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I'm most recently a writer.  In the six plus decades of my life, I've been a wife, mother, grandmother, Jill of all trades though mistress of but a few, and most of the time pretty content with my lot.  As a much younger person, I believed I was called to write, but life and living distracted me for most of those decades.  An unwilling transplant from the South,  twenty years ago I unintentionally landed in the geographical center of the US.  Writing came about in part due to the unwillingness, I expect.  When caring for family, gardening, and renovating a century-old house failed to provide sufficient creative outlets, I turned to the one thing I always intended to do.  Eight titles later, I'm grateful I found myself while Lost in the Plains!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

This Old House--Remember that dining room?

Some of you may have been around when I was posting about the progress (word used optimistically by old house renovators) on my dining room.  My son had done an amazing job knocking out the major heavy stuff--new entry door, refinished floors, a tin-look ceiling, etc. The finish work was left to me, and I wasn't quite so amazing. Paint cans required dusting more than once, as did the displaced furniture and boxes of stuff packed in the spare room and on the back porch and in every other corner I could find. Life was coming at me faster than I could handle. The dining room would wait, I knew from experience.

And it did. This photo is from an October, 2014 post. Not a lot changed for longer than I care to admit. Gradually, the walls were patched and primed. The trim was prepped--a never-ending and thankless task, as anyone with "charming, antique moldings" is well aware. Painting goes fairly quickly once all that patching and sanding and filling was finished, but by the time it was done, so was I.

I've learned to accept that with age comes the need to space the big jobs with plenty of time to recover. I decided to just enjoy the nice, clean, empty room for a bit. Meanwhile, John's health issues were heating up and I didn't have time to worry about upholstery or window treatments.

Some time late in the spring, a year after the construction dust had settled, things finally came together. I cut back my hours at work to be with John more, so I had plenty of time and a persistently nagging guilt over this job put off for so long. I can't even remember just what happened when, but the room was finally finished right before the "big fall" that changed our lives so dramatically. Needless to say, taking pictures and posting about it here were not a priority after that.

Given all the hard work that went into this room, especially that done by my son, it seems only right to trot the finished product out for all to see. We're really enjoying the room more than I expected to. We take our meals here, since the kitchen table won't accommodate a wheelchair. And my writing corner has been moved here as well, so I can be close at hand and still try to get some work done. Instead of a seldom utilized room we previously merely passed through countless times a day, the dining room has become a vital part of our lives.

This is where we started, and stayed, for a very, very long time!
This is where we are now. Come on in!
This room is home to many of our collections of STUFF, all previously owned with lots of sentimental value. The photos are of women in our families, all taken between 1900 and 1940. The items on the shelves change as the spirit moves me. There's plenty more where that came from!

The sideboard is not a family heirloom but is one of my favorite things. The plates are part of a large set handed down to John from his grandmother.
My mother's dining table, my great grandmother's rocker. I especially wanted a spot by the window overlooking the patio garden to sit and read. (I plan to find the time to do that someday!)
My new writing spot. The desk was a dressing table belonging to John's mother. The window seat, built from an old door original to the house, is Raleigh's favorite place to chill. 

So there you have it. An old house like this one provides an endless supply of projects. It feels really good when one of them is finished. After a long rest, I'll find something else to tackle, I'm sure. But for now, we're planning to thoroughly enjoy this room!

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