The House Mouse – The Gift of Creation
When I find a beautiful, interesting, and intricate house I am usually on my way to drop off kids at soccer practice or a dance class and my children will hear me say, as I slow down to a turtle’s pace, “Oh look at that house!” My oldest will smile or roll her eyes because this is a frequent occurrence. One summer afternoon I discovered a Gem! Reader, before we go on to a brief description of the exterior of this home, I want you to imagine me telling you this face-to-face with excitement and delight, because that is exactly what I wish I could do!
The exterior of this lovely home stood out for a number of reasons. The all brick exterior had been painted mint green! (No doubt this was not a choice by the first homeowner.) It had thick frieze board (that is a decorative band just below the roof line on the exterior of a house). There was charming brick design above the wood trimmed windows. One section of the home had curved, rounded sides with windows. I saw that the wooden window frames had been removed and corrugated metal was temporarily filling in the spot. The house was in the early stages of an in-depth renovation. There was an insulation truck parked on the side of the house. I could hear someone working in the attic. The house was not ready for a visit yet. Darn! I took a quick visual inventory of the exterior of the house, and as I walked the perimeter I took many pictures. I peered in several windows as well and saw that the inside walls were completely gutted. I would definitely be coming back!
On my second visit to this house I found someone working in the yard so I took the opportunity to ask him if this was his home. He said his father and sister purchased the home and were going to renovate it. He was very nice and told me the house was built in the late 1800’s and a finish carpenter had once lived there. That was an exciting bit of information! He said I was welcome to come inside, but I had all of the kids with me so a visit was not going to happen this time. I thanked him, took a quick note of the address and wanted to come back ASAP!
One Saturday morning, shortly after my second visit, I woke to a quiet house and thought, I am slipping out and going to see the mint green house! When I arrived, there were no signs of construction or people. The house was locked on the north side and the west front door was locked as well. The south side door had a chain link fence surrounding it, but I could see the door was slightly ajar! My heart started beating quickly, and my mind began to race. Should I go in? What if someone sees me and calls the police? Then I reasoned with myself, I just wanted to see the inside of this house, not vandalize it! I had been technically invited in (mischievous smile), so I lifted the gate latch and slipped inside! Come and take a peek at what I discovered.
Upon entering I found that I was standing in the laundry room. It had a window to add light and some beautiful round mirrors leaning against the wall. As I walked to my right I was in a smaller but sunny kitchen. Next to the kitchen was a spacious dining room. This lovely room has the rounded window area with beautiful built-in cabinets and a bench in the middle. The master bedroom is on the main level and has an amazing four part section window. The lovely FOOTED TUB was pulled out of the bathroom, I am assuming for plumbing updates. There was exposed brick in this room and in many other parts of the house; it was unexpected but definitely appreciated. I also found a beautiful skeleton key knob on the bathroom door. I love the delicate intracacy of old hardware.
I was excited to keep going from room to room and discover more of the finish carpenters amazing work throughout the house. The front room had a large picture window with an ellipse window above it, trimed in wood, of course. This room also had a unique corner fireplace.
The next area was probably my favorite spot in the house. As I enter I was so taken with the staircase. It had wood paneling along the length of the stair wall and the underside of the staircase had an amazing diamond rectangular pattern. The stair treads could be seen from the side and had intricate detailed trim. The newel posts were elegant and the handrail had rare angles and curved as it ascended to an upper loft. The staircase alone was a masterpiece! And if that wasn’t striking all on its own, the staircase walls were exposed brick that incased one of the most stunning stain glass windows I have ever seen! My heart was beating so fast, because I was taking in all of this unexpected beauty, and I was still trying to decide if I was trespassing! It was a construction site, right?! I could not turn back now! Walking up this staircase was wonderful and of course I had to take several pictures to capture all of the elegant angles. When I reached the top I found that this area was an open loft with a detailed window. Next to the loft was a bedroom and then another bedroom next to that. As I walked down the hall to the left I found yet another smaller bedroom, this room was unique because it was open, and allowed a view into the bright sunroom below. On the right side of the hall were bathrooms. I love that at the end of the hall was a window. This house was not lacking in light. Each bedroom had a unique window with wood trim, and there were beautiful high baseboards throughout the house.
When I left this house I was ecstatic and fill to the brim with excitement, because finally was able to see the inside of the mint green house. I felt like Christmas had come early—like I had been given a gift! I found a beautiful house and much more.
Several months after this experience I asked myself, why do I love this house and houses similar to it? I love the rare angles and framework of older homes, and I greatly admire the beautiful unique finish carpentry and maybe in the next life I will be a finish carpenter!?
As I took in the beauty of this lovely old home, one word stood out in my mind— creation. I appreciate the splendor and gift of creation. Creating is so strong within me—within all of us. I think that is why I keep seeking it, why I keep searching for more. I see this in threads interwoven in many aspects of my life, and you can find it in yours. When we think of creation sometimes we think of something grand and it can be, but it can also be found and done in the smallest simplest ways. I find creation in my Grandpas art that hangs on my walls or in his pots, in my relationships old and new, I see it in each spectacular season, I see it in a bouquet made by my hands, I see it in my children. Creation is everywhere and in everything.
A wise man once said “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness, Your Heritage, Ensign, October 2008)
As each of us go about creating in our own ways, let us not compare but complement one another. When we do that, it will create a powerful connection. With this gift of creation you have received from Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father what will you acknowledge and do today?