Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Curious Sense...

She had a curious sense of her own roots
twined about the old house.
-Alice Tisdale Hobart

I sometimes have that, too - a curious sense of my own roots somehow twined about this old house.

Over the weekend, before and during the storm, I sanded floors. Myself. As in, I rented a commercial floor sander and installed the sanding pads and operated the 57,938 pound machine myself. It was a beating, especially after the stupid machine played out and the power went out. I sat down on the floor as Ike blew right outside that window and shouted, "I hate this old house! You're a terrible, ugly old pile of wood!" And immediately I was sorry. I felt as if I had screamed at myself. There is, after all, a curious sense of myself twined about the old place.

So. Floor finishing stalled but will resume again Saturday. This time I'm renting a different machine from a local place and not a chain superstore, so when I take it back and say, "Um, this machine needs to be serviced. Two of the three sanding drums don't work and I couldn't complete my project," the cashier won't look at me and say, all exasperated like, "Well, my belly button ring's infected. We all have our problems."


After putting on lipstick and a new yellow jacket this morning, I went to the bank. "I need money for a new roof," I told the loan officer. Surprisingly, she didn't double over laughing or call security to escort the crazy lady (me) outside. "I think we can help," she said. I almost hugged her.

Freeman House... old place... you may be getting a pretty new roof soon. It'll thrill us both, I know. In the meantime, I need you to be nice and not throw any other problems my way. You're killing me.


A note from the State of Texas. I'm all licensed up and certified to proceed with plans for the bakery side of Freeman House. Somewhere deep down inside I'm excited, but right now, I'm so preoccupied with storm clean up and a busted lawnmower and a leaking roof and half-sanded floors that my mind can only stretch so far. Could you be a little excited for me? That would be great.


Freeman House will be busy this fall. She's hosting a fundraising "Spook House" on Saturday, October 18. Those who come out okay will get a candy bag and a cartoon Christian leaflet with our perspective of Halloween. Then on November 1, the Fall Masquerade Ball is set to be a hit. I've decided to be a Forest Fairy and I already have big golden wings and a costume. I have to show you. Later I'll show you. It's spectacular.


Whew. So. Better be off. I have a group of ladies coming by in a few moments to "peek in" on the house. (People think, when you tell them you're renovating an old house, that you're simply repainting and changing out cabinet hardware. Why is that?) Folks come over here and take a few looks around and say, Wow. You really are redoing this house. I mean, it barely has walls. And I smile and agree but think, "Careful what you say! You should have seen her before. She's beautiful but just needs love."

But maybe I'm too defensive and emotionally involved. After all, I think over time my own roots have twined about the old house.


hayseed said...

Hi brin, have been enjoying your blog for a while now,..I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks her old house has feelings. In fact , sometimes I feel as if it wraps its 'arms' around me-in agood way, of course!

Corey Davis said...

My parents live near Biloxi, MS. They got a few inches of water surged up from the ocean, but not much else thank the Lord. Glad you're alright. They ran out of my favorite bread for PB&Js at Smith's so now I'm stuck with this really fluffy stuff that doesn't have much substance. Maybe you can send me a catalogue when you get your bakery up and running.

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

Everything you mentioned sounds spectacular. Keep at it, dear girl, you've put your roots deep into Freeman House and it will not let you down. Can't wait to see your costume ... bet you'll look just darling. Are you dressing Milly? Maybe a cute little bow around her neck? She's a girly girl too, you know. xxoo

karen said...

I know what you mean about the floors--did mine a couple of years ago--a LOT of work--but worth it.
Now all they need is a quick mop and they look beautiful.
Congratulations on your soon to be new roof and new bakery!
The rooms that you've renovated are absolutely beautiful--I can't believe what you have accomplished in just a couple of years!
I wish that I had half of your energy.
You are awesome!

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Oh, my dear Brin, I am very excited for you on many levels. I could kiss the bank lady myself! After all, one must have a good roof...all other investment is for naught without a good roof (and a good foundation).

It's wonderful that you are all ready to go with the bakery. Well, once you are straightened round with hurricane clean-up and sanding those floors. Gheesh. Don't you know some handsome young man who'd work for beef stew and a pecan pie?

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

I think it's wonderful that you are doing your own floors. I can see why feel like the house is such a part of you. I can't wait to see pictures of your bakery. Oh what fun. You always have such great adventures and this will be such a worthwhile one.

Becky K. said...

Hi Brin,
Hang in there...you are taking on an extremely big job...but keep that sense of humor.

Your home is going to be so lovely and I love that you are not waiting for a finshed product to use it and to share it.

The bakery idea sounds fun...my daughter has dreamed of owning a bakery one day...but she is just thirteen so we will wait and see on that.


Becky K.

