Friday, January 23, 2009

Homes ~ Past, Present and Eternal~

What a treat it was this morning to find an invitation to come receive an award for not only being a Wonderful Mom to my children, but to all people, as well as animals.
This beautiful award came from Connie @ 'My Thoughts and Creations' . Thank you so much Connie for this beautiful award. I just can't bring myself to list names for passing this award on, for fear that I will accidentally miss someone. Not only that, but I feel the need to expand this award to include Dads and Grandparents. There are a lot of single Dads out there lovingly caring for their children, grandchildren and pets as well as Grandparents that have taken in their grandchildren to raise. With that said, if you are visiting Moodscapes and fit into one of those categories, please accept this award for your blog. I have a lot of respect for you for working so hard to make this world a better place, by being the wonderfully loving and caring people that you are.

~Back to our trip to the Southland~
I have added a few Cajun songs for you to
enjoy while visiting Louisiana with us.

This is the Holiday House. I have no idea why it sports that name, but what I can tell you is that this house is located in Sulphur, Louisiana. At one time, many years ago, it was a single family home. As it goes for many of these beautiful old homes in today's world the upkeep can become very costly. When I moved to Sulphur in '99 this house had been turned into several apartments, no doubt to help with the cost of it's upkeep. By the time J.D. retired and we moved to Ohio in '03, this beautiful home was standing empty. It truly breaks my heart to see these beautiful old homes deserted and left to deteriorate and fall apart. What an uplifting my heart received to find out that the city had bought the property and returned it to it's original state. J.D.'s trade for most of his adult life was a carpenter. Before he went to work at PPG he had helped build many homes and business buildings in the Sulphur/Lake Charles area. I remember him telling me once that when a home is vacant and left deserted for many years that eventually it starts to die. I had never thought of it in that way before, but it is so very true. I for one, am so glad that this house was saved from ruin.

This house was designed from the 17th century style of New Orleans homes. It was built in the early '70s and is located in Lake Charles, Louisiana looking out over the Prien Lake. The second story porch wraps completely around the house. This is one of the houses that J.D. helped to build. The front of the house is the side that has the two dormer windows and that is the side that faces the lake. The back of the house faces the road. The two dormer windows are the only windows in the entire house. The rest of the house receives it's natural light source from the 26 pairs of interchangeable french doors throughout the house. These french doors are hung with Swiss hinges.

Hanging a door with Swiss hinges is a whole new experience as compared to hanging a door with your run of the mill hinge. The longer bottom hinge goes into the door frame, while the shorter top hinge goes into the door itself. It isn't just a matter of drilling your holes and attaching the door, everything has to be aligned. They had received the doors separate from the hinges because the hinges came from Switzerland. They came complete with a blueprint for making a template for drilling the holes. A machinist in Lake Charles then made the template from the blueprint. J.D. said that the template didn't line up like it should have and they ended up having to discard one of the doors because there were so many holes drilled in it trying to get it to align as it should. J.D. said that he had to make quite a few modifications to the template before things lined up as they should. When it was finished, you can take one door off and interchange it with any other door in the house. J.D. kept the hinge pictured as a souvenir of the job that almost caused him to loose his mind.

When we went by the house J.D. knocked on the door and asked permission to take pictures. He told the lady that lived there his connection to the house and she invited us in to take a tour of the house. Something I would have loved to do, but we were pressed for time that day and had to decline. We do however have a standing invitation, so perhaps we can get some pictures of the inside of the house on our next trip to Louisiana.

The day that we were doing our site seeing was Thursday and we were leaving the next day for Texas. I had wanted some pictures of an old cemetery in Lake Charles, but we were already trying to push a lot of things into just a little bit of time. J.D. had planned to make a union meeting that night, so on his way to the meeting he went by the cemetery and got some pictures for me. Being a Yankee, I find the cemeteries of southern Louisiana fascinating because they are above ground. I thought this might interest some of my readers that had never seen this before. The water table is so high there that if they were able to get a grave dug deep enough to bury someone underground after the first good rain, the airtight coffin would just pop up out of the ground. Gives a whole new meaning to the saying, "You can't keep a good person down". Chances are they wouldn't be able to dig deep enough any way to bury below ground. You will be able to view the pictures in the collage best if you click on the pictures.

Tomorrow I will take you to Texas with us and photos of our family there. Until then wishing you good heath and happiness.


Linds said...

Fascinating, Jo! I love finding out about faraway places. Well, far to me anyway!
Have a great weekend!

Jess said...

Congrats on your award and lovely post and pictures.

Cant wait to join you in texas

Love, Jess

Have a great weekend

BClark said...

Wow, you sure have been busy bees. Thank you for the pictures, love those old Southern houses with all the porches. One of the best features of our home is our porch, that and the peace and quiet.

Betty said...

Congratulations on your award, Jo. I am sure you are most deserving.

Lovely homes.

Have a good weekend.

Diane@Diane's Place said...

Congratulations on receiving the award and thank you for passing it on to your readers. :o)

The Swiss hinges and details about the house and about the cemeteries is very interesting. I've seen some of the above ground cemeteries myself.

Have a great weekend, Jo!

Love and hugs,


Diane of Crafty Passions said...

Congratulations on your award!!
I enjoyed your post today!!

Mary said...


Congratulations! You are very deserving of the award.

I love Holiday House. One day I have to visit your area.


PEA said...

Congratulations on receiving that well deserved award and thank you so much for passing it on to all of us:-)

I want to go live at the Holiday House. Oh my, what a beautiful place!! How heartwarming that the city bought it and restored it, as you say, it's always such a shame when such grand old houses are left to rot.

That was so interesting to learn about the Swiss hinges but I can well imagine how frustrating it was for JD and the other carpenters who had to get them to work with the doors!!

An above ground cemetery...I had never heard of that! Once you explained, though, it made sense as to why they can't bury the caskets underground.

Hope your week is going well my friend. xoxo