Monday, September 29, 2014

A Look at the Old South

So, earlier this month when my Italian friends came to visit, one of the things they wanted to see was a big Southern plantation house like in the movies.  Well, there aren't so many of those around anymore  (thank goodness!)--but there is a small town nearby that escaped being burned during the civil war, so it is famously full of grand old homes.
It was a fun place to spend the day.  We walked around taking a zillion pictures and even got to go inside a few houses.

Very Tennesse Williams to me--I can just see Big Daddy coming out to drink a bourbon.

My friends are always stunned by the fact that Americans build their houses out of wood.  I have to say,  it is kind of odd when you think about how difficult wood can be to keep from fire, insects, and decay.

I prefer these Victorian types.

When I was a little girl, we moved house a couple of times.  I remember my mother coming in excitedly to tell me all about the new house we were going to move into.  I would catch her excitement, but my imagination couldn't follow her words.  "A new house!" I would think, and in my mind's eye I would picture something like the houses above.  Some kind of house with a cupola and a hidden stairway, a mysterious attic and a big porch.  A place where magic happens or you meet a ghost who can take you back into her world for awhile when no one is paying attention to where you are (I read a lot of books).

Ha!  We always moved into a contemporary ranch-style house.  I was so disappointed and then grumpy.  Why couldn't we ever get a really beautiful house?  I remember my mother looking so crushed at my reaction.  She had no idea what vision had been swimming around in my little head, and hadn't she explained it all out for me?

Another thing, in the houses we toured there was so much crochet!  All these fabulous crocheted bed covers, which I love.  I look at these and think of the time they took to make and the complicated mental work they involved.  These tell us things about the lives of women in the past, don't they?

And to top it all off, there was this Gothic touch.  Really, a vulture on top of the church cross.  Too Flannery O'Connor for me! (My husband suggests it might be an album cover, which is not a bad idea, eh?)


  1. The houses are beautiful and I prefer a good Victorian myself although I have never lived in one.

  2. The houses also look so big!
    love the crochet too. xxx

  3. Utterly beautiful houses, just gorgeous. Kind of how I picture American houses to be which is silly as I know that's not really true!