Thursday, June 12, 2008
This aging beauty displays many of the qualities inherent to Mathews. She's an honest, simple, wooden structure. A dying breed who is clinging to her roots and refusing to let go no matter how hard outside influences try to force her to change.
And now it is time to stop talking about me (all except the beauty part...and perhaps the wooden structure part, although that is debatable; particular emphasis on the simple part) and start talking about houses in Mathews.
Mathews, Middlesex and Gloucester Counties are loaded with old houses of the same vintage: two-story, white clapboard farmhouses with multiple chimneys, green trim, green shutters and green roof. Some have incredible porches, others have remarkable outbuildings. The kitchen was usually located in a wing directly off the back to keep any potential fires confined to one place. Or that's what I've been told. By someone. At some point. Probably in a dream. Or not at all. Many of these homes are still lived in, many have been updated, but too many are skeletons like the one shown here.
I'm a substitute driver for Meals on Wheels. (The rest of my resume is more impressive and includes such occupations as strawberry picker, substitute lifeguard, monorail operator and career development manager for a global consulting firm in downtown DC. Excuse me while I go cry in the corner about that last job. The only careers being developed there were the employee's next one - I had to fire a kajillion people or at least tell managers how they could get away with firing people. It was very cut-throat. I get high blood pressure just thinking about it. Of course I also get high blood pressure looking at my mountain of laundry. Back to the point. What was it again?)
This particular day my daughter and I covered the Mobjack route, and this house was close to two of my stops. I should state that although I am talking about the typical Mathews farmhouse (as well as my previous jobs, totally unrelated), this structure actually is atypical, and I'd wager it was used as either a store, an inn or something else besides a home. It would have made far too much sense to post a picture of typical farmhouse when that's what I am trying to explain.
To impress you with my architectural knowledge, I'll point out that those three upside down V-type structures across the roof are unique as are the two overhangs coming from the front doors. Two front doors? Extremely uncommon. For all I know this is a picture of some historic landmark that everyone else knows about except me. That would be common.
There are so many things I love about delivering to these older people, but most of all I relish every interaction with them, the last of the truly old-fashioned Mathewsonians. They speak with the thick Mathews accent I knew growing up; they live in very small, modest houses; they are unpretentious, straight forward, kind people with very few requirements in life.
The older folks are like these older homes: beautiful tributes to a bygone era when life was much simpler and less demanding.