A couple weeks ago, our neighbor next door came over with some fresh garden grown tomatoes and cucumbers. And she also brought this map. Her family has been in the neighborhood for generations, and at one point her grandfather actually owned our house. So she knows a LOT about the area. And she always loves learning more. So recently she went down to the town record hall and started looking up old plot maps, and what she came across was an original map of the plots of land when they were originally divided all the way back from the 1880s…and our house/land is on it! I guess apparently this whole neighborhood and the mansion house that sat on it were for sale together as the “Parker Property” and I love that it says “800 feet of the most desirable frontage on the water.” That includes OUR house…how cool is that??
Justin & I have been talking a lot about how symbolic this house is for our LIFE and what we want our business and our work and our time on this earth to stand for. We love that it has history and legacy and generations before…and generations that will come after. We love that it has CHARACTER. And a strong foundation. We love that it was built to last with materials that were strong and true in their creation, and that those same materials were the very reason that it survived the flood (burst pipe on the third floor, not from the ocean) seven years ago that even made it possible for us to buy it. That if the builders had tried to cut corners or take shortcuts and hadn’t been committed to their craft of a job worth doing is worth doing well, then everything they built would have crumbled from the inside out. We love that this house was built with INTEGRITY. We love that this house was around and survived the Great Hurricane of 1938, the “New England Express” they called it because it shot up the eastern seaboard so fast and rocked the Connecticut coastline when no one saw it coming. The story goes that Katherine Hepburn and her family watched their house float away. And the storm was big enough that it actually changed the landscape and topography of the CT coast forever. But our house withstood. And that’s made me be not so afraid when other storms have come our way. We love that this house is ENDURING.
We love that this house isn’t perfect. That it’s a work in progress. Because it invites people in deeper and closer because it isn’t afraid to share its imperfection. The parts of itself that are still raw and exposed and a little bit broken. Because the truth is, we’re all a little bit broken…and in the words of Brene Brown, we find each other only when we’re willing to lean in and whisper “me too.” I love that ours is a house that never shouts, but only whispers. And that what it says when it leans in is “hey, I’m a little broken just like you. But you know what, we’re all doing just fine.” We love that this house is HONEST. We love that this house allows people to exhale and let their guard down and not have to be anybody but them when they step through that door. And we love that this house is a daily exercise in reminding yourself of just how far you’ve come already. And that the BEST things, the things that were made to last, take honesty and grit and not cutting corners and a whole lot of time. We love that in its vulnerability and the cracks where the light gets in, this house is AUTHENTIC and it invites people in just as it is. And just as they are too.
That’s what we hope our life will be too.
And so when we saw this map, we knew we had to have a copy of it in our home to remind us where it all started. Long before us. And that it will go on long after us too. So Justin took the map (it was white and crinkly with black letters on it at that point) and he photographed it in parts (so it would be high res) and stitched it all back together again. Then he cleaned it up a little and inverted the colors. And we’re going to get a huge print of it to hang on the wall.
And I love that in doing so we’ll have something in our home that isn’t just decoration. But a daily reminder to be the kind of person our house would be.
**PS: if you want to see all of our Marantz House Project posts, click HERE!