Thursday, July 22, 2010

Was that the sun?

That foreign object moving up in the eastern sky this morning seemed to be the sun, but you never know. The weather maps show only a slight chance of rain into Saturday morning, then sunshine, so perhaps things are looking up.

The record here this week has been four and a half inches of rain overnight on one occasion and lesser amounts at other times and the sun has become a stranger. If it seems as if Iowans are obsessing about the weather, you're right --- with good reason (the obsessing that is). The high water marks around here have been unprecedented in some of the Chariton River and Whitebreast Creek bottoms and elsewhere. Seymour, down in Wayne County, reportedly had seven and a half inches overnight when we had four and a half.

If the morning trend continues, this will be the day to beat the grass into submission. The neighbor managed that between showers yesterday and now his looks better than mine and we can't have that.


The Preservation Commission had an interesting meeting yesterday with specialist Molly Myers Naumann of Ottumwa, who will be shepherding friends through the National Register of Historic Places application process for their home, a complicated process.

The old brick home dating from 1918 looks much as it always has on the outside and is substantially intact on the inside, too, but it was interesting to take a look at the original blueprints and note changes made in the 1960s when the home passed out of the family that had owned it since construction.

Some of these changes, made by people who were quite affluent and spared little expense, work. The dark and ponderous stairway in the central hall was modified, for example, in a light and airy colonial fashion and to my eye at least is much easier to live with than the original would have been.

On the other hand, what appears to have been a beautiful built-in oak buffet with leaded glass doors in the dining room was remodeled into 1960s sleek with sliding plain glass doors, and painted white. It looks fine, actually, but the original would have looked much better in a room that otherwise is unaltered and complete with coffered ceiling.

Similar woodwork that included a colonnade and built-in bookshelves once separating the front hall from the living room was removed, and that's too bad. And a somewhat heavy but still attractive living room fireplace was removed entirely and replaced by a plain white-painted 1960s brick box. That is too bad. The fireplace  in the study is intact so you can get a better idea of what once was in the living room and regret its passing.

You can't blame people for modifying their homes, just wish they hadn't done some things.

The flowers up top were blooming in the garden this morning after having stood up well in rain that has beaten less sturdy varieties into the ground. Hopefully most will revive given a few dry days.


norm prince said...


Good to hear your area may be drying out. Crawford County had another 0.8' last night and now it appears another 0.4' has fallen since six this morning. Yet there is hope as I think some small spots of blue are beginning to appear in the clouds overhead.

Just for the record, I look forward to what you have to share each day, either about your area or your advocation with the history groups around your county or those crazy Christian with the red doors.


Frank D. Myers said...

It sounds like the action shifted overnight to elsewhere, however. I just talked to a friend who drives for HyVee and happened to be in Fort Dodge, where about 5 inches fell. He took an early-morning nap in a HyVee parking lot and woke up with water up to the floorboards of the truck and after finally getting unloaded and headed out was asked to (and did) use the truck to rescue personnel from a stranded ambulance. Who says life in Iowa is dull?