Today I’m going to paint Joseph’s bedroom walls. It’s the only change we’re making in the house, and only because his walls are currently orange and I have to agree with him that orange bedroom walls just aren’t really acceptable. The other colors in the house are nice. And anyway, home improvement is not at the top of our financial priorities right at the moment.
There’s something very comforting about this house, though. Maybe it’s the thought that it’s been here since 1924, partly. You just feel like it knows what it’s doing. It’s been a house for a long time. And maybe it’s partly just how solid the walls are. They didn’t use sheetrock back then. These are not walls that the leg of a folding chair could go through (if someone were angry and were attempting to clobber their brother with a folding chair and hit the wall instead. Not that I would know anything about that). And then there are the little details, like the glass doorknobs, and the rounded ceilings, and the funny wooden cabinets in the hallway. It all comes from a different time.
And the ceilings are high. I don’t know how high, but I’m six feet tall and when I lift my arm all the way up there are still a couple feet between my hand and the ceiling. You have to get a ladder to change a light bulb. It sort of gives you a feeling of freedom, of emotional space. I’m sure someone could do a study on the psychological effects of low ceilings versus high ceilings. It’s as if the lid of our family’s pressure cooker has been lifted. Though I suppose that could also be a result of the boys having separate bedrooms. There’s been less sibling batlles, anyway.
People used to name houses, back in the old days. Sometimes, anyway. Well, probably just the rich people. But it almost feels as if this house should have a name. What would it’s name be? C.S. Lewis called his house The Kilns. And of course all those Jane Austen houses had names in the novels, but that was because they were mansions. I don’t know. We’ll have to think about that one. Fred keeps popping into my mind. Maybe the house’s name is Fred and it’s telling me that telepathically.