Since I’ve been a small girl, I’ve always imbued objects with magical properties. Perhaps it came from being raised as a very strict Catholic, whereas an inquisitive child it compelled you to suspend disbelief. Because of your faith, you had to believe the most incredible things were true. This tendency of mine appears to border on superstition, but it has made many dull moments and ordinary objects I’ve encountered in my life infinitely more exciting.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you already know how I sometimes project my imaginative tendencies on articles of clothing. In my stories, they always become much more than they really are. You’ve read about how a perfume I stumbled upon during a trip to Paris was really about me committing to becoming a writer. Well, guess what? I’m doing it again, this time with my new house.
When we started physically going to look at houses, I knew I was not looking at the configuration of the house, what architectural style most engaged me or how many bathrooms there were. I was only looking for signs that this was the one. I tuned in to how the house was making me feel and seeing if I got that excited feeling I get when I know that something is potentially magical. Even when no one else can see it at first. When I saw the small tower attached to the house, I knew the room at the top would be like all the writer’s rooms I’ve always imagined whenever I passed a house with a tower.
When I walked in the door, the first thing I saw in the hall was a secretary exactly like the one my grandmother used in her home in Connecticut. Light streamed in from the tall windows in the formal dining room with sparkling china and silver place settings. A memory transported me back to the table manner lessons my grandmother also provided in her dining room free of charge. A slip-up meant the tap of a silver spoon on the back of your hand. I climbed the stairs and there it was my writer’s garret. Who cares that the master bedroom is small, or the kitchen needs an update and renovation? I already see my antique writing desk (which I have yet to acquire) in front of the windows, along with a comfortable pink velvet Eastlake chair. Maybe I’ll find a chaise to read on.
Outside in the back, I saw an expanse of green leading to nothing but towering trees cut in half by a meandering path. The skeleton of an English country garden and in my imagination I could already see the blooms. There were mature hydrangea and rhododendron bushes to get me started and morning glories already climbing the wall of the detached garage. It was like the ingredients for the beginning of a Secret Garden, my favorite childhood book. There behind the garage tucked in a corner was yet another sign, a statue of The Blessed Mother. Calvin and I later joked that if we were lucky enough to get our house within budget amid the most overheated real estate market, people have seen in years, that statue was staying.
The architectural style of the house was not immediately discernible as it seemed to be one of those both/and type of situations I always find myself attracted to and have spent much of my life living in. Described by realtors as a side hall Victorian with Arts and Crafts style, I discovered that this house was common in the early 1900s and called a transitional Victorian/Craftsman. Keeping some elements of a Victorian like the side hall feature and the tower; it was far less ornate and incorporated features from the Arts and Crafts style homes like the use of natural materials; wood, stucco, and brick. It has a low-pitched roof and deep bracketed overhangs. We could determine from the last time they did a survey that after 1967, someone enclosed the original open front porch. So they built our house during a transition time, making it just the right house for us right now. At a future date, I’ll do a whole other post about how the values of the Arts & Crafts Movement are another sign. Briefly, one writer said that movement could be synonymous with the Slow Living Movement of today.
So as you can see it’s already started, my house is becoming magical even before I’ve even lived there. I can’t wait to discover all the signs I didn’t see, and how they will make my imagination fly. I am so grateful to have this gift right now and to share a little of its magic with all of you. As soon as we close, which is before the end of the month, I’ll post a photo.
Do you have something in your life that has magical properties?