Thursday Doors

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This week’s photos for Thursday Doors comes from the 1980’s, when my husband, myself (eight months pregnant on twins), two children aged 5 and 3, and the dog moved, into an old bungalow needing plenty of refurbishment, in county Clare. No, it wasn’t the old stone cottage in these first two images, although that did come with the house and our plan was to renovate it, too. The first shot was taken during our first winter there and the second one, the following year. You can see where a lot more of the roof collapsed over the course of a year.

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The reason we didn’t get round to tackling the old stone property was because the house we had moved into needed so much work. It was a four roomed bungalow, built in 1935 by the people whose family had outgrown the old cottage across from it, which must have been about 200 years old at the time. The man who owned these houses was a cobbler and with the village only a half mile further up the road, he probably earned a decent enough living. He also owned a quarry, right across from the old cottage, which may have created some extra income. It was on this old quarry that he built the new house for his family – the one that became our home in 1983.

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You can just about see the remains of the old door on the cottage and what’s left of the thatch that became a ‘living’ roof. That’s me with the twins and our two older children. It was a bit of a challenge renovating on just my husband’s income but as we did a lot of the work ourselves it was manageable.

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It took about three years to get most of the wiring, plumbing, heating, septic tank (we used a chemical loo for the first few months) and attic conversion done. As you can see from the photos of the front and rear of the house, I love red doors. We were able to save the double sash window at the back but the rest had to be changed. What a wonderful six years we had in that house, and I loved every minute of it – except when we had to empty the loo in a lime pit at the end of the garden. The first thing we did, was have a septic tank and flushing toilet installed. We had to wait for planning permission to come through for that, hence the need for the chemical toilet. The original front door was rapidly disintegrating with only its red paint holding it together, so we had to replace it – with another red door, of course.

ย That red door was a great backdrop to lots of family photos.

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Sometimes it was colder inside than it was outside.

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At other times it was so hot we thought we were in Mexico.

Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration.ย 

Thanks for visiting and joining me on my trip down memory lane. There are lots of interesting doors to be found on Norm’s blog, why not head on over and check it out!

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About Jean Reinhardt

Author of 'A Pocket Full of Shells' an Amazon International best seller, Jean writes young adult and historical fiction. She has been known to shed a tear over Little House on the Prairie.
This entry was posted in castles and ruins, Ireland, photo challenges, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Thursday Doors

  1. jan says:

    You really were a brave family undertaking so much! Such a delightful story to go with your picks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim says:

    what a fascinating place where you live.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Norm 2.0 says:

    Love that red door. Those adorable looking kids all seem quite happy and oh what wonderful memories you must all have of that place. I bet it was worth every drop of sweat and effort you put into it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful project, Jean. I love the photos. That looks like a ton of work. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. elizabeth stokkebye says:

    I can see why you liked those years…awesome with the outdoors for the kids ๐Ÿ™‚ So satisfying to re-construct a home together โค Your kids must treasure their memories from there, too. I grew up in an old thatched farm house in the country in Denmark and have vivid memories from that time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like a fabulous childhood. I would have loved to grow up on a farm. Moving to Clare was the closest I got, as we were surrounded by fields and cows and we even had a couple of hens of our own. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  6. I spent many summer months as a child in the ’60s on my grandmother’s farm in Co Clare. The house was thatched, with a half door, Liscannor flagstone floor and an open, turf fire that never went out. I used to love the sound of crickets in the thatch at night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still love the smell of a turf fire. We used turf and logs most of the time in that house. I spent many nights in my Granny’s house cowering under the blankets with my sisters, terrified of whatever it was that lived in the big black spider’s web in a corner of the ceiling. Now you’ve reminded me of that I won’t sleep a wink tonight, lol. ๐Ÿ˜‰ My parents had a Liscannor slate roof in Ennistymon and gave us the flags to make a patio in front of our house when they re-roofed. They were heavy flags, I can tell you. How they stayed up for so long on a roof is beyond me.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. joey says:

