I was outside picking fresh grass and dandelions for the chickens to eat this afternoon and just happened to decide to look into one of our many crawl spaces because the door was cracked open. Normally I do not like crawl spaces…we have several – some are inside the house, others you can get to from outside the house and at least one you can access from both outside and inside. Most of them are spidery and dirt floors and tiny and gross and filled with trash. Yuck. Joe has sealed off a couple of them from the basement side now to make our basement more hospitable… that’s the main reason I will even go down there now! One of the crawl spaces was huge and right next to the stairs and it was all open and anything could pop right out of it. Now it is sealed off with foam so it’s nicer to go on the stairs.
The crawl space down on the lower right with the door cracked open. Our living room window is further up on the right and the doorway leads into our pantry. The light is falling off and does not work and we have never even opened the door… it’s locked and don’t even think we have a key, I have never even tried to do anything with it. On the inside there are shelves across it and we ripped off the concrete stairs last fall. Someday we may get to put up a deck that wraps around the house and then we’ll have something right outside this door instead of a drop off.s
The crawl space I peeked into today is the one underneath our pantry. It has a poured concrete floor (the crawl space does) so I assume it used to have stairs going down from the inside pantry door to the outside (like a back door way, it was right near the well and some old chicken coop buildings). Then at some point they built a deck or enclosed porch higher up and made an additional door to the outside with more stairs leading down and then put a tiny door next to the stairs so they could store stuff in the crawl space. Last fall we ripped the stairs off the house when we were putting in our new septic tank so the door is more accessible. It was always there, but it was in a little nook between the stairs and the house and covered in over grown weeds so there was no way I was going to go near the thing! But now with the steps and weeds gone, it’s pretty well open and I could use a hoe to open the door and pull out interesting things!
This crawl space had some gardening pots and a few nice pieces of dried out firewood. Most of the pots were just generic little ceramic things (which I might use, but I did not bring in the house) and others were plastic containers used to plant seeds or whatever… nothing special. I did haul out these three pieces though that are interesting. A little mouse bear thing with a drum that holds a plant and then a cat planter and a little blue and white china dish that they were using to put under a pot to catch water. Unfortunately when I was scrubbing up the mouse-bear and the cat I did not realize their eyes and trim were coming off until I almost totally scrubbed the details right off. You can still see the cat has some blue in her eyes and on her neck bow and her ears and mouth were pink. The mouse-bear had blue ears and creepy pink eyes and a mouth. I wonder if they painted them, or if they are just so old that I scrubbed off the manufacturers paint. I assume it’s lead based anyways, so I might just scrub the rest of it off now too since it’s chipped already. I could always repaint them if I decide to.
I also hauled out this tin/metal wash pan thing. It’s painted in two shades of green and it’s chipping a bit but I kind of like it. It even has a hole in the bottom in the middle to drain water so I think I might plant something interesting in it. I was undecided enough on it, and it’s large, so I didn’t bring it into the house. I can wash it off with the hose if/when I use it!
It’s always interesting to find old things around here and we haven’t found anything cool in some time! I’m assuming these things were from the Erickson’s who lived here for a long time and not the couple families who temporarily rented the house between when the Erickson’s owned it and when we bought it a few years ago. I don’t know why they kept so much stuff and in such weird places (and when it comes to the trash I wish they had gotten rid of more of it), but it’s neat to find nice usable items and pieces of their past!