The Tybeeites are shivering–it might have gotten down to forty degrees here this morning, and beach-dwellers don’t love cold weather. I woke up shortly after 5 am, with pieces of the new book jumping around in my brain. I get like that when it’s been a while since I’ve written. Ideas start to bubble up to the surface from my subconscious (or is it unconscious? I can never keep them straight). I get cranky when I haven’t written in a while–I compare it to imagination constipation. Anyway, I was hearing pieces of dialogue in my head. Finally, I got up and made it over to my laptop. After a couple false starts, I started seeing Weezie. And her mother, the long-suffering Marian. I wrote three pages, then took a break to do house things.
Our contractor is starting to make real progress on the beach house. The plank walls are complete in the living/dining room, and in the utility room and stairwell. The lumber company was delivering bead-board as I was leaving. I drove into Savannah to hunt for old glass door-knobs for the gorgeous old doors that will be installed in Breeze Inn. Maybe you remember how I snagged them at a circa 1920s-era house that was being torn down in the Virginia-Highlands neighborhood in Atlanta. I’d answered an ad for a vintage gas stove, but sadly, the stove wouldn’t work for the beach house. When the owner of the house mentioned he was going to start tearing the house down the following day, I started looking for something to buy. He ended up selling me nine or so solid wood interior doors. They were a bargain at $20 apiece, but he had stripped them all of the doorknobs and mortise sets. I can’t bear the idea of putting cheap, contemporary hardware on these vintage beauties. So I hit some of my favorite antique spots in Savannah. I found two sets of glass knobs at Habersham Antique Market, and the owner, who knows me, let me take them on approval. I found eight more sets at a great architectural salvage shop in the Victorian district, Pinch of the Past, which is located at Whitaker and 43rd Streets. This shop was originally located downtown on Broughton Street, but moved to its new spot in the past year. I took the doorknobs on approval, and headed over to President Street Extension, and Youman’s Antiques. Youman’s is a junky-looking old building, but there are treasures within, if you look hard enough. I found two more sets of knobs there, and will go back to get them, now that I know what I’m looking for. While I was looking at the display case full of assorted odds and ends, I spotted a piece of Jadeite something. It was a slender Jadeite glass towel rod. Missing it’s end brackets, but for $8.50, I scooped it up, and I’m sure when I go back to Pinch of the Past, I’ll find a pair of replacement brackets. Or, if that fails, when I get back to Atlanta, I’ll make a trip to Eugenia’s Antique Hardware in Chamblee. If Eugenia’s doesn’t have it, nobody does. What? You’ve never been to Eugenia’s? It’s totally worth a trip to Atlanta, if you’re jonesing for the good old stuff. That towel bar will be the perfect complement to the vintage green sink from Scott’s Antique Market that’s going in the upstairs guest bath.
When I got back to the house, I showed the knobs to Keith, my contractor. The knobs will work, all right, but he pointed out I’ll still have to buy lock and mortise sets for each of the dozen or so doors we’re outfitting. Gawd knows what that’ll cost. Restoration ain’t no cheap thang, I’ll tell you that right now. At least I won’t have to buy antique hinges for all the doors–I made sure to save them when they were being removed from the house in Virginia Highlands.
And then it was back to work. I ate my customary spaghetti dinner, had a glass of Two-Buck Chuck chardonnay from Trader Joe’s, and sat down to my laptop. Wonder of wonders, I finished the first chapter. Yay me!