    Oh nice! I love seeing things repaired and more importantly, brought back to life. Your family certainly did a lot of hard work! I enjoyed the photos. That red door is wonderful. I love a red door. Thank you for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joannesisco says:

    Do you ever look back and wonder where on earth you got the energy from? I had only 2 children in the midst of major home rebuilds – you had 4!!!
    Treasured memories indeed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I certainly do, Joanne. Even with two children, renovating a house while living in it is a nightmare. Once we were trying to knock a door way through a wall and the kids had swimming goggles on and scarves around their mouths to protect them from the dust. They helped out by using their beach buckets and spades to clear the debris. Child labour aside ๐Ÿ˜ฎ they loved mucking in whenever it was safe enough for them to do so.

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      • joannesisco says:

        Children love to be included in a project. On our moving day many, many years ago, we allowed our 4 and 7 year to stay home from school to *help* with the move.
        My thinking was that this was a huge deal for them too and it wasn’t fair to exclude them.
        They were kept busy doing small things and were so well behaved staying out of the way where they could be hurt.
        Needless to say, their memories of the move are ones of excitement and adventure.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice! Doors (red ones) are special when memories are attached to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ohh, what a lovely personal history door, I love these! It sounds quite an adventure and I love all the smiles. I bet it was easier this way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jlfatgcs says:

    Jean, we also moved into an old home in the 1980’s with two small children. It was a 1755 stone Pennsylvania farm house with two red front doors. The window sills were very deep because of the thick stone walls. The staircases were spiral and enclosed with doors at the bottom. Yes, our children learned how to walk up and down those stairs. Thank you for sharing this great post! -Jennie-

    Liked by 2 people

  12. jesh stg says:

    Some interesting memories, Jean! The first thing I did was calculating, and you must be more up in years than I thought (it’s a compliment!) You had a busy life!
    We now live in an area where everyone has a septic tank, and some have a water well, but we do have electricity. Fortunately the company who provides the septic tank also empties if, so we don’t have anything to do on that, except pay for the service of course. Hope you had enough sleep, my dear:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • The guy operating the digger we hired hit solid rock at the minimum depth for a septic tank. He said we would have had to get an explosive expert to go deeper if he’d hit that rock any sooner. We only had to have it emptied once in the six years we were there. I wonder where it all went? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

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      • jesh stg says:

        They use explosives here too, when they need to to break up mountain rocks.
        You probably didn’t have as much trash as some have here – I won’t go into details, but you can imagine what I mean:)
        So, are you a grandmother yet?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have four grandchildren ranging in age from 6 months to 16 years. Do you have some yourself? I don’t see enough of mine but by next year we will have moved nearer to them so I’m hoping to rectify that. ๐Ÿ™‚

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          • jesh stg says:

            Oldest daughter has 4 kids – youngest is 10 and oldest 19 and 2nd daughter has 3 kids, ranging from 4-9 years old. We lived in Los Angeles until Aug. 2014 (7 hours drive South), so we saw them only 2-3 times a year. But now it’s 1 1/2 -2 hrs. Away, so we can see them for their birthday and for graduations. I just posted June’s summer and winter -where you see the 3 youngest (only the back of 2).

            Liked by 1 person

  13. dimlamp says:

    Those are neat red doors. Your story about the lack of plumbing, etc., makes one realise how much we take those for granted nowadays, and ought to make us be grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great red doors, and wonderful images made even more wonderful because of the story attached to them!
    The images of the kids playing and looking so happy are priceless!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kash Pals says:

    You have adorable kids. A delightful story to go with your photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a wonderful post, Jean. Thank you for sharing. Enjoyed the pics and the narrative.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Jay says:

    I was going to say I love the vintage photos but saying vintage about the 80s just feels wrong, doesn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still have to remind myself that ’70’s is vintage – I was a teenager back then. At first it made me feel old – like antique – that my teen years were ‘vintage’ but the ’70’s was a great era, so now, I tend to feel privileged. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  18. pommepal says:

    How lovely it is to have photos to look back on. I bet it just seemed like a couple of years ago to you. How time flies

