About Me

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Tennessee, United States
Retired teacher living in East Tennessee, adjusting to life in the land of round door knobs. Photographer for our local animal shelter and foster of many dogs and kitties. Don't ask me how many dogs I have, but my son got me one of those "I'm the crazy dog lady" sweatshirts.

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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mystery from Our Attic

Our house was built in 1965, and a single family lived in it, raised their children, and we purchased it after the death of the original owner, who was quite elderly. This summer we have been not only painting and doing other house improvements, but also trying to go through our possessions in preparation to moving this Fall. Yesterday Jim was going through the attic, moving, sorting, finding out the toilet up there has a leak (fun, fun), when he got quite a surprise.

At the top of the stairs there is a small door that leads to storage space under the roof eaves. In that space, over the years, we have stored old suitcases, computer boxes and pet carriers. To Jim's surprise, when he opened the door yesterday, he saw straight ahead of him sitting on top of one of the pet carriers a cardboard tray containing what appeared to be a child's project, now fallen apart.
He brought it to me and we marveled, not just at the project, but at how it came to be sitting on top of a pet carrier in our attic. That space in the attic is not one we access frequently, but we have been in and out of it many times over the years to put things in and get things out and neither of us had ever seen this object, let alone place it on top of the pet carrier.

He suggested tossing it, but, of course, I said, no, put it downstairs and I'll look at it later.

So, after several hours stripping wallpaper and painting the upstairs hall, in the evening, I sat down to watch television and take a look at our mysterious object. I was amazed at the number of small items I saw and how much work someone had at one time put into the creation of what I now saw was a model of a church, what church where, I still don't know. Perhaps a reader will know.

I sorted through the pieces and tried to make sense of them, taking pictures as I went. I was particularly taken with the church steeple with its clock and the angel perched on top of the little oriel window (a small bay window that projects from a wall). Regluing the oriel to the steeple was the first act of restoration I did.

At first I thought the little round pieces might represent people, but as I looked at the roofs of the building, I saw little white squares where it looked like the bases had once been glued, and I decided out that they belonged on the roof like those onion shapes on the top of Russian churches.

I found stairs going nowhere, although on one side, there was a platform and around it what I decided were columns that might hold up a roof, and I also found a four-sided pyramid roof to fit on top. One metal rail was in place and I was able to replace its twin. But, the stairs on the other side, still lead nowhere. Whatever object was there, is lost.

I worked my way through the mess, replacing what I could, discarding small pieces whose purpose I could not determine and finding that the little trees and bushes crumbled into dust if I tried to pick them up and put them back in place.To my delight, I found small images of people, perhaps drawn, perhaps cut out and mounted. I love the image of the men standing there looking at the church. Aren't they delightful?

I also found along one wall an image, that when I turned it over, turned out to be a couple of lovers, sneaking a snuggle outside the walls.
There is also a woman on a bench that I had trouble getting to sit up, but I also found amusing.

In the end, I was left with some extra pieces, and I'm sure not all is as it was, but I hope that the spirit of the person who created this or placed this in our way (because how else do you explain it's mysterious appearance?) is happy to see it somewhat restored and not lost altogether.

I've put it together, now what? I can't say I really want to move it and take it with me, or leave it permanently on my sofa table so I'm open to suggestion. It's not a museum piece, just a child's project once saved, then lost, now found again by a stranger. Placing it here on the Internet may be as close as it will come to immortality.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer 2009: A Work in Progress

Summer 2009 has consisted mainly of painting, a task which sounds much simpler than it is. Don't get me started! If only the furniture, knick knacks and old wallpaper didn't have to be dealt with before the paint could go on!

There has also been some gardening, some cement mixed and poured, along with many rocks put in place to create an easy way to get from the terrace to the yard. Yesterday Jim pulled up almost all of the stone tiles that currently make up our driveway, which has really become a sad site, and we are waiting for a local guy to come by and give us an estimate on finishing the job. This, after Jim looked at the mess and concluded that this was a job for professionals!

There's still a mountain of tasks to complete to get our house ready to put on the market and get ourselves ready to move to a new domicile in late fall, early winter.

As for the lovely before and after view of the hall, that's only the front half of it and it took two days to complete. I still have the other half to do (behind the camera). Once that is done, the ground floor will be finished. Also, that brown-looking stuff on the walls, is some of that old wallpaper I was earlier growsing about having to remove.

Too bad there's also an upstairs, a basement and an attic to which much still needs to be done.