Years ago — like 33 of them — when we moved into this old farmhouse, it had its problems. The house I mean. It was a hunting camp and summer home, and it was rustic. In other words, no heat, questionably potable water and not enough of it, no septic, antiquated wiring. It had been a well loved place to visit just as it was, but not very likeable if you had to live in it as is.
Some friends helped us make the place more liveable. They came in those first few weeks that we lived here with their two little children. Their two and our two were playing on the old hardwood plank floor when one of the little ones called out in considerable consternation, “Betsyhenningyourhouseisfallingapart!”
It was true. Over the years the chestnut planks had swelled with moisture causing the tongue and groove joints to heave. Then in dry weather they pulled apart leaving gaps, where, if it weren’t for the thick cobwebs, you could see straight down to the cellar. So maybe one of the cracks swallowed a small toy or something. Whatever, it certainly excited the poor little girl.
She’s all grown up now, but we still get a kick out of remembering the story. The floor is better, although not perfect. I recently put some masking tape over the very spot that caused the ruckus way back when. She still refers to me fondly as Betsyhenning… And in more ways than one, myhouseisstillfallingapart. Wish I could fix everything with a piece of masking tape.