And it was fun and easy!
I don’t want to duplicate too much about the technique since I already wrote about the project on Row House – https://urbanrowhouse.wordpress.com/
Instead, emotionally, we are beyond happy with how the wall came out. I knew in the end, we were going to be kicking ourselves for taking so long to get the project done. However, on some level, I am still afraid to fix things in my house. What if I screw it up? What if the house falls apart?
Well, I have to stop that. There are projects that are completely easy to do and although most people would think repointing a wall is in the advanced category, it’s actually not too bad. And, it’s a lot of fun – like building sandcastles or playing with Play-dough. And, we saved so much money not hiring a mason, because they would have laughed at the size of the wall anyway. And, we have the pride of having done the project ourselves. Woo-hoo!
There is a school of thought that says experiences are better to invest in and provide longer satisfaction. Perhaps. But, there is something very satisfying about creating something that will likely outlive you.
Our house is 183 years old. As we cleaned out the loose mortar, we could see the original mortar used by the craftsmen who built our house. As it’s a small and modest house, perhaps they just threw the wall together and didn’t pay much mind to what they were doing. However, we took our time and really thought about how to frame the stones with the mortar. We decided to recess the mortar a bit so that we could expose some of the smaller stones and retain some of the texture we’ve gotten used to as the original mortar shed. We discovered that the rocks vary quite a bit and a few are solid quartz, along with local Wissahickon schist, which is a very sparkly dark-colored stone. We used our fingers to place the mortar, which means there is a texture to the mortar that is perhaps less than professional but it has literally put our fingerprints on the house.
Over the years, we, and a few of our friends, have collected rocks from various places we’ve been. Thanks to friends who are quite the travelers, we have a piece of an Egyptian pyramid and a rock from Easter Island. If I was certain we would remain in our house for the rest of our lives, I would have incorporated the rocks.
Realistically speaking, we may relocate. Maybe. We’d like a garage, as having the car protected would reduce my paranoia about people hitting our car when we’re not even in it, twice. Frank would like a workshop; I would like a sewing/music room; and the Pumpkin would like a backyard big enough for a swimming pool. We’d like our guests to have a room with a door. We’d actually all like to have doors on our rooms.
But, we’d also like to travel. We like that projects are small and manageable in our little row cottage. The future is very uncertain; the environment, the overall fabric of the country, our financial future, to name a few. There are worse things than maintaining a steady course and we love the neighborhood and our block and neighbors.