Thursday, January 29, 2009

Drawing A Dream House

Baking Cookies On A Rainy Day
8.5" x 11"

Plane geometry is the only math that ever made much sense to me and didn't give me a splitting headache. I looked at the angles as corners of a house that I might design, and I could see something there. When it got to the letters and rules, though, that gave me a headache again.
I would start out to do an assignment, and , soon, I was turning my angle into a kitchen or a house.
I always liked to draw houses and would design the dream house that I would like to have someday.
Pappy actually did design her dream house and got to live in it. A 1950s ranch style house near the park. All the ladies in the family always wanted new things and saved up to get things they wanted.
Cashiering at her husband's store, Pappy was able to save up a lot of money. She would sit at the cash register, on her ladderback chair with the cushion on it, and put change into the cigar box under the counter. They kept the extra change in a cigar box for when it was needed, with more in the safe. Only Pappy had two cigar boxes under her cash register. Extra change went into one box, but the other box was reserved for all the quarters. Pappy kept all of those for her new house fund. Almost every quarter that came to the cash register went into Pappy's cigar box.
A few times, Uncle Tom wondered why there were no quarters in the cash register, and he asked everyone, except Pappy, if they took any quarters out of the register. He would look in the compartments of the cash drawer, move coins about, and have a puzzled look on his face. Wisely, Pappy would sometimes add two or three quarters to the quarter section, just to satisfy Tom.
Sometimes Pappy would give me a nickle or a dime for an ice cream cone or popcorn at the Eloia movie theatre, or a Coke at Taliaferro's drug store, but quarters were reserved for her box. If I needed a quarter for the picture show, I had to either do a dance and sing on the counters, and hope that customers would give me a nickel, or I would have to go around to each of the relatives and plead, in my sweetest voice, for a nickel (hoping for a dime or a quarter!) It didn't come from the cash registers, but from someone's pocket-unless Grandpa would go to his register in the dry goods store and give me a nickel from there. Occasionally, someone would be generous and give me a quarter for the picture show, popcorn, and a drink or ice cream at the drugstore after the show, but usually I had to gather the coins a nickel at a time.

For years, she dreamed of moving from the frame house where she had lived across the street from her sick mother, Augusta. She wanted pretty new things, in a beautiful new home. Built just for her. She had a way with her husband and could get him to do most anything she said, with a little coaxing. She didn't have children to buy things for, but did do things for nieces and nephews. Her husband, Tom, didn't pay a lot of attention to the store. His main interest was his land, cattle, and other enterprises. I don't think he liked being cooped up inside, too much.
So Tom would sit around the store for a while, and soon was off, down the street, or to one of his places in the country, checking on work or workers, looking for possibilities.
Pappy stayed at home most of the time, but on busy days or when someone was sick, she would come to cashier.

Secretly, Pappy was drawing plans for her dream house. She begged Tom to build it for her. But he wasn't interested. He liked his old place.

Their store and the dry goods store in front burned one cold night, and Tom decided that he would not rebuild his part of the building. His safe was pulled out of the rubble and put into the new dry goods store. He also had a rocking chair where he could sit and do business between his visits to the country.

They had bought lots near the park, as did Pappy's sister, just a block apart. Pappy still asked for her house and worked on the plans .
She started visiting an architect and a contractor and, before long, her dream house was started.
Tom insisted that he wasn't paying for a new house, and he was not moving. Work on the house went on.

Pappy spent most of her time at the site of the new house and made sure that everything was done to her satisfaction. When time came to pay for the house, Tom still refused. Pappy was not to be denied. She pulled out her quarters and paid for the house herself. Tom never did miss the quarters, or know where she got all that money!
In fact, he didn't really want to move from the old house to the new, but, when she started moving, he went along.

The architects and contractors told her that she should have been an architect.
The house had a 10 foot steel and concrete reinforced foundation, and the garage had an 8 foot steel and concrete reinforced foundation. She designed for cross ventilation, since this was before people had air conditioning in their homes. The only thing she said that she should have done differently was to design lower kitchen counters, since she was short.
The house was built to last.

I never completed plans for my dream house. I sketched out a few thoughts and read a lot of house plan magazines. Sometimes, I gave that as a sketching assignment for my students-draw your dream house.

It also came in handy for the writing assignment that helps you to remember things-Mapping. In that activity, you simply start with a big piece of paper and something to draw with-marker, crayon, pencil, etc. Think of a place that you remember and try to remember a room in that place. Draw a floorplan of that room.
Pretty soon, you will start remembering details and can draw a floor plan of the entire home or building. Besides physical features, memories will start to flow.

In the above sketch, I showed someone putting a pan of cookies in a built in oven. This was part of an image I had for a dream home. A built in oven at the end of counters in an open kitchen. The counters would be in a u-shape and lined with glass bricks to let light flow across the counters. Opposite the built in oven, there would be a large island or work table, stove top, sink. Haven't worked out the rest of it yet. Sliding glass doors would open out onto a patio. Not sure if that would be a sitting area or dining area, though.
I've had that kitchen image in mind for years, so I thought I would put it on paper.
I'll have to be content with my fairly big kitchen in my mobile home, though.
I don't draw dream houses anymore. I do draw memories, though. Especially things that I don't have a photograph of .


Watch the tv program "Texas Country Reporter" in February. You can look them up on the internet to find a station near you. Locally, we get them on KCEN and KMAY.
Jody from Zamykal Gourmet Kolache Shop in Calvert sent word that she has been recorded and the program will air sometime in February.
That should be a fun segment to watch. We'll all be drooling for a kolache!
When I find out the date, I'll pass that on to you.


I hope that you will sign up for V....Vaughan's Workshop in Calvert, if you haven't done so already. Plan to come and bring a friend with you. If you aren't local, there are rooms available at the Pin Oak and the Bird Nest, B&Bs in Calvert. Pass this on to anyone who might be interested.
You can read a nice article about V.... at . This was in "Country Life Style".


If you are interested in things like Sketch Crawl here, drawing and painting in the Brazos Valley area, you might like to join in the Yahoo Group that I started-Brazos Valley Sketchers. Go to .



Beth Baxter said...

I too used to design houses as a child. I just recently downloaded google's SketchUp and am learning how to use it to design my dream house.

BC said...

We don't seem to have those cool rainy days much anymore. Getting cozy with a good book, hot chocolate, paints, cookies, soup, etc. were good memories... and, there is a lesson we need to learn and practice... saving the small things will add up to larger ones... be they money, memories, friends, etc.
Pappy was a good woman that I still think about and miss.

Rick said...

Very interesting tale. I enjoyed reading it.

I drew my dream house back when I was in graduate school. I drew it while sitting in class listening to lectures that I wasn't paying attention to. Never built the house, and the only record of the plans are in my head.