Stupid Old House


Almost every day, when I drop Princess off at the farmhouse for the schoolbus or when I pick her up (or sometimes both trips), I stop and go in. There’s much to do at the old farmhouse. Other than my furniture and boxes of books–which had been in storage all this time at my cousin’s old office building in Spencer–I’ve moved everything I own, one trip at a time, in my car. As I move out of each room, I clean it. I dust the innumerable knickknacks and antiques, some of which I have to take out from where I’ve put them away while I lived there with my things, and carefully put them back where they were before. I cleaned out all the kitchen cabinets and brought the farmhouse things back from the plastic storage bins in the cellar where I kept them. I remade all the beds, with freshly laundered linens. And I’ve cleaned, and cleaned. It’s taken two months, a little bit at a time between settling in here and hatching chickens and writing a book, but I’m almost finished.

And each time I clean a room or make a bed or put something away, I think to myself, And this is for the last time. Because everything at the old farmhouse is a hassle. There was never any solution to a problem in that one-hundred-year-old house that didn’t present a whole new problem. It was hard to live with the heat in the summer and the cold in the winter, sharing one bathroom with four people, maneuvering (and trying to clean) around so many breakable knickknacks, tripping over antiques at every turn, a floor that at one point started crumbling under my feet, mice in the walls, a dearth of electrical outlets, and my very very favorite–rooms with no doors because GREAT AUNT RUBY DIDN’T LIKE DOORS. If the gas furnace wasn’t broken, the hot water heater was. Or the washer. I actually brought a dishwasher there or I would have probably shot myself in the head.

Stupid old parlor.

Stupid old kitchen. (This is Georgia’s mess–she’s in the middle of sorting things to put back in the cabinets.)

Stupid old antiques.

Stupid view from the old cellar porch out to the old wash house.

Stupid room with no door. (This was Princess’s bedroom. It’s the last room I have left to finish cleaning out.)

Stupid dead great-grandparents hanging on the wall.

Stupid light switch about ten feet from the doorway into the room.

Stupid nativity sets in my old bedroom that I’m redecorating in its former “Christmas Room” glory.

Stupid Christmas tree that I had to look at in the corner of my old bedroom for two and a half years because it was too big to hide away with the rest of the “Christmas Room” festive paraphenalia. (I packed up most of the “Christmas Room” stuff because I couldn’t stand to look at Christmas 365 days a year.)

Stupid bed that isn’t mine anymore.

Stupid creepy loom room.

Stupid arrangement of old heavy irons on top of a big can that I used to try to prop shut a door that won’t close right. (It didn’t do much to keep out drafts.)

Stupid old porch swing.

Stupid old house.

And yet as I pulled those plastic bins full of the old farmhouse dishes out for Georgia to look through and decide what should go back in the cabinets in that kitchen that I’ve already taken all my things out of, I watched her sort through and start arranging things, and I thought, GET OUT OF MY KITCHEN!

I love that stupid old house.


  1. Rita says:

    I sure understand your feelings. My what a lot of work for days and days. And yet…..this old house left by relatives who cared about you left this house so you would have a place to go in time of need. So very thankful for that. Many don’t have a place and many would not do the work that you have done to make it livable so you could build your new house. You are quite a hard working gal and you can be proud of the choices you have made to make a wonderful home for your family. Watching your new home take shape is so enjoyable. New memories, new friends, you are strong and have done a good thing by building a home away from the city to raise your children in the way they should go.
    Thanks so much for sharing – I check in every day.

  2. Jyl says:

    This post made me smile…alot. When growing up I lived in a house built in the 1800’s. I hated that stupid house. I was always cold…or hot. Water was always an issue. Electrical stuff wouldn’t work half the time. Pipes busted, vermin visited. I was sooo glad when my parents moved from there, yet every time I drive by I wonder what those other people are doing in my house.

  3. Heidi says:

    Its funny how life does that to us isnt it? πŸ™‚ Sometimes the things that make us upset are the things we miss the most. πŸ™‚

  4. Becky says:

    Very nostalgic. Great post Suzanne! :clap:

  5. TeresaH says:

    :hug: Awww…what a great post Suzanne. I can see that as much as you love your new home, you’re going to miss the old farmhouse.

  6. Kim A. says:

    Of course you love that old house. Old homes have so many stories to tell, so much character.

    But I’ll take you new one any day, thanks. πŸ™‚

    Unless it’s a fully renovated, up-to-date old home, with huge closets, open concept living/dining area, gigantic master bedroom with ensuite… πŸ˜†


  7. kacey says:

    yes, it had some stupid problems, but you loved that house. How could you not? You found yourself there.

  8. Annie says:

    The stupid spinning wheel and stupid loom are setting my heart aflutter!

  9. jane says:

    Wow – not all of it is so glamorous when you live in it day to day but when you look back – now it is a part of your life and your families in a way that is more priceless than the wonderful high dollar antiques you have. the weaving room is unreal. you must write a book about the old farm house. it brought tears to my eyes. not everyone has a rich history like that to connect with. hey christmas 365 – why not – i have some christmas out all year long. i loved looking at all the pictures, the glass, quilts and such.

