job well done. The country stencils and Shaker-style wall decor remain in place. It is all wonderfully intact. The built-in bookshelves on either side of the fireplace are oddly smaller than I remember.
I love small towns and old houses. I love brick buildings, tiny libraries, and ancient broken sidewalks. I love history and the smell of old homes with a story.
I doubt I'll ever convince my husband that an old house is right for us, but I'll always appreciate the experience I had.