Friday, December 18, 2009

The Pink House

I found out last week that somebody has painted my house and this time, for a change, it wasn't me! I guess I should clarify and say that somebody painted an absolutely beautiful picture of our house the way it looked long long ago.

As the result of one of those amazing connections that occasionally happen in the world of blogging, an artist named Peter Krebs who grew up in our area discovered this blog as a result of a post I had written on my other, less house oriented blog. He recognized my house as one he had painted a long time ago when he was a student, freshly back from a summer studying art in Arles. I love the Van Gogh/Hopper-esque style that he used in this painting. It really captures the feeling of an earlier time. I miss how beautiful our area was back before they came in and widened the former two lane country road in front of our house. There was a relatively nice balance of suburbs and country out this way at that time.

Please go read Peter's beautiful and loving reminiscences of his time growing up in this area before all of the "progress" started. His perspective as a young boy growing up in this area and his appreciation of all that it did for him is extremely refreshing. And it tells the story behind the painting that he did of our house over 15 years ago.


Our house has been through a lot since that time, in fact it has been through a lot ever since we bought it way back in 1985. We have very few photos now because we lost nearly everything in the fire, but I recently acquired a few faded ones that my parents had taken over the years.

Our house stopped being pink only about 3 months before the fire happened. I had finally gotten around to painting the original sections to match the gray siding on the huge new addition that we had put on the back of the house. I remember thinking "This is it, I'm not doing this again. It's ridiculous that I should have to paint the entire outside of my house - twice." I was bitching and moaning because it's not fun to paint when it's not warm and sunny. It was November, but still warm enough to paint, and I was finishing the last bits of it during the two week Thanksgiving break of the tour I used to do.

And after all that work it only lasted for three months thanks to the fire.

The era of the pink house began after we replaced all of the windows in order to save money on heating and so that we could actually open and close them in the summertime. This was our first house and we wanted to make it our own. I wanted to paint it blue or green, but Doug had a thing for pink - he said it reminded him of all the pink houses we saw in Bermuda on our honeymoon.

I tried a few different shades on the back of our house, but they were all rather garish, shall we say. Then I saw a big old house in Rockville that was painted a sort of dusty rose color and I thought that would be an acceptable pink. We got really excited about it and I went up and knocked on the door to ask if they would tell us what color they had used. Apparently it was a secret that they were quite proud of, but on the way back down the sidewalk an oak leaf caught my eye because it had a bit of pink in it. I held it up and the pink in it totally matched the house! From there we found a genius paint mixer named Jens who helped us to achieve exactly the right color.

It was kind of an interesting color, not exactly like the house in Rockville, but close. Apparently people used to use our house as a landmark of sorts. One person told me she used to refer to it as "the raspberry house" and she was sad when I painted it gray. By then the color had faded to a paler pink and wasn't quite as distinctive. The old photo below obviously has some color issues of its own, but it's the only one we have. This was during the time when they were widening the road, so the front yard is kind of beat up.

The picture below was taken by my mother during the time that we were replacing the windows. That's my brother up on the ladder. He was a huge help. Doug is on the back roof, I'm down there working on the back windows, and my Dad is standing there observing all of the activity.

These pictures were taken right after we bought our house and before we started all of the never-ending work. The bottom one is my favorite. The greenery looks very similar to what you see in Peter's painting and my beloved old maple tree is still there. I miss that tree!

If you'd like to read more about the old days of our house you may do so here , here , and here .

Thank you, Peter Krebs, for bringing back these early memories of my old house. It makes me especially glad that we decided to try to keep the spirit of our old house alive in the newer version that we are building now.


Bowie Mike said...

These are interesting stories about the house. I read the old 2005 posts as well.

The first photograph of your old house with all of the cars in the driveway reminded me of a picture that I had taken back in September of an old Honda Civic station wagon in Montgomery County. I had intended on including it in one of my post at some point. What caught my eye was the car itself (you don't see too many around these days) and the fact that it had a Historic label on the license plate. If cars that came out when I was a kid are considered historic, what does that make me? Anyway, here is a link to the picture of the Honda that I saw.

Cyndy said...

It's pretty hilarious that the Civic station wagon is now considered to be historic. As for the unsightly junkyard at the back of our house, those cars are Doug's Honda 600s from the 1970s. None of them actually worked, they were just sitting there rusting. For years. I think (hope)he got rid of most of them, except I know that there are still two of them lurking up in NY in a storage facility. I just hope there aren't more because the money he has spent storing these things has been a ridiculous and inappropriate drain on our finances. But they are very cute and so is Doug.

Bowie Mike said...

I'm way off topic now, but the dynamic between you and Doug that you describe in your posts is one that is very familiar to me! I especially related to it last summer when I had a remodeling project that was going a bit over schedule.

Cyndy said...

Well I see that you catch my drift - ha ha ha! How's that for a weather-related pun? But yes, this project has not been without its challenges.

Sandra Ludwig said...

The new paint on the sidings does look like brick from afar, Cyndy. Don't you think? Oh, and I like pink, too. I feel somehow relaxed in a pink room. What more if it's a pink house? Haha!