Our One Hundred Year-Old Home
Our 100-year-old home
This month, the home we have been living in for the past twenty-two years, has become one hundred years old. It was built in 1913 as the first new home on a country lane (now a city street) in Denver near a dairy farmhouse and hay barn built some forty years earlier. Now our home is in the hustle and bustle of the city only three miles from the skyscrapers of downtown.
When this solid brick home with stone windowsills was built in 1913, our country had not yet entered World War I under President Woodrow Wilson. The house endured the turmoils not only of World War I but also World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and our recent on-going wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. But our peaceful backyard lined with maple trees in the back and pine trees on the sides helps us forget the perversity of the world; it's an ideal spot to relax with a glass of wine.
We know of two previous owners before we moved into our home in 1991, just one year after our move from the small Wyoming town of Laramie where I had taught at the university for twenty-five years. The people we bought it from lived here from 1980 to 1991 and the old couple before them date back to the 1950s.
Our Additions to the Home
Because I had a large book collection and because we needed a bit more space, we added a back wing for the library and additional storage space along with a closed-in patio room where, during snowy, cold evenings in January or February, we can sit with a cup of steaming Irish coffee and watch the winds blow the snow-laden trees.
My wife Maura and I enjoy sitting down with a good book in the library room heated with a blazing fireplace, and from time to time, gazing up at our kachina doll collection. Of course, like most Americans, we watch evening t.v. but mostly the history channel or classic movie channels.
We enjoy our home the most when our three children and seven grandchildren come for a visit to celebrate the holidays or a birthday. Our friends have come to visit us from as far away as Japan and as close as across the street. Fellow writers, fellow professors, and fellow outdoor enthusiasts and clergymen have all shared with us their experiences in writing, teaching, preaching and camping or hiking. Of course a few dogs have shared living here with us including a blond cocker spaniel and a black lab.
This old house with its original woodwork is the perfect setting for the drama of our lives as it unfolds through the years.
Some of our past guests include Minoru Fujita, renowned Shakespearean critic from Japan, Avi, children's author of over 90 books, Robert Barbee, former Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, William Oandassen, late Native American poet of the Yuki tribe, and Ben Bennani, Arab poet and translator.