Sunday, September 03, 2006

Grandma's House

Here's my photographic take from Grandma's house. Perhaps these images mean something to me only because they are of Grandma's house and Grandma's belongings. Perhaps they are beautiful only to me because Grandma was beautiful to me. Perhaps if you didn't know Grandma, these images will mean nothing to you. Perhaps not.

This image was made in Grandma's bedroom. I was alone upstairs and passing through when the scene caught my eye. So simple and gentle and beautiful. Like Grandma. Just a bit of lace in a bureau drawer, with gorgeous light coming through the curtains. As is my style, I did not move anything to make this image, but just tried to capture exactly what I saw and felt.

Grandma's bookcase, with these old encyclopedias, was in her dining room.

Just outside the basement door, before you go up the steps to the backyard, you are standing under the end of the back porch. If you happen to look up while you're standing there, like I did, you'll find these boards mixed in with the other plain boards that make up the floor of the porch above you. They say "Ferguson Broadway Bus Lines...Ferguson 21 MO." Grandpa worked for Ferguson Broadway Bus Lines. And Grandpa built this house.

Do people still use chains on their doors? Or are we a deadbolt society now?

Grandma was fond of skeleton keys. This one hung downstairs.

My dad showed me how these skeleton keys hung on the hook on the bathroom door. He placed them there, and then chuckled as I made my image. I don't think he saw what I saw.
Until now.

This is actually the first image I made Saturday. I was sitting on the basement steps, listening to my loved ones laugh and joke as they went through old, forgotten belongings in the basement. The light was hitting the door just right, and I could see the texture of the old paint and the sturdy metal doorknob. And, as usual, I don't really know exactly what drove me to make the image, but that little voice in my head said, "You should shoot that." The little voice hasn't told me to do anything crazy yet, so I listen to it.

A hinge on one of the kitchen cabinets, which perhaps doesn't mean much to you, but does to me. You see, this hinge has probably been there for many, many years. It opens and closes, and maybe it squeaks now and then, but it gets the job done. We have a hinge on one of our kitchen cabinets that is much, much newer than this one, and that M has to repair about once every two weeks or so, when the screw falls out and the cabinet door falls off. So I appreciate a good, solid, strong hinge.

My Papa pointed this out to me, with a bit of reminiscing. "I forgot, we used to have our Cub Scout meetings down here." I like that I now know that my dad was a member of Den 8 Pack 364.

Handle on one of the kitchen windows.

Another chain. This one goes with the basement door knob from up above.

Grandma's kitchen ceiling always intrigued me. I liked the funky, modern/retro design of the wood. I liked the texture and the shadows it created. I figured Grandma and Grandpa had style. Dad told me it was to keep the ceiling from caving in.

This, in my opinion, was the best piece of furniture in Grandma's whole house. It's a funky chair with awesome celedon green upholstery. It's got no arms, but it's comfortable as heck. It didn't go with any of Grandma's other furniture. Amy Dawn talked about taking it. I hope she did.

What is Smile's Prid Salve, anyway?

In all the years of visiting Grandma, I never noticed this adorable hook. It hangs on the door between Grandma's bedroom and the one bathroom in the house. The other door to the bathroom is off the kitchen. Always freaked me out to have two doors going into that bathroom. I lived in fear that I'd forget to lock one and someone would come busting through while I was doing my business.

Another doorknob and lock that takes one of the skeleton keys shown above.

When M and I moved into our current house, we went around and removed all the light switch plates, replacing them all with extra-large (to cover the paint globs from the folks before us) white plastic covers. We love the clean look and how they all match. Grandma's didn't match at all (see this image and the next two), but they sure are fun to look at.
These dolls were in a box of items in the middle bedroom. I'm not sure where they are going, but they caught my eye.

Ah, the old wardrobe in the basement that held Uncle Tony's stuff for many years. There was talk of trying to take it, but apparently the only way to get it out, according to the family, is to dismantle the darn thing and haul it out piece by piece. Which makes me wonder how, exactly, it got down there in the first place.

A note on the images: I converted all these images to black and white, and then tinted them with a sepia tone, except for two. The scene from Grandma's bedroom and the boards under the back porch both were more powerful in color, I thought. The sepia tone on the rest is meant to convey the old-world/timeless feeling I got when making these images. I think they just work better that way.


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