Which door is the real one?

Don’t know about where you live, but in New England, the front door typically is rarely used.

That insight was confirmed when I was canvassing for the Census and we had to leave a notice behind when nobody was home. Often, the real door is the one at the rear of the house.

It’s a curiosity that reminds me of something I once read about Zen temples in Japan, which were initially copies of ones in China.

The Chinese loved symmetry, which the Japanese detested, and so when the imported designs were expanded, they grew to one side or the other. Many old New England houses also have many additions, most famously the connecting barn.

Well, for the record, our back door is where the action is, and it runs through a mud room addition from the kitchen.

Now I’m starting to think about trying to enter by the right door as a metaphor for life. Like maybe there’s a hidden key, even. The one others know about, but not you or me?


The additions are usually tucked away, nearly out of sight

The side-door Cape style is rampant in Eastport, but that doesn’t mean they all look the same.

Additions adapted them to growing family needs.
And each family was (and is) different.
The addition didn’t allows go on the back, either.

In addition, as a fishing village, few carriages houses were built behind the houses. That’s one big difference between places like Dover. Besides, who would care for the horses while you were out to sea?

Did I mention I’ve long had a love of symmetry?

That, as well as variations on a theme, plus some lively deviations. The Chinese, I’ve read, also loved symmetry, and when Zen Buddhism spread to Japan, the temples were constructed according to tradition. But the Japanese also disliked symmetry, as is reflected in the additions over time, which always built to one side or the other.

I can see that dynamic at work in our little fishing village in the evolution of our distinctive side-door Cape style.

Here’s more of the basic front as a starting point.

Windows evenly spaced. The venetian blinds, though, slyly defy the symmetry.
The utilities become the off-setting touches here. Also, there seems to be a slight addition spacing between the middle windows. 
The middle space is growing.
The chimney’s moved to one side, while what looks like a former fireplace in the front was never quite symmetric. I like what that one light does, too. The cable dish, meanwhile, is just what it is.
We might note that the chimney’s slightly off-center. A few bushes or other landscaping adds naturally variety, too. As for those curtains?




It may be a stool but it’s not for sitting

When I’m working at the laptop on my real desktop, having the stool to my right comes in pretty handy. It’s the right height for papers I need at the moment or even something to sip. Not that I planned this shot, which accidentally exposes a bit more of how I really live. The lower milk crate, by the way, serves as a cell phone recharging station while keeping the bunnies away from the sensitive wires plugged in behind it.