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

What a great place to be planted, all your hopes and dreams can root and thrive! Our homes do connect us and this mission of yours is and will be one of your biggest blessings. I'm so glad to hear all is coming together, just wish I lived closer to come and lend a hand! The floors will be lovely, just don't brake your back over them! Hugs!!

The Machinist's Wife said...

Hi Brin

I love hearing from your heart! I love hearing about your beloved Freeman house, too. We are also in the process of starting a bakery in an old, delapidated, petrol station in a small country town. It's all so exciting, isn't it? I'll be visiting you over the blog fence regularly and rooting for your progress and success!


Rebecca said...

She's an old girl, Freeman House. And just like most of us old girls, she is going to have things that need fixin. But you love her and willingly care for her, giving of yourself to her, just like you would for an elderly grandmother, or parent, or friend. And in return she teaches you invaluable lessons, pieces of treasure that will change you and make you a better person. Yes, I do think your roots have intertwined with hers. You're stuck.

I am so excited to hear of your bakery plans. You go girl! You will be so happy and you'll be giving pleasure to others in the yumminess of your goodies.

Freeman House is in for a load of fun with your upcoming events. Good luck with the fundraiser!

Cori G. said...

Old houses have a way of doing that to you. Making you love them then hate them and everything in between.
I think that we put so much into them that they feel as if they're another limb. Be careful what you say to her...she may decide to rebel on you :).
A fundraiser Ball how exciting! I hope you post pictures.
Have a wonderful day Bren.

traci said...

you are superwoman!! i wish i lived closer. would have loved to come help you. best of luck with the bakery. very exciting. good luck sanding this weekend.

Anonymous said...

I can so envision the ball! I'd love to go to one someday. I can't wait for you to get your bakery going. Our dream is a bed and breakfast tucked away somewhere in the mountains with a few acres cleared that will be home to sheep, a dairy goat or two and a lovely dapple colored horse. That dream is far off right now but none the less, it's there.

Jeni said...

Your blog is so cool...you are so "real life!" haha I too am a project doer! (if that's a word!) then I get made at myself for being so tired because I did too much for one day! haha I love to cook too so if I add that in to a day of cleaning out a closet I'm overdone! So I'm VERY happy for you, haha enjoy the Fall weather and you are gonna be lookin at those floors at Christmas and grin ear to ear! Thanks for sharing yourself! Jeni http://lovinmyhome.blogspot.com/

***LARISSA*** said...

Hi Brin! First, can I just tell you that you write beautifully! I love your blog - it is such a delight to read. I had to tell you that I got goosebumps when I was reading this post... My family just moved into an old victorian two weeks ago. I can stand here and almost feel the history, and the life that this house has had. I am so thrilled to be a part of it. Your blog is an ispiration as I set out to tackle it's restoration. Reading about your challenges with Freeman House, feels like letters from a kindered spirit, as I have already encountere a leaking ceiling... two days after moving in! Heaven only knows what else my beloved new dwelling will bring.
Thank you for sharing bits of your life with the Freeman House!

Kimberley said...

Your blood, sweat and tears will make this place yours, and the legacy will live on. You're doing fine, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and occassionally take a minute to catch your breath.

Tiffany said...

Congratulations on your upcoming roof. I'm sure your home will appreciate the love and love you back in it's own way.

Kim said...


I have been reading your blog for a while now and I really enjoy it. I do have a question for you - do you actually live at the Freeman house? I believe I read at one point there is no electricity at the Freeman house, just wondering how you make it work.

Jenn said...

Brin- Roots are a great thing! I envy you. If it wasn't for 3 kids and a busy marriage we'd be doing the same thing. Somewhere down the road we'll join you! Learning from you every day. Be Blessed, Jenn

betty r said...

My first thought when I saw that pic was..'beautiful floor'. The labour on it is worth it, Brin!
I am so excited for you that you have the 'go ahead' on your bakery..
Wow..things are rolling at the Freeman House!

The Quintessential Magpie (Sheila) said...


As a surivior of numerous old house renovoations/restorations, let me assure you that there is, indeed, life after floor sanding... and plastering and painting and replumbing and carpentry and rewiring and reroofing and wallpapering. Hang in there, girlfriend. You will be SO happy when she's done!

And yes, each house has its own unique presonality. My favorite was probably our first. It's been four more since that one. Crazy? You betcha! Crazy, but never dull. ;-)

Happy Thursday!

Sheila (who is thinking that 'never dull' also refers to a brand of metal polish... scratches head while trying to remember)

Victoria said...

Yay on the bakery license!

You go girl on the floor sanding. You are such an inspiration in that you tackle anything & everything.

debbie bailey said...

Hey Brin,

I know exactly what you mean about a house twining itself around your heart and soul. Mine has done that over the eighteen years we've lived here. One time my husband said he was thinking about moving a state away and my breathing constricted and spots floated before my eyes. I guess based on my reaction, he's never brought the subject up again! Thank the Lord!