I thought about how i might explain this entry best, and perhaps we should just take a tour through my home away from school. It was designed by my grandfather and some other architect, and built mostly by my father's own hands. don't get the wrong idea either, this is no small house. three floors, two half floors, massive project. may i take you inside?
I think the house itself is a part of me, it always seemed different than where other people lived. not because i lived there, but the building itself had an effect on me. In other people's houses i never felt an opinion, i just felt the presence of people. in the house my you feel like the house makes a statement about how people should live - in some sense. It isn't particularly environmentally friendly, but it is never wasteful. it was built twenty years ago.
walking in the front door, you see the first phenomena. plants. massive plants, above, hanging over your head. its a large tropical plant, put up on a ledge, but it grows out and over, filtering the light from the skylights above. it is part of the house, not simply placed in a corner. this space was designed for it.
you move down into a living room, tall ceilings, two to two and a half stories tall, with massive windows. the clockwork, every morning i came down and laid in the sun before breakfast. 6:30, 6, whenever - it was a pleasure to wake up and just stare out those windows at the woods every morning. to sit in that sun. Its changed my identity for sure. even now in college, i'm up with the light everyday. its part of me. the first thing i do is look out the window and stare.
the most engaging opposition of the house is the small deck off my parents bedroom. yes - its entirely illegal due to building codes. they told my dad he had to put a three story column under it to support it - he said he did. i'm glad he didn't. going out on that small deck made me feel like i was in the jungle, up in the canopy, as it stuck out into the yard, and was up in the leaf level of the surrounding woods. it was always the spot for the momentous power turn. during snowball fights, we often snuck through and bombarded the backyarders from above. perhaps it only opened my world a little, but its always intrigued me. you see the small deck hanging up there, without support - as the joists are extensions of the floor joists. i love it.
there are so many parts of the house, i don't know what more i can tell you without cheating out other parts.
the porch, is one of my most precious places. the creation of something i imagine as its own little world. this porch feels in its own league, i've never been in one like it. it has two skylights, and is all cedar, beautiful smelling cedar. it has a couch and chairs, places to sleep, live, spend time outside. for one summer i lived out there, with the porch as my bedroom. the sheer prospect of it enamored me. somehow, i survived the summer, in one piece, loving it even more. the frame built around me reminded me of the woods, this structure not that separate from my fort, this embracing of the outside obstructions letting the air in.
my all time my proud detail of the house, the thing i love the most, is the floor. its nothing special, just tile. heavy tile. solid tile, laid down in concrete, finished. its rough but smooth, solid but inviting. its not the ground floor either - its the middle floor. it defies gravity, this million pound floor. it created an amazing effect within the house. normally speaking houses these days aren't too thick and you can hear people wherever they are. because of this magic floor, sound didn't transfer in our house. each floor was seperate, it made the house feel like its own entity, not a thrown up box shelter. i loved the feeling coming in for dinner, the cold stone on your feet. i've never seen tile like it, in any other building. i don't know where it came from, and i don't know if i could ever replace the feeling of that floor. it made the house. its in the details i guess...
the house does have its shortcomings. the doors are all cheap and hollow, the windows needed to get replaced this year - although they did last 20 years. i feel like i'm part of this house, and that's even before i remember that we were both built together, and we were finished about the same time. i came home from the hospital the week after my father finished painting.
i love this place, it is me. in many ways.
i don't have the amount of pictures i wish i had of the house, and it dismays me. my parents are going to sell it once my brother has left for school, and with me goes a part of who i am. after break i'm going to go home just to take pictures of everything, to hopefully capture that piece of me on film, so that i can keep it with me.