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Last weekend was much of the same – working on windows in an effort to complete them before Cold comes to stay. I enlisted the help of Handi-man who worked on the exterior of the window frame and then on bottom sashes, as I worked on the interior frame and resetting and glazing panes. We accomplished much in that day, but nothing to be deemed finished. Someone noted that it is likely we will never be “finished” with the old house. It will be an ever ongoing work of preservation.

The old house has taken a toll on my body. I have aches and pains and throbs that I’ve never had, or never had to this extent. My hands have a permanent cramp from the use of a paint brush, or paint roller, or scraper, or glazing tool, or any number of other tools that require the hands to be clenched in repetitive use. And my shoulders, knees, ankles, feet – they’ll never be the same.

So it was a welcomed relief that this weekend we had a day visit from Handi-man’s Aunts which required that we pay some attention to our live-in home in anticipation of their arrival. It gave Handi-man and me a down day. A rare day of rest from the fevered activity of old farmhouse preservation that we have engaged in for most every Saturday for the last twenty-three months!

At the conclusion of the visit, after lunch and a tour of the progress on the old farmhouse, I returned home to find that a large box had been delivered by our rural mail carrier.

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If you will remember, Deborah of The Fairfield House in New Jersey hosted a series of giveaways of which I posted here (check out her comment on that post). I was the chosen recipient of Giveaway #1! Of the five giveaways, the items in Giveaway #1 were my favorite. And, as most exclaim, “I’ve never won anything before!”

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ImageI carefully unwrapped, and oohed and ahhhed over each treasure. I then re-boxed all the items and carried the treasures to The Farmhouse where I arraigned them for a photo shoot. I then carried all the treasures into the old house and placed them in their new home. They all looked comfortable in their new home, fitting in as if they’ve always belonged there.

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And because I had the time to do not otherwise, I took Mrs. Dunwoody’s Excellent Instructions for Homekeeping – Timeless Wisdom and Practical Advice, and seated myself on the (still to be restored) front porch to thumb through this new treasure, reading excerpts of practical (and some quite funny) advice of days gone by. [ Excerpt on the advice of “What to Avoid When Calling on Others”: ~Do not lay aside the bonnet at a formal call. and ~Do not fidget with your parasol.] The book brought a chuckle or two, and allowed for a few stolen moments to just sit.

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There is always a breeze on one of the two porches of the old house. One must simply determine the better offering of the two. On that day, yesterday, it was on the porch facing west. And as I sat there still, breathing only, my presence was oblivious to bird and beast and passersby. I became the observer, unobserved.

The old house is truly a treasure. A place of quiet and peace. A place to get away. To hear the breeze. To slow down, if only for a little while.

Thank you Deborah. The gifts could not have come at a better time, on a better day.

Happiness, …not in another place but this place,
not for another hour but this hour. -Walt Whitman

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