  10. Lisa J says:

    Stupid wonderful life. How stupid. How wonderful. Stupid wonderful memories. How stupid. How wonderful. Have a wonderfully stupid day.

  11. Maria says:

    Change is good. Change is hard. Change is bittersweet. Memories are forever.

    I can’t think of anymore platitudes, but gosh, your stupid old house is pretty cool…but stupid old houses ARE indeed, a pain to live in!

  12. Treasia says:

    What a beautiful old house filled with gorgeous antiques. The old farmhouse sounds a lot like the one we own now. The lack of electrical outlets, the water problems, the unlevel old floors and I could go on. But it’s still home in our hearts.

  13. MARY says:

    :butterfly: That stupid old house gave you what you needed to build your new house. Bravery, strength, resourcefulness, and a deep appreciation of living in the country. Not that you didn’t have these qualities before, I think they were just fine-tuned!! Now you guys are part of the history of the house, and I hope you all hade a pic taken by the house to display on the “Dye” wall. Then your grandkids can see your history there!! It is an awesome house, despite the little inconveniences. :treehugger:

  14. Christine says:

    I’d love that stupid old house to. Just like my stupid old house. :hug:

  15. Shimmy Mom says:

    I’ve lived in really old houses too that had problems, but I sure do miss the experience. I don’t think there is such a thing as stupid antiques, but I understand how it could be hard to live with someone else’s things and styles all around you. They have a Christmas Room?! I think that’s a very cool idea, but definitely a spare room thing, I agree, I couldn’t have it in my bedroom. Just be glad you did it when your kids were older. With my four little ones, I be petrified that they’d break every breakable in the house!

  16. Becky says:

    I don’t know if it’s just the angle of the photo, but your relative in the oval frame looks like she could kick everybody’s badonkadonk, know what I mean?

    I would NOT want to make her angry.

  17. robin says:

    :cattail: what is really the best – is you can see it.
    the stupid old farmhouse (several really)in my family
    where the memories were made
    were all leveled…
    wish i could see them,
    walk through them still.

  18. Kim W says:

    Well…as Captin Jack Sparrow says, “Funny old world, isn’t it?” Funny how we can miss the things that bugged us the most. Almost as funny as how all those “cute little quirks” that our boyfriends have drive us NUTS after said boyfriend has been your sweet, loving hubby for 20+ years! HAHAHA!!

    By the way…I would be GLAD to take that old spinning wheel if you ever want to get rid of it!!

    Blessings from Ohio…

  19. Amy Addison says:

    LOL on wanting Georgia out of your kitchen. Isn’t it strange how that happens? Those things that frustrate us the most are the ones we miss the most? I think if it was easy, we wouldn’t care, it’s the challenge that really connects us to certain stages in or life. Not everything should be hard, but those things that are usually represent some sort of big shift in our lives, that’s why we have a love/hate relationship with them.

  20. Susan says:

    What seemed stupid always seems to bring wonderful memories too. :hug:

  21. Brandy says:

    Your ‘stupid old house’ brought you comfort, happiness, and shelter. Memories are a wonderful thing, at times. *G*

  22. Debbie says:

    :snoopy: What a wonderful stupid old house! Wonderful pictures, too.

    Enjoy your new house~!

  23. Estella says:

    Great post and pics, Suzanne.

  24. Jennifer Robin says:

    I could tell where you were going with this post right from the start. Sentiment and reason are funny partners. I love the stupid light switch 10 feet inside the doorway. We’ve had a few of those in our life and can totally relate!

  25. jan says:

    I love it too and all those stupid things that it has to offer.

  26. catslady says:

    Yeah, the word stupid actually can be used affectionately.

  27. Jane @ Kidzarama says:

    I know exactly how you feel.

    We bought our first house with my mother and she lived in another house at the back.

    While I love her dearly and we are extremely close (she has sleepovers with us on Christmas Eve and the childrens’ birthdays), it was definitely the longest 6 years I’ve ever had.

    We sold almost 2 years ago, and it’s soooooo great to be able to relax and be friends with my mum again!

  28. Sonya says:

    Awww, I can understand the trials but I sure would love to have a room with a loom and spinning wheel! I just love your blog! CarpeYouSomeDiem directed me here! :typing:

  29. sam says:

    You should think about turning that “Stupid Old House” into a historical site. You could match dates with the city/county events for special walk-thru’s. The old way of life and the antiques, (worth a fortune), would be a once in a lifetime for some people to see. Schools and colleges could do educational tours. Since you are into blogs and pics, You could do a documentary on it. Maybe a coffe table photo book with close-ups of the antiques…you are sitting on a goldmine of history. At least zoom in and take good historical pics for your own family…

  30. Amy Lynn says:

    :chicken: πŸ˜† I had to laugh at the no door thing. One of the first things I said to my husband when I moved into his family’s old farm house was “Where are all the doors?” We still don’t have doors on any of the bedrooms down stairs and half the bedrooms upstairs. You get used to it after a few years or so. LOL πŸ˜† :cowsleep:

  31. the domestic fringe says:

    It’s a beautiful stupid old house!

  32. Shirley says:

    You are living my dream i love looking at that house

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