Walk on Ceilings

Certainly everyone was enjoying the weather today with the warming sun and rising temps.  Whatever little errands I had to run in the Downtown, I made sure to walk instead of drive, yet I was a bit surprised there weren’t all the more pedestrians out strolling.  One of the clerks who was stuck inside all day said, “It’s so beautiful out and in spite of having to stay at my post, I’m enjoying the views from my window every opportunity I get.”   We all had best enjoy it while we can because it sounds like there’s a possibility of snow come the first of next week.

I had a noontime showing scheduled at a home I’ve never shown before, so I made sure to get there early enough to do a walk-thru.  When I pulled up, I noticed she was an old girl, and in possession of many more years than our City Assessor’s records show.  Just looking at the style told me it was a pre-1900 build.

When I walked in, I noticed there’d been some extensive changes in it’s original floor plan, but there still remained signs of what it used to look like.  The taller than normal ceilings and the addition of a bathroom on the main floor indicated to me it was built prior to there being water and sewer available in that area at the time it was built.

The dead ringer of it’s age was the type of staircase leading up to the 2nd floor which I’ve seen in very old farmhouses.  In fact, a near dead ringer floor plan exists in a farmhouse over in Hancock County, and as chance would have it, those subsequent owners made similar improvements–especially cutting out a section of the kitchen so to make room for a small bathroom.  That particular home was built in the late 1870’s or early 1880’s.

While inspecting the basement, it came as no surprise to find there being square nails in the floor joists.  Just as a reminder, they stopped manufacturing square nails back in the early 1880’s.  What I always marvel at is the strength of all the old growth lumber that was used back so many years ago.  I know I’ve mentioned before how much heavier the same size piece of old growth wood is in comparison to today’s.  It’s no wonder many of those homes still survive in spite of community expansion and progress.  Of course there’s no home that can resist a major fire which was more commonplace back then due to the use of coal and wood as a fuel source for cooking and heating.

After the buyers arrived, I made sure to point out some of the interesting features which most would overlook.  Without making mention because I assumed they knew, one of them pointed up to the living room ceiling and said, “What’s that?”  Of course I had to apologize for being from a different time and explain to them that it was cast iron circle which was the last remnant of a wood parlor stove assembly.  I explained the reasons for it and why there were originally no heat vents upstairs because there would’ve been a stove pipe going thru that round grate which allowed for heat from a parlor stove and stove pipe to help keep the upper floor heated during the winter.  I told them that if it hadn’t had a piece of it broken off, and stripped of its many layers of paint, that decorative cast iron circle would be worth some money because there are always collectors looking for vintage cast iron grates.

Just yesterday, I found a small yet interesting bathroom hook that appeared to be made of nickel.  As chance would have it, it had the company name on it so I looked it up online.  Wow!  That turn-of-the-century company made some beautiful bathroom toilet paper holders, cup holders, towel racks, and hooks, and the ones on Ebay were all in the hundreds of dollars per item.  Seeing those prices was certainly a sticker-shocker.

A dear friend who lives out of State called this afternoon to see how things were on my side of the fence.  We somehow ended up talking about some of the craziest of things that have happened to the both of us this year.  There’s no doubt in my mind that tribalism will be another force that we’ll all be reckoning with in the coming years.  I couldn’t help but remind him that prior to the Age of Enlightenment, countless “tribal” wars would be fought and usually no prisoners taken.

In our times, we see similar mindsets where if you don’t 100% agree with another’s beliefs, you’re considered an outcast of their particular “tribal” thinking and way of life.  I couldn’t help but say to my friend, “There are times when I believe the world is so much turned upside-down, that I feel like I have learn how to walk on ceilings.  The most unfortunate about this new way of life, is that it’s grown so much out of control that one person or group hasn’t the strength or power to fix, so all we can do is attempt to acclimate and adjust to this new form of living–for now.

Tonight’s one-liner is:  Love all, trust a few, and do wrong to none.

Joe Chodur

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