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  • Circa 1970 ...

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  • Fine lookin' group of Fuess men ..

  • Bernie Fuess Wake

  • Trillium - Rare Michigan Forest Flower

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"He was haunted by what had been, what might have been, and what could never be."
-- Dean Koontz, The Other Emily

In every life there are nexuses where a single decision sets the course for everything that follows. While the nexus may not be recognized when it is occurring, one can almost always locate the specific moment in retrospect. It could be as simple as a high school breakup, or a pivotal moment where you planned to "pop the question" but didn't, or it could be as simple as not taking action when action was due. Those moments populate the stage with "what had been." It is in retrospect that one asks "I wonder what might have been" if I had only ... And alas, that's where the haunting begins because at this point you have already entered the "could never be" stage. You should not infer that the haunted is necessarily dissatisfied with the status quo but rather haunted by curiosity about how life would have played out had the alternate decision been made. I have had three such nexuses in my life and COVID-19 had provided the leisure to contemplate them. Now it would be interesting to compare notes with the other(s) involved to understand the effect of the nexus from their perspective and how their lives were altered for better or worse.

Theresa Gilmore: The foregoing was specifically aimed at you. I meant "forever and always," did you? Really?

When Natasha's grandpa Larson built his house in 1914 he expected it to first be a boarding house for his logging crew so he built it extra large. Still later, after the logging business dwindled out, it was the boarding house for the teachers at Rock High School, which he also built. Today it's a fully restored four story mansion maintained by Natasha and David in loving memory of Grandma and Grandpa Larson. The work, however, never ends. Our latest project was to completely redo the dining room in more or less traditional Swedish style. The floors, walls, and windows are original to the house. If  you look carefully you might be able to just pick out some of the scorch marks from one of several fires that attempted, but never succeeded, to burn down the house.

(Click on any of the images to see and enlarged view.)

 Here is the overview. The blue discs set in the shoulder height molding are an extensive collection of antique butter plates made in Denmark. The two large platters on the left are original Delfts from Belgium and would have been used for serving.

Each of the other decorating features will be described separately below.

 

 

 

Early Swedish homes would not be complete without a spinning wheel. Natasha got her first spinning wheel about 55 years ago and still spins when her hands allow. The spinning wheel pictured here was hand made by David several years ago (just to prove to himself that he could!) It's a fully functional "Castle Wheel" which is a very compact spinning wheel that could be easily transported to a neighbor's for a spinning bee or easily stored away when not in use.

 

 

 

"Butterfly on Bluebells" This was an early Natasha & David joint project. The frame content is cross stitch executed by Natasha and the custom Frame was designed and executed by David to complement the image motif.

Note: Natasha has been doing needlework her whole life devoting most of it to recovering the nearly lost art of Hardanger. There are other images on this site devoted specifically to her Hardanger art.

 

 

The next two images are from the end wall to the right of the photographer in the overview.

The northeast corner of the Dining Room has a short bias wall that was begging for a custom piece of furniture. Natasha suggested a Demilune table which David was happy to design and build for her. The table is dark Walnut with a Birdseye Maple waist band and drawer.

 

 

 

 

To finish out that wall David made a Dutch clock.

I have been pondering the acceleration of time with age. If you're over 50 you know the feeling that time seems to be flowing faster and the older you get the worse it gets. Of course I would not have brought it up if I didn't have a theory :). So here goes. The basic idea is that our perception of time is relative to the time we have already lived. So to a one year old a year is a lifetime. But to a 75 year old a year is like a few days and a week like a few hours. so the perception that it's can't possibly be Friday because it was just Friday yesterday is quite understandable as a fraction of life lived. When you examine everything you have done is the week  you see that everything seems to be in order time wise but you still can't shake the feeling that time has somehow sped up. So relativity aside (which holds that time slows with increasing velocity as a fraction of the speed of light) time appears to accelerate as a fraction of age. To first order one could assume the process is linear, but at 74 both last week and the last ten years seem to have melded into some form of "yesterday" so it probably is not linear and may even be exponential. I say this because I can recall some instances in time that occurred over 50 years ago as though they took place yesterday or at the most a week ago. Unfortunately those instances involve some very painful memories and that may also be a factor.

There are a number of interesting articles online that attempt to explain the relationship between the perception of time and how engrossed one is in something or the age at which the time is perceived. I, for one, believe that this perception is purely subjective, hence, probably does not have a precise scientific explanation.

Mary Devlin, the proprietor of the Escanaba Old City Hall, had this
really ugly lamp that was in desperate for a new base. Long story short,
we settled on making a new base out of maple burl on a turned walnut platform.
And here it is:

All that was left was to figure out what to do with the remaining burl? Well, how
about stabilizing it and making a collection of burl bowls!



I really love the look of maple burl.
These will be on display in the East Ludington Gallery in Escanaba, MI.