Thursday, June 16, 2011
Toad Hall reflections
The ladders are down. The painters have wrapped. I liked them – hard-working experts. It’s quiet around here this week, no more Talk Radio blasting outside. Our pockets are lighter but Toad Hall looks almost like a lady.
I was partial to Sherwin Williams but Denny, the Painter, prefered Hirschfields.
When we saw Bunny Cake (trim) and Spiced Carrot (accent) Honeysuckle voted with her teeth. For the main body (someone channeled Norwegian Settlers who couldn’t leave their fjords behind) Ocean Melody and Bowman Blue. I was a little crazy while choosing colors. And then I figured it out, partly. I want our home to reflect a bit of God’s beauty. Just a bit. But the stress of representing GOD was too much. I needed to get off and be okay for it to reveal my own interpretation of what’s beautiful. (Again, sorry, Denis doesn’t count as much here since he’s partially colorblind.) So this is what we got.
Our house was built in 1916 – it is an “American Gothic Four-square” ordered from Sears and Roebuck. This was what “prefab” was like back then. Huh! Sears also instituted another totally unprecedented option: you could buy a new home on the installment plan. Customers picked the floor plan and all its parts were shipped by rail car to your town in a sort of giant DIY kit. We like the five-panel doors, the oak floors, and wide oak trim everywhere. Our four bedroom house has a grounded feel you get to love, like it could withstand centuries of tornados, hail, trees falling and kids shooting pellet guns at the walls and windows.
All of which has happened since Toad Hall became our home in1981 – it’s a place where we’ve been rooted and loved. (Okay. Ya. We’ve fought a little, too.) It’s been where Ransom Fellowship was conceived and grown. We’ve kept out the possums and squirrels. We’ve patched the walls. We’ve launched our children and hosted tons of friends and strangers. Sometimes I wonder how long we’ll be here. Like maybe the time and money spent maintaining its bones and hair will be for someone else to enjoy. Denis says, “My next move? Assisted care.” I already get assisted care. Without Anita’s work in the yard, it’d be all nettles and crap-grass. But I know what he means. And that’s just the thing, we don’t know. And maybe I’m just feeling sentimental because we passed our 43rd wedding anniversary.
…so the roof is next. In July a new one is coming. And that’s how it is to steward and keep what God has given.
And btw, who gets to tag paint colors? I could do that. Pasty Flesh. Golden Gangrene. Ashes to Ashes.