Posted by: mrtweeds | November 12, 2008

imperfections-in the land of doors

probably one of the first things you notice when you spend any significant amount of time in our house (after the crazy amounts of toys, disenchanted animals, and plethora of books littering the premises) is that pretty much no two doors in this house are exactly alike. the door knobs, latches, pulls, and what-have-you are all original to the house (as far as we know…) and they are all different.

some are simple, hand forged latches. this makes it difficult to child-proof, as at a very young age it’s easy to figure out “lift up=escape”.


and when it comes to knobs, we have painted wooden knobs, we have stained wooden knobs, we have metal knobs. but this one is my favorite:


this is our front door. as you can see, our security system is really quite advanced. but the best thing about this, as you may notice, is that it’s upside down. see the keyhole up top there? pretty sure that it’s supposed to be the other way around. i read once that people used to install keyholes upside down because evil spirits trying to get into your house would be confused and become trapped in there, never making their way into your life. now THAT’S a good security system. the other theory is that somebody ordered the wrong hardware (or installed the door hinges on the wrong side) and instead of remedying the situation they just installed the knob and lock hardware upside down. either way, it suits the house. and me.

and then there are the bottoms of the doors. the one thing the doors do have in common is this:


oh, the gaps. this consistently cracks me up. over the years the doors have been trimmed to better hang, open, and close. which, to be honest, is a good thing for doors to be able to do. but whether the floor has settled, the house has settled, or somebody was just a really bad judge of straight cuts, we have gaps at the bottoms of all our doors. they’re not even gaps, they are completely random. some start out at a quarter of an inch or so and end up at an inch and a half. or more.

and see that little bare spot in the corner there, where all the paint has been worn off? yep. that’s the spot where the cats stick their paws out and scratch at the door to let us know that they’ve been accidentally shut in a room. it’s not uncommon to walk by a door and see an entire cat leg sticking out from underneath a door, and if you get down on the floor and look, they will take a swipe at you. seriously. you’ve been warned.

and then, last but not least, there’s the widest door in our house:


it’s noticably wider than the other doors, but it’s such a friendly thing, isn’t it? okay, so it’s not used particularly often (note the dutchman’s pipe which has overgrown on the outside) but it’s still a nice, big door welcoming you into our home, ready to let visitors come visit…except that’s not why it’s the widest door in our house. it’s the widest door because it’s the “coffin” door.

legend has it that once upon a time those handy things called funeral homes weren’t so popular and people had wakes and funerals in their homes. BUT of course in order to do that there had to be a door wide enough to get a coffin through, thus the coffin door. and this is ours.

like i said, it’s not used that often anymore, and i’m thinking that that’s a good thing…no coffins piling up waiting to get in. but i do enjoy being able to tell people “come on in…let’s go through the coffin door, shall we?” how hospitable.

because once again, i’m pretty sure coffin doors are not regularly installed as normal features in newly constructed houses these days. and while the coffin door might swell a bit in the summer and be a bit drafty in the winter, i’ll take it any day of the week.


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