Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Looking Through Another’s Eyes

“Familiarity breeds contempt. “
Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)

“Familiarity breeds contempt, while rarity wins admiration. “
Apuleius, Roman philosopher, rhetorician, & satirist (124 AD - 170 AD)

“Familiarity breeds contempt - and children”
Mark Twain (1835 - 1910)

Don’t get me wrong, I really love living in our house. Every night when I go upstairs I am amazed that we really turned an unfinished attic into liveable space. I look out the back windows every morning when I get up and gaze in wonder at the woods and ravine in its beauty.
That being said I also look at the ice on the front steps every day and grumble about how can I get the original copper gutters re-hung so that they will actually drain instead of pouring snow melt onto the stairs: “A tort waiting to happen” my childhood friend turned lawyer commented. I look at he woodpecker damaged shingle exterior, last stained in 1982 or the wood trim, probably last painted in the Lyndon Johnson administration, and wonder when I’ll ever get it finished. I think about what the county assessor innocently asked me after making an inspection tour two weeks ago “Are you planning to fix up the kitchen like the rest of the house?” (If I’d been quicker on my feet I would have responded: “We’re finished, we did it in an early industrial wasteland motif.”) I could go on and on…

However, we had houseguests last weekend, Jeanne and Aaron from House in Progress and came to speak at the Annual meeting of Friends of Historic Preservation. They were dynamite! We had such fun with them. Last night I looked through pictures Jeanne took. It was the shot of the wallpaper in the master bedroom that made stop and think.

I got the idea for writing this post, and its title. This idea was solidified when a fellow Friends of Historic Preservation board member called to say how much he enjoyed Jeanne and Aaron’s presentation. He also commented on how great it was to hear someone from outside rave about the good things we have.

Then lo and behold: Jeanne wrote about us today in glowing terms (and Foxcroft visits have spiked like I’ve never seen before). Reading her thoughts was the perfect antidote to winter blahs, coupled with the dread that comes when you’re starting your third year of working on a huge project. She loved the everything. Jeanne posted a picture of the music room light:

What do I see? That it’s broken (missing a piece at the bottom)

She loved hearing about Friends of Historic Preservation, I think about the historic structures that we’ve lost, and the opposition that has risen up to historic preservation districts. But driving around with two people saying "Wow. look at THAT house!" Does make one notice how nice our neighborhoods are.

So thank you, Jeanne and Aaron for making me see the positives again.


Marilyn said...

Great post. You're just too close to that incredible home to see what everyone can see. Beautiful!

Jimbo said...

Aww, that was a great (and very true) write-up about Foxcroft. Definitely good to stop and smell the roses sometimes.

Now, get back to sanding that whatever.

Sandy said...

I read her post earlier today and thought the pictures of Foxcroft were lovely. Your home is beautiful.