I Like Snow, My Old Farmhouse Evidently Doesn't

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Musings, In The News

I wish that I had more energy. This has been a tough winter for my old farmhouse. I have complained about the lack of snow the last five winters, it seemed like winters were getting milder and milder in my area, and we never had decent snows anymore. Well, evidently someone was listening, and this year made up for all the snow we hadn’t been getting. I have enjoyed it–walking in it, playing with the dogs in it, and even shoveling it. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same thing about my farmhouse: It hasn’t enjoyed the snow at all.

I have had periods with no power, and my main heat source out, which of course caused water lines to freeze. I have trees and shrubs that have been damaged by the weight of the snow. The shed roof on the rear of my house started collapsing from the snow’s weight. Huge blocks of snow, which came loose off the main roof, have knocked guttering loose on two sides of the house, and it is swinging in the breeze. My phone line has been knocked off of the house. So, I have been working on temporary solutions to these issues, and I know I will be busy as soon as the snow completely melts.

Yet, I look at some of the articles and blogs on the web and wonder how these people manage to get so much done. There was an article in the Ballard News Tribune about a man who had just purchased an early 1900s house with plans to restore it. Ballard is outside of Seattle, Washington. Old house restoration articles always catch my eye, but what made me sit back in my chair was that this man has already restored old houses built in 1906, in 1928, and several from the early 1900s. He purchased this one because it is close to his daughter’s high school. It’s almost more than I can do to keep up with one old house restoration. Maybe it’s something in the northwest air or water.

Then I happened upon a blog being done by a young couple who decided to move to the country. They purchased a farm and named it Butterfly Hollow, and are in the process of restoring the old farmhouse on the property. I like old farmhouse restoration blogs, most of which have step-by-step pictures of the work being done on the home. This site doesn’t disappoint–they are doing a very nice job with both the old farmhouse and the blog.

Then, I had my day made. I came upon an old farmhouse restoration blog that may be not only one of the best restoration blogs I have visited, it also may be the very best personal blog I have ever seen. The photography on this site is absolutely amazing. I considered myself to be a decent amateur photographer–it’s a hobby I enjoy–but after seeing this site, I realize I am only a beginner. The site was created by a woman who restores old farmhouses with her husband. They live in the homes while restoring them, and the current one happens to be an old farmhouse built in 1895, located on a 10-acre farm near the mountains in eastern Tennessee. If you get a chance, spend some time on the site–it really is good! They have taken in some animals, too–some llamas and a camel. I know I’ll be a frequent visitor to the site. I may not have the energy to get everything done on my own old farmhouse, but I do have the energy to read about someone who does. Besides, after a while, the sound that swinging gutter makes is kind of soothing.