It’s been a few months since I visited MawMaw’s old house, and now we hold an hourglass if you will. It’s only a matter of time before the house is torn down and the land wiped clean. We got the news a few weeks ago that the property has been sold. It was a sad day, no doubt. So many memories from the family homestead. We were given notice that we had 60 days to get anything that we wanted from the property before the developers take over.
Now y’all know me… my days have been a bit hectic lately, you know, opening a new shop and all! But there is nothing in this world that could keep me from salvaging all that I can from the place where my family was born and raised.
I started at the back door…
You may remember the last time I worked at the old house, I was able to salvage the front door, but the glass panes were busted out. (Crazy vandals!!) I was shocked to walk around back and see that the back door was in as good of shape as it was back in 1934 when the house was built! The paint a little chippy, but that’s how I like it!! It was hard work getting that door off. They didn’t play back in the 30’s. Hefty square nails and all. But it was more than worth it!!
Once I had the door off… I couldn’t believe my eyes!! Is that turquoise beadboard I see in there??? How did I miss this, the first time I was out here?? That box you see is actually a well cover! They had a well in the kitchen! I crawled inside the house, literally. It’s pretty high. And no steps to get in. More dust and dirt and who-knows-what-else than you can imagine. But once inside, I looked to my right, beadboard! I looked to my left, beadboard! I looked up at the ceiling, beadboard! Holy haven of beautiful wood!!
The hubs tossed me some tools and I went to town. You wanna talk about hard work!! Sheeeez!! I was sore for four days!! But I managed to salvage all of the beadboard on the walls of the kitchen! We fought the rain all day, so the pictures of this wood, truly don’t do it justice.
But I can’t wait to get to building some tables with this beautiful wood! And like my mom said, just think, when she was a toddler following MawMaw around in the kitchen, her little hands touched these walls. I mean, how cool is that?? The hubs helped me lug it all to the truck. (Yes, we had to cut a path to get it out! When I tell you this house is overgrown. I mean. You can no longer even see it from the road!!)
Also in the kitchen, this cabinet. It housed the kitchen sink at one point. But I salvaged that the first go round. The more I looked at it, I thought it would make a great cabinet for our garage. But let me tell you, this thing is a beast!! And barely, just barely fit through the door!! But with a new wooden top, I think it will make a great shop cabinet with lots of storage. And I can still see MawMaw, the little hump in her back, leaning against this counter to wash dishes. She couldn’t stand for very long at a time. But she did all she could to create a happy house and home for my mom.
I also found this little primitive table thrown in the corner. I wish I could have taken pictures inside, but it was just so dark. I know it looks so easy and pretty sitting out on the leaves like this. But we had to crawl over stuff, dig through old wood, and trash, and old clothes eaten by mice. Yeah. It’s not pretty in there! The house has been empty for decades. So animals and perhaps even people have made their way in and made a home where they could. It’s the dirty side of salvage, that people just don’t talk about. But that’s why so many things end up in the dump. And I refuse to let these memories travel that road!!
My only wish is that Mo or MawMaw could be here to tell me what these pieces were used for. The roots, if you will. Mom and I spend a lot of time looking at old pictures trying to spot some of the things I have rescued. And have figured out a lot that way. But to have them here to see how all of this is being salvaged and repurposed in my house, even my mom’s house, somehow I think they know!
Despite them not being here, they have inspired and encouraged me to follow my dreams! And they do that through my mom! The Rusted Roots shop is such a dream for me, and although I’m in the thick of decision making, and the ugly side of taxes, licenses, and insurance. It’s just like digging through the old house, you have to get through the dirty stuff to find the BEAUTY!!!
Rusted Roots Grand Opening: Saturday, November 1, 2014 at 9am
We will have a ribbon cutting… yes, I am a cheeseball!! But I’ve got a few pair of big ‘ol rusty scissors lying around, so why not?! And y’all know I’m all about a good photo opp!! We will have some other surprises for all of you!! It’s not gonna be perfect. I know that going in. But it’s gonna be fun! It’s gonna be grand! And we all know Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots… why would this little shop be any different!!! I can’t wait to meet you all!!!