First, I apologize to you and to myself that this post has been so dang long in coming. Days seem to go so quickly and we run out of time for chicken scratching on the computer. Speaking of chicken scratch, it turns out that amongst “the ladies” we got a gent. Casey named him Curtis, and he’s revealed himself in his physical attributes, and in his spastic behavior. Isn’t that just like a fella. They all seem to be coming along happily. Molting, I suppose, is the watchword of the day, since we haven’t seen a single egg. That’s ok. We love them unconditionally. I guess one of these days, some eggs will come.
I had a first bluebird sighting here. At the risk of sounding slightly cliché, bluebirds are
kind of a totem for my family. Seeing them is always a good sign, one that all is right with the world, and that powerful forces are in line, in tune. They are beautiful and shy so spotting them is always exciting. It was pretty quiet here yesterday, Casey was away, and I was working in the basement. I walked up the outside stairs, and looked over and there were a couple of bluebirds, sitting, with no apparent distress on the limb of the magnolia tree, as if to say, well hello, here we are, we’re keeping an eye on you. We looked at each other for a little while, I absorbed the silence and the calm of the place, and then a third bluebird landed a little higher up in the same tree. We shared some time together, then went on about our day, I, vowing to build them a house. They not vowing anything, as far as I know. But they did impart to me, and the place a real feeling of peace and safety.
I’ve been revisiting a book of photos that I’ve had a few years. I first saw it in Elric Endersby’s collection in the ’90s and I bought it soon after, because I liked it so much. The history of the area we live in is so convoluted, crossed and criss-crossed by settlers and money makers, to say nothing of natives, it’s exciting to feel the weight of the past seeping out of the land and the built environment. This ill-fated young man, named Polgren, shot a bunch of photos during the first third of the 20th century, of houses relating to his Dutch lineage, that he died in the second world war is a shame on any number of fronts. His photos of the houses are haunting, and very informative. The book, moreover, derives a bunch of (to me) interesting information from the photos. Of course, it’s got me trying to figure out what background of our house is – whether Dutch, English, or something else entirely. One of these days, I swear, we’ll do some deed research. In the meantime, though, we keep discovering these double walls in our house. There’s one in the kitchen, and another in the big room. The original walls, before electricity, were quite thin, just 2 inch boards, facing the room broadside, with hand-split lath and plaster over them. The plaster is brown beneath and whitewashed on top. We still have no idea of the age, but my best guess is 18th century, sometime. It tells me that our center hall has been a center hall for a long time, and that the later 19th or early 20th century renovations maintained the basic layout, and simply built over it. More on that as we figure it out.
And, finally. Keep your fingers crossed. If all goes well, a tractor is coming. We’re accepting suggestions for a name. One that Casey can use to plow the driveway, mow the fields, and generally use as a pulpit from which to order the laborer around. I think we all know who that laborer is.