This morning, my thoughts have transported me to this old farmhouse, depicted above. My mother painted this one a few years ago, and it is the home where she grew up…and where I later spent many happy summer days.
To the left of the house, notice the windmill/tankhouse image. There are stories about that old building. Like my grandmother rented out the space above to workers.
There was an outside staircase, which you can’t really see in this picture, and it is the heart of an oft-told tale of my oldest brother at age two. The legend goes: being the adventurer that he was, he climbed all the way to the top of the stairway and then leaped off! Fortunately for him, my grandmother was standing at the bottom and caught him.
On the same note, I started thinking about pumphouses. There was a small stucco pumphouse on the farm where I lived growing up. I don’t have any photos of it, but it looked something like this:
We didn’t rent it out, but I often played in it, pretending it was my personal cottage.
And to add to the collection/obsession, here’s a tankhouse I found on the web….
Why the focus on these little outbuildings…well, two things. Currently I’m reading Ninepins, a story about a single mother, her daughter, and a girl to whom she rents out her pumphouse.
So far I’m loving it! As the author, who also wrote The Tapestry of Love, surrounds the reader with images and details of the characters’ lives, I’m already leaping ahead to the inevitable conflicts and how the most innocuous actions can lead to horrific events…and, in the words from the blurb: With the tension of a thriller, NINEPINS explores the idea of family, and the volatile and changing relationships between mothers and daughters, in a landscape that is beautiful but – as they all discover – perilous.
Next: I read a book in the 1970s…and then reread it a little while ago. There is also a movie based on the book, starring Anne Bancroft and Peter Finch…and in The Pumpkin Eater, we see the characters living in an old tankhouse (among other abodes).
When you’re reading, does your mind leap and carry you to seemingly irrelevant moments from your own life? Do you connect to the story and characters in this way?