Thursday, November 19, 2009
The red brick house where I lived as a child was built in 1940.The winters in New York are as cold as the ones in Michigan and the windows in our house were small and ill placed.Small, to contain the heat in the bitter cold and God knows why there was no cross ventilation in the steamy summer.There was no such thing as bay windows or sliding glass doors or french doors.No one had them.So this was a tight,gloomy ship that we sailed on.
I could not live in that house now.The house we have here in Georgia has windows everywhere and what was missing when we moved in has been added.A large window over the tub, another by the bathroom door and a third in this room which looks over the back yard.Everywhere that I turn, I can see trees.
I have always had this thing for windows.Perhaps it is from the Irish gene pool.Until 1880, the Irish were taxed by the number and size of the windows in the houses they owned.There was also a tax on the size ,height and number of doors.Of course, the poorer peasants had to limit the number and size of their windows and doors or they couldn't pay their taxes.Most of the cabins where they lived were smoky and dark.The poor called this policy "daylight robbery".My ancestors who arrived in the U.S.in
1848 ,were listed on the ship's log as farmers so I am sure that they fit the category described.
One politician in 1819, in an attempt to abolish it, described the health issues that were injurious to the poor such as the spread of typhus.Sadly, the ancestor that left Cork in 1848,died in New York City in 1853 of that disease.
Anyway, windows draw me and I found a beautiful,inspiring one while in N.C.It is a photo of an old chapel window found in Iona,Scotland.I would like to sit by this window and feel the peace of it.