Thursday, April 12, 2012

Understanding an old house...

...requires realistic expectations...

Level floors and plumb walls are sometimes a possibility...but rarely a reality...


The number of electrical outlets doesn’t equal the number of things you can plug into them without blowing a fuse...

Something will forever, forever need fixed...

The size of the tree equals the amount of the leaves needing raked...


The amount of your income tax refund will always be a tiny bit less than the cost of something major needing repairs...

Doors don’t always close...windows don’t always open...

Extra blankets, roofing nails, buckets and ladders and duct tape are mandatory...never optional...

Understanding an old house requires dreams and imagination in disproportionate ratio to the sheer and unending volume of work required...

...but the rewards reaped from understanding the quirks and eccentricities can be amazing...

" He who loves an old house
will never love in vain;
For how can any old house
Used to sun and rain
To lilac and to Larkspur
And arching trees above,
Fail to give its answer
To the heart that gives it's love."


I have known and loved this poem for years but it is attributed to various authors so I am unable to list who wrote it for sure.


This little memory is written for Alphabe-Thursday's letter "U".

To read other "U" posts, just
click here.

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32 comments:

Sue said...

Oh, I love that poem, too.

And I hate when the author is unknown.

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edenhills said...

You've really perfectly described old houses. I have one of those old farm houses that is in constant need of repair and with its electrical and water eccentricities. I do still love it!

Ms. A said...

Compared to some, my house isn't old. (only 35 years) It certainly doesn't have level floors, straight walls, or nearly enough outlets... and something is ALWAYS in need of repair! I think many of the older homes were built much better and built to last, considering how many are still around. However, those old, old ones never had enough outlets!

Naperville Now said...

so sweet. great post. (old houses are great, but the lack of closet space makes me cranky.)

EG CameraGirl said...

I live in an old house about 120 yeas old. It has problems BUT is also has character!

Gail said...

That is so true. We live in an old house and there's always something going wrong. Just think how bored we would be if everything was perfect.

Jules said...

110years and still going strong.....well maybe! Alas I can no longer keep up the work it requires and so it is slowly falling down around me!!!!! Hopefully a young family will buy it soon and return its love.
That poem is just so true may I steal it?!!!!! J.

Terra said...

Oh I adored this post!

Theresa said...

Ahhh, but an old house is so precious and interesting:) Hope you are in love with this wonderful home! Have a blessed evening dear Jenny, HUGS!

taylorsoutback said...

A perfect poem for your description of owning an old house...My favorite old house belonged to my Grandparents - built in 1907-08 shortly after their wedding. Chestnut wood doors, paneled hallway and trim - if it was off level anywhere, I didn't know it...it was filled with love.

It's All Connected said...

My 200 year old house is both wonderful and awful to live in. As much as I'd love storage and a basement to do projects in, I can't imagine not being here. We have grown used to each other over the years! ~ Maureen

Annesphamily said...

This is perfectly beautiful! Thanks for the share.

RoeH said...

Is that lilacs that I see and do you have them in your yard? Because if the answer is yes, I'm comin' over!

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What a lovely post!

Ames said...

Welllll let me just say this...I live in a recently built house and the floors are unlevel, the walls are crooked and it makes all kinds of moans and groans and pings in the night. I'm waiting for it to settle and praying it's not sinking instead!
Loved this poem Jenny!~Ames

Nezzy said...

What a wonderfully perfect description of and old house. Love it sweetie.

God bless ya and have a marvelous weekend Miss Jenny!!! :o)

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

Yep, some of us with new houses have the same problems, I'm afraid...

Willoughby said...

You hit the nail on the head with this post! I remember chatting with a neighbor when were in the midst of our renovation. I said something about "When we're done with the house...." and he said "You'll never be done. You'll always find something to fix or change." How right he was!

Judie said...

Joey and Aimee's house was built in the late nineteenth century. It was one of the first Sears modular home-bought through the catalog! He is slowly making the necessary repairs!!

letscutthecrap said...

The house loves you as long as you love it. It's an ongoing relationship. It's a kind of marriage.

anitamombanita said...

Love it. and I love old houses...I've photographed some really well worn ones in Chile the past few days... :)

anitamombanita said...

Love it. and I love old houses...I've photographed some really well worn ones in Chile the past few days... :)

Pondside said...

What you've written is all so true. We've loved an old house or two in our travels. There's nothing like the way it takes hold of you.
I have to admit that I was very happy when we moved to Pondside, to find that everything was up-to-date and modern - who knew that life could be that easy?

Linda @ A La Carte said...

This is so true jenny! I live in a 1969 ranch home and it has tons of quirks but we love it! Hugs, Linda

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

How I'd love to live in a pretty old house. I can't imagine it having more problems then my almost 40 year old house.

Splendid Little Stars said...

aah, yes. so true! I have lived in old houses. Now I live in a new house--actually it's becoming old as well. (age almost 12) I think there is always some work that needs doing.
My hubby and I have rehabbed 3 (old) houses to re-sell. there is something so satisfying in this work of repairing/restoring.

I love that poem! I had never heard it before. It speaks the sentiments so well!

beckyp said...

I don't think our house is that old but it does have it's share of problems. One being the darn stairs are too short. On of my son's friends just fell down them a few minutes ago. I felt bad for her but she said she was fine

H said...

Even middle aged houses can have their problems; though maybe they aren't so quirky and full of character.

Esther Joy said...

What a beautiful poem! And creative writing! You have such a talent to take us with you to this farmhouse!

upinthecosmos said...

I hear ya and my house isn't even that old:-) It is worth going through what I do though to have it be mine.

Andy David said...

Hello Jenny.
I'm playing catch-up from last week.

Not being much of a handyman, I'd have to pass on house repairs. Even still, you have painted somewhat of a magical picture of this old farmhouse. I've not heard the poem before, but it's beautiful and so true. Thanks for sharing.

Utter These Words To Me

KhearP said...

Wow! It was a sweet day for me when I visited your post. Glad I came across here. Thank you and keep bringing nice work like this.


Khear of Philippine Real Estate