My favorite doors
By CHRISTINE TAILER
When I was a little girl, I remember climbing into my father’s 1950s green station wagon so we could leave the city behind and drive out to my great aunt’s farm. The trip seemed to take forever, but as soon as we started to head up her long gravel driveway, I would put my hand on the car’s chrome door handle, and be ready to jump out and run up the brick path to the back kitchen door. This particular door was quite likely my favorite door in the world.
It was heavy wood with black iron hinges that matched the big black iron stove just inside the kitchen. But what was most special was that the top of the door could swing open while the bottom stayed securely closed. It was a Dutch door.
I remember running my hand across the bare wood of the top of the bottom door, worn smooth from countless elbows resting across it as the person inside leaned against it, talking to whoever might be outside lingering on the back kitchen porch.
So when Greg and I decided to leave our city lives behind and build our country home, I knew that I really wanted – and almost needed – to have a double-hung Dutch door. Greg somehow understood the importance, and so, like much of our furniture and even the cabin windows, Greg built the cabin’s Dutch door.
When the fire burns too hot in the fall, I can open the top half and let the warm air waft out until the cabin’s temperature is just right. During the hot days of summer, I can close just the door’s bottom half to keep the dogs either inside or out. But mostly, when I get home after a day of being out and about, I cannot wait to step out of the car, walk along the creek stone path and up the cabin’s front steps, and pass through what is now, quite assuredly, my favorite door in the whole wide world.
Over the past 10 years, Greg has certainly built many more doors. There is the door to the sugar shed, with a top panel that slides down to let a cooling summer breeze pass through. There is the sliding door to the goat house that we can close halfway during the deep cold of winter to help the goats stay warm. There are the many hutch doors that allow easy access to feed the rabbits. But there are two other doors down here at the creek that are particularly near and dear to my heart, and of course, both were built by Greg. One is the door to the outhouse, now turned storage shed. (Outhouses have been “outlawed” in our civilized world, and yes, I am thankful for indoor plumbing.) But the outhouse-now-storage-shed door sports a beautiful crescent moon, artistically placed by my dear husband. Every time I look at it, I smile.
The other special door is actually the many doors that Greg built at the rear of the chicken coop. The chickens all free range during the day and in the evening a solar-powered electric door closes them safely inside after they have returned to roost. But behind each of the eight nesting boxes, along the back wall of the coop, Greg built hinged doors that I can easily let down to gather the eggs. I feel as though I am opening the small doors on an Advent calendar, expectantly looking for a special treasure inside, or else I imagine that I am fortunate enough to have 365 days of Easter egg hunting, as I reach into the pine chips and retrieve my multi colored flock’s multi-colored eggs.
When I leave the creek, it is easy for me to quickly pass through doors without really thinking about where I have been or where I am heading, but down here at the creek, I am constantly reminded how thankful I am for the life that Greg and I share. But I really should let you know that I am just a wee bit curious as to what door I will find him building next!