Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Keeping Room

This is part of the series, The House on High Street. The entire series is indexed here

The keeping room, now the kitchen and eating area, stretched across the back of the first floor of the house. This photo of the fireplace gives you an idea of the general condition and very frightening color scheme we found when we bought the place. Just across from this fireplace was the old stove where I watched the invisible Mrs. B's strange brew simmering during one of our shouted conversations. (Have I mentioned that I'm a librarian? Librarians really don't like to shout). 


Here is a corner of the kitchen we ended up with. Pardon the clutter--this photo was taken on a busy day. Because there were seven doors (pantry, bathroom/laundry, Pretty Room, cellar, mud room, back door, old kitchen) opening into this rather large room, we had to work some to figure out how to place everything. We ended up by removing the two old long, low windows on the wall to the right and replacing them with a shorter, wider, and more energy-efficient window over the sink. 

That window looked out over a stone wall and into the woods, and as I worked there I was always watching for moose, deer, or wild turkeys. 

7 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Looks like such a great place! I have so enjoyed reading about this house! A real trip in history! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Erikka said...

what does the keeping room mean? keeping as in storage? where things keep?

clairz said...

Sylvia, I am so glad that you have enjoyed reading about our old house. I certainly have had fun going back through photos and memories.

Erikka, I've always thought of the keeping room in a colonial house as a room off the kitchen where the family would gather to work and play. Sort of like a family room would be today. In our old house the keeping room was used as a kitchen/dining room, and the original kitchen was kind of a family room. The Pretty Room was more of a parlor--no electronics allowed--so it was very peaceful.

Judy said...

The kitchen is always my favorite place in any house but this one seems so cozy and like you said a place to gather to work and play. I love the blue teapots on the shelf.

June Saville said...

Claire
'moose, deer, or wild turkeys' - from the kitchen window. WOW!
Tell me - what happens when a librarian goes deaf? What then?
I'm speaking as a hearing challenged person.
June in Oz

clairz said...

June, with regard to hearing-impaired librarians, I guess we're all lucky that most libraries are no longer the silent places where there is "a quiet old lady whispering hush" (quote from my favorite bedtime story, Goodnight Moon).

For all the years I watched out that kitchen window while doing dishes or making bread, I never saw a moose or a deer. I saw them in other places around town, and in another house we lived in across town actually saw bears rather frequently. The big excitement was early one morning when I heard something thrashing around back in the brush and tiptoed out in my nightgown and barn boots (favorite outfit) to find two little runaway calves, who hopped our stone wall and cavorted merrily down the High Street and through the local cemetery.

Rebecca Zarges-Joy said...

Lol- mom, I happen to have LOVED your "favorite outfit" and deep down inside I had always wished you would show up at school wearing it so my friends would see you! Just add in some rollers and a little toilet paper stuck to the bottom of those boots and you would have started a new fashion trend!! Lol. You and dad did such an amazing job in that kitchen! If I remember correctly, it was the biggest overhaul done in the entire house. I remember how the kitchen used to be. It was dreadful and I didn't see it in the condition it was when you first moved in! It took YEARS for it to be finished but it was well worth it. I almost cried looking at the picture- so many fond memories! Especially of you and dad cooking! You always made everything from scratch(even dog treats!).You were both AMAZING cooks and I remember how one night I told you both that you should open a restaurant. (Neither of you were really into the idea but I'm telling you,that place would have made you rich and famous! That just wasn't the type of people you were. You're not the type of people to go crazy for money and I thank you for that because that's how I am). At the time I didn't realize how lucky I was to have not one,but two,amazing cooks for parents! I had been a girl who ate maybe a teaspoons worth of each food served because in the beginning I did NOT like the food because previously all I had eaten was "fake"food. You know the stuff- everything came in a box or can. There were still foods that I really didn't like (I just didn't have a taste for it) but I was a much better eater eventually.