Have you ever given much thought to the parallels between our own progressively aging physiological structures and that of the many 100+ year old homes in the Pacific Northwest?
As I sat in silence today in a beautiful old, nearly 100 year tenured Northend treasure, I could almost hear the generations of laughter and romp of children’s feet across the floor boards above. A home that has stood strong and tall for a century–a house that has stood the test of time through war, horse drawn carriages down cobblestone streets and ‘gazed’ towards Commencement Bay as women and children wrapped sheltered within its walls awaited safe fisherman’s return from the sea.
Today, this old homes’ ‘bones are solid,’ hard wood floors treasured, time capsuled interior awed yet not necessarily desired. Sewer pipes and plumbing still working yet tattered in places and in need of patching. Electrical is mostly updated but knob & tube still hang like pearls on a necklace of oceans gone-by.
Carriage house to garage conversion falls short of current 2 car expectations, oil tank belly hangs low and still provides saturating warmth yet not a modern craved natural gas expulsion.
The parallels I reflect upon are in part a mirror of perceived value and mystery of age as well as natural, cyclical decline with attempts to patch and update to try to keep contemporary and viable. As time marches on, our pipes too need some repair, our bones and framework become brittle and our fuel tanks certainly are not considered as efficient as they were in yester-year. Nevertheless, there is a reason why so many houses and so many people continue to stand strong despite those points of frailty.
There are cracks in most of our foundations when you think about it, some are deeper than others, some horizontal, others vertical. So, I feel sad in some ways and jubilant in others as I absorb the history and magnificence of this 100 year old home with hope there will be someone who will either choose to embrace the aging structure and make necessary repairs to love her, to live in her just as she is, or, if someone chooses to gut and refurbish, they do so with kindness and honor for that which has stood the test of time.
Your post was intriguing and introspective on our travels through history and change. The foundation is often cracked our pipes a bit leaky, but we stand through the storms and celebrate the small things each day and the big victories as they come. It’s our story that we build, remodel, shape into the forms of memories that get shared through the generations as lessons to learn and reasons to grow new stories and build new history.
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