The Built Environment and its Contents

After coming to the conclusion that the only time I’m happy, these days, is when I’m at home and undertaking homemaking tasks, I decided to just go for it. I’m composing a list of all of the one million, three hundred, sixty seven thousand things that my 170 year old house needs. And last night, I started on the first task: Cleaning out the cupboards.

We bought this house from the family who built it. So 2-3 generations of them lived in this house until we moved in. And when we moved into the house, several things had been left behind – some of them useful, but none of any particular value.

One category of leavings: Framed pictures. I really like some of them, but hadn’t done much with them, so they were still stuck in a cupboard. Recently I finally began putting pictures on the wall – some from my own collection and some from a great-great aunt who passed a few years ago at over 100 years of age.

I opened all of the mystery cupboards. There were things left by the previous family and things randomly stuffed in there by us. One framed picture had me curious because I couldn’t quite tell if it was a photo or a magazine page. I knew that if I pulled it out of the frame, however, it would be easier to tell, and there might even be writing on the back. I pried the nails out of the back of the frame, the ones holding the picture in. They were roughly hewn nails, not the sleek, manufactured kind that we have now. I popped the wood at the back of the frame out, and indeed, I saw writing. But not on the print itself – on a photo hidden behind it.

It’s a photo of a building and I swear it’s familiar to me – I have a place I’m going to go look to find it, first. If that’s a bust, I’ll try the local historical society. The writing on the back just says “Mrs. Foote – R.M.” That’s not the name of the family we bought the house from.

Oh, and the picture in the frame appears to be just a page from a magazine. My husband finds this kind of thing uninteresting and wanted to throw the framed pictures out when we moved in. I’m glad we didn’t. I need a little magic and a little mystery in my life.


8 thoughts on “The Built Environment and its Contents

  1. Interesting. I’ve not been working at a job for a bit over a year now. While I’m still looking at potential new career paths, I have discovered that staying home and setting the house in order is quite satisfying actually. This is the happiest I’ve been in several years.

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