    Liked by 1 person

  19. eths says:

    What a fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. pattimoed says:

    Wonderful post, Jean. I love the story of the red door and all the happy memories there. You must have been amazingly busy with new babies and older children and a house that needed so many repairs!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a lovely remembrance of things and times dear. Though I must say you and your husband, with two young children and a house to restore, were brave, and you — very pregnant at the time — were very brave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Cynthia. It think it was more desperation than bravery. We wanted to escape from the fast pace of life we were in and that meant getting rid of our mortgage. Thirty years later we are about to do the same thing – we bought a nice little house that needs a lot of renovating and hope to have it fit to live in by the end of the year. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Prior-2001 says:

    I loved this post! And you reminded me of princess di in the old family photo!
    What a nice flashback and talk about projects – whew – the red door is a great backdrop for those pics too….
    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  23. My goodness, you are spot on with the Princess Di remark. We had pretty much the same hair style back then and quite a few people made the same remark. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  24. jesh stg says:

    Your post was well received! Was looking for your post this week, but no – hope you’re okay -not in the dumps because of the UK leaving the Eur. Union:) i wonder how many are going to follow …you do not have to reply to this!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m just catching up online today as we were up in Cavan for a few days making a start on the house renovating. We stayed on the boat (with no wifi) and I wrote while my husband tackled the house. We both made good progress, so the trip was very worthwhile. ๐Ÿ™‚ Nobody knows what will happen with the EU now, but I can’t see a mass exodus somehow. The EU was originally called the European Economic Community but has became more of a political union over the decades, which has resulted in a lot of dissent and controversy. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.

      Like

      • jesh stg says:

        How romantic, writing on a book on a boat:)
        Probably true about the exodus, but it may still be worth it,not having to abide by the annoying house rules of the EU (I read later up on it, since we’ve been out of Europe for 3 decades) I didn’t know it had become such micro management!

        If you read the first lines of my new post (Up to July 4th) you may understand if I won’t be able to link onto any memes, but I think I still will be able to reach WordPress people) – the fire is too far away to have any effect on us, only internet wise. California may not be known abroad for fires, but we have them every year.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope the fire won’t spread too far. When we lived in Spain there was quite a large fire in the ravine near our urbanization. The wind blew the sparks onto our roofs and those of us quick enough managed to roll in our sun shades to avoid getting holes all over them. Two helicopters dropped water and sand over the burning trees and although we didn’t fear for our own home, as it was far enough away, those closer to the ravine were hosing their properties – just in case.

          Liked by 1 person

  25. jesh stg says:

    Now I’m the one who can’t sleep – hot weather – I deleted my blurb about the fire -hoping it will blow over (350 acres – many already evacuated). Are you writing on a new book (or do authors keep that hidden till it comes out?)

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was trying to finish one I’ve been working on for the past eight months. I’m editing it now but in the meantime I’ve started the next one in the series. I do hope that fire stays well clear of you, it’s awful to have that worry over your head.

      Like

      • jesh stg says:

        Referring to your story about the fire in Spain, you know what it means! Have you ever though about including it in one of your books?
        This fire is too far away to be dangerous to our houses here, but it did wreak havoc with my internet yesterday (Wednesday).
        Last year Sept. there was a big fire closeby (similar experience as you had – helicopters and planes flying over our roof to drop fire retardant. Even fire fighters from Southern Calif. (7 hrs. away) came to help.
        Were 3 days without electricity in hot weather, so all our food spoiled.
        Am living as my adult kids say “in the middle of nowhere” -in the forest, so if someone would hose our rook, it would be us:)
        Several people in our street were already evacuated, but we held out, but after the weekend, having ashes everywhere I got sick for a week at least (according to son in law who was a firefighter before) from breathing ashes (even though we had towels by the doors).
        So, next time, we might stay in a hotel, lol.
        Last year I was worried, because we had already started packing our car with our belongings -accepting you might lose your house, but this time not -it’s too far.

        Liked by 1 person

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