Saturday, February 6, 2021

This Old House (Day 37)

Less than 24 hours after declaring I was going to rid myself of broken things with busted parts, I went to the very place where the only thing you can buy are broken things with busted parts:*


In case, you have no idea what I am talking about, Philadelphia Salvage is this magical 100 year old warehouse with a leaky roof, in North Philly filled with treasures! There are old doors, stained glasses, mirrors, furniture, hinges, drawer pulls, knobs, lamps, glasses, metal, iron, whozits, whatnots and whatzits.

It is amazing. 

Mike and I have a new Saturday tradition of doing very very suburban errands as a sort of escape from the children. Our oldest is old enough to babysit, our middle is old enough to be home on her own, our youngest is basically feral and the real oldest, my mother, is always around (So we can go out without our entourage!). 

This weekend, we skipped our normal suburban repertoire and made an appointment at Philadelphia Salvage.**

Mike has been talking about this place for months. We live in a 100 year old with many leaky things, so visiting was a bit like going home. We always have a thousand projects going at once--including my search for a unique writing desk--and Mike has been steadily working on restoring our front porch to glory for the past year. 
Our house in 1956 

Last Christmas, the granddaughter of a former owner sent us a picture of our house from an old photo album. The picture revealed that the enclosed front porch had a series of half circle accent windows that had been covered by siding outside and wood inside. As soon as we got home from our Christmas Ohio trip, Mike peeled off the siding and found all the windows--mostly intact, some broken and others in need of a paint job. 

It was such a treasure! 

Of course, since our house is 100 years old and has many leaky things and I am constantly flitting around with new projects, there have been many distractions from the porch restoration. But, as I write this, Mike just cut the glass to replace one of the windows on the store.*** 

Glass cutting activities in my fancy kitchen.

When we bought our house, in addition to the coverage of the incredible windows, the front yard was covered in a jungle of irises and bushes and snakes and horror. Our kitchen was a tiny, insane space with 12 different wall papers and 47 different tiles. And the cabinets were really high. 
This is how we briefly lived. 

Now, we are in the weeds of redoing everything else, while Mike deals with flash sewage floods and I break things and the children knock bits of plaster off the walls "by accident."
The jungle house 2016.

Eldridge in the snow 2020

So back to Philadelphia Salvage--that place is incredible. We did not buy anything today, but I've got big plans to sneak back for a wild Roman statue lamp I saw and Mike is jonesing for an incredible front door with beveled glass to replace the door we have now. And, we've got some big outdoor plans--we put in our front yard vegetable garden last year, Mike has a vision of wrought iron fencing (to combine with my outdoor fireplace), I want a deck with a patio and of course, my pumpkin patch, my hidden shade garden and flower cutting garden.

Oh and I cannot forget my lifelong dream of having a Victorian Lap Pool. Everyone thinks I am crazy, joking and can be deterred. I can never be deterred! My Aunt Thelma had a gorgeous bed and breakfast in Snowhill, Maryland. I loved going there as a kid--all the rooms were named for my family--The Carrington Suite, The Hunter Suite, etc. She had a Victorian Lap Pool and I put it upon my heart to get one of my own--someday, even if I have to dig it myself.****

Maybe one will show up at Philadelphia Salvage? Until, then I am going to spend my days procrastinating and dreaming in this old leaky, magical house of mine. 

She is 100-percent coming home with me soon. 


* Yes, I am a walking contradiction
** Yes, you make an appointment and wear a mask and hand sanitize and social distance even at the leaky roof warehouse!
***He did this in my fancy kitchen on my fancy kitchen counter. I am still recovering from the anxiety
****By dig it myself, I mean call someone with a digger and have them dig it while I watch. 

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