Today's Wonder of the World is... Little Bitty Houses that I Find Doing Research and Want to Rescue and Live in Forever
Like this one. Except it doesn't look like it needs rescuing. Still, I would dust it and caress it and love it with all my heart.
Maybe I've got little houses on the brain because I'm trying to distract myself from the fact that we move my sweet Sarah back to college this afternoon and that girl has tricked me into getting used to having her around again. I'm going to seriously miss her, but let's not talk about that. No, let's swallow the lump in our throats and move right along...
I've spent several days this summer driving around the Upstate of South Carolina, lurking in textile mill villages of old, falling in love with the houses and doing research for a book I want to write one of these days. I know I've blogged about my obsession with mill villages before and probably sound like your Great Aunt Mabel droning on and on about how wonderful the party line on her rotary phone used to be, but I haven't shown you many pictures yet, so sit tight, bub.
First, a little background, if you please. If you've heard this before, feel free to talk amongst yourselves. It'll only take a sec.
From the late 1800's to the mid 1900's, my corner of South Carolina was known as the Textile Jewel of the South. Everywhere you found a textile mill, you'd also find the village the mill owners built for its workers.
Many of the mills look like this now.
Dilapidated shells of what used to be the center of daily life for hundreds of families.
But not all mills are broken down.
Some lucky ones look like this.
That's The Lofts at Mills Mill near downtown Greenville. Very fancy.
It's very trendy now to refurbish an old mill into condos. People love the high ceilings, exposed brick, and the chance to live in a place steeped in history. I wouldn't mind living there myself one day, though I must say that the villages attract me more.
Some villages are in considerable disrepair...
like these on my Meals on Wheels route,
or like this mill store half a mile from my house.
Others look pretty good for their age. I like the broken down ones best. Whenever I start telling Todd my dreams of rescuing a mill house and nursing it back to health, he furrows his brow and starts spouting off about muscadine grapes or how he needs to give our dog a haircut. Then he turns on the radio.
I can't explain it, but those old houses call to me.
Maybe they remind me of my Granny Farley's house, one of the places in my life where I've felt the most loved. By this pretty lady.
There she is on the patio, holding my college sophomore. How I miss her!
There aren't any mill villages in Sandy Hook, Kentucky, but her house was about the same size as one. Until my uncles added on a back room, it had only a small galley kitchen, one finished bathroom, two bedrooms, and a living room. I loved how close people always were to each other in that house. They had to be!
We're lucky to live where the cost of housing is relatively low, so our house is fairly roomy--not huge, but big enough for us. The neighborhood is safe for bike riding, and there's a neighborhood pool and yards big enough for kickball games. But once my kids are grown, I'd really like to adopt one of those mill houses and nurse it back to health. If I can find another husband, that is.
Just kidding, sweetheart!
I know it's entirely possible that once I move into my mini dream house, I might be overcome with claustrophobia and run screaming out, begging Todd to take me back to a house where I could turn around without bumping into something. (In which case I'd have to start wearing a blond wig and dressing like Marilyn Monroe just to keep him from unloading all the I told you so's he'd have saved up. But I doubt that would happen. At least I hope not.
Cute, huh? And no repair needed. Probably. Maybe.
So what do you think? Does a house rescue appeal to you? Or do you dream of spreading out in a mcmansion with a suite for just your shoes? No judgment here. Everyone has a right to their dreams!
Have a wonder-full weekend, y'all!
PS. Look at this. I found a kindred soul!