Thursday, August 24, 2006

An Added Bonus

So, there are these two stained glass windows in the front parlor. Some of you may have seen one of them before. It is the big arched one on the front of the house. The other is a small window about 6 feet up on an adjacent wall. Here’s a picture.

First, note the antique Bakelite mini-blinds. The verdict’s still out, but I think they might be original to the house. Maybe not, but anyway, there are these 2 windows in the parlor. The small one high up on the wall may be considered a “piano window”. I’ve been told that small windows high on the wall were put there so you could fit a piano or organ under them and still get light in the room from that wall. It makes sense, because given the lighting situation in the late 19th Century you would pretty much want a window on every exterior wall to get enough light in the room during the day. If it's a full sized window, it limits the available space for large pieces of furniture.

But back to the bonus….

I was out working on The Intimate Little Corner on Monday and my neighbor across the street pulls up and gets out of his truck. I think the woman who lives in the house recently married because I don’t really know this gentleman but he seems to live there now. Maybe he’s just a boyfriend, at any rate, I don’t know him well and we’ve rarely spoken. He asked me about a tailor of lumber parked in front of the lot next to his. I told him I didn’t know anything about it.

He then tells me that at this time of year, late in the day, just before the sun goes down my front stained glass window shoots colors at his house. The only thing I can assume is that a ray of light comes in the small stained glass window, goes through my parlor, and shoots out the big stained glass window. The effect is that the house across the street gets a rainbow of colors in their front parlor in the evening. My house becomes like a giant kaleidoscope shooting colors at the house across the street! Is that cool, or what?

At first I was surprised I’ve never noticed it before. Also, as soon as he told me it sounded familiar. I think the woman mentioned this to me right after I moved in. The first 6 months I lived here were very chaotic. There was the whole feeling of being over-whelmed by the monster house that seems like it needs more work than I could possibly ever do in 4 lifetimes. Also, I was working like a mad-man to get the apartments ready to rent. It may have been one of those instances where somebody tells you something interesting or important and because of your state of mind you just kind of go, “Huh, what? Ok, whatever.” And then you forget it pretty much as soon as you are told it.

Now that I’ve lived here for 4 years in a somewhat less chaotic state than the first 6 months, you would think that maybe I would have noticed that I live in a 3000 sq ft kaleidoscope. I think I never noticed for several reasons. First, for the first couple of years in the house I used the dining room as my living room and spent very little time in the parlors. Then, of course, this only happens a few weeks or months of the year. Also, we frequently have overcast skies this time of year. Finally, I would have to be sitting in the parlor looking out the front window at the house across the street when it happens. I’m really not one to sit and stare out the window like that. Also, I don’t know the duration of the light show. It may only happen for 5 minutes and then it’s gone. I really should have asked more questions.

As you can imagine I’m very curious to see what this looks like and maybe even get a picture of it. I don’t know if the light is small and focused or if it appears on some of the front of the house as well. Today may be one of those times when all the planets come in to alignment, so to speak. It’s sunny; I’m in the parlor; I’m not scrapping paint because my back is killing me from installing carpet - Grrrrr!; and I’m finally aware of the phenomena. Now I just have to remember to glance out the window periodically.

I just looked. It's not there yet.


jaxter said...

That sounds amazing - I hope it is as beautiful as my imagination pictures it!

purejuice said...

there's a prism in the oculus of the native american museum here in d.c. and the spot of light it lets in, rainbow colored, moves across the floor of this huge public space as the sun moves across the sky. children love to stand in it, this light, and it is marvelous to see them bathe in it like sparrows.

Greg said...

Neat! Now that's an added bonus.

Kristin said...