Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Doors: Found Treasure

I admit it. My name is Liz and I'm a pack rat. Scavenger. Collector of others' cast-offs.

What makes my condition serious is that I drive a pickup truck.  Yeah. It holds  a lot.

The last couple years my obsession has been doors. Doors propped beside the road with a scrawled FREE sign taped to them. Doors on their sides in the dewy grass leaned against telephone poles. Even a door hanging in a friend's farmhouse mudroom--a beautiful old wooden door with wavy panes of glass and a latch--and the woman's casual comment, We'll put in a new door there--

Guess who got the old door? Sized down slightly, it's perfect on my goat shed. I even used the old hinges.

On the road to Ithaca I  hit the jackpot. I knew to keep my eyes peeled at one woodsy driveway. I'd already scored a big heavy wooden door (with a window and a letter slot!) at that very spot. This time it was a solid wooden storm door, panes of glass almost all intact. The screen insert leaned behind it, unscathed.

Understand, I loathe and detest flimsy metal storm doors. I even whine about the wimpy lightweight wooden screen doors you can still buy at hardware stores. No, this one was exactly like the monster we had on my house when I was a kid, back in the day when doors were doors. (Once, when I was about eleven, I dashed across the driveway and up the steps, reached out to stop myself, misjudged and put my hand through a pane. Even then, the door was kind, maybe sensing my future commitment to salvaging its relatives, and I only received a few little cuts from the shattered glass.)

My new old storm door now hangs on my house. It faces the deck and pond, paired with a gorgeous solid wood door inside. It's not one I found; the fellow who cut the doors to size and hung them for me had it stashed in his barn. He has a bigger collection than I do.

Not long ago my older daughter drove  up to my house . "I brought you a present." She wrestled a tall, narrow bright-red door out of her hatchback. (I'm not sure how she ever got it in there.) "It was lying by the side of the road practically with your name on it."

I am so proud of that girl. She has learned well.

I've dreamed about finding doors more than once. It seems like a good symbol. Access. Intrigue. Advancing. Gateways. I'm open to more. I don't think you can ever have too many doors. I'd like to build a shed made of doors. Think about it: everything would be handy, right inside whichever door. What could be better? So when you see that white pickup truck slow down at the junk pile next to the road, you'll know it's me.

Of course, I love windows too, but that's another story.


  1. I'm looking forward to that shed of yours made entirely out of doors, Liz. I believe old and used doors shouldn't just be discarded and thrown away. They may be old, but I believe they still have a lot of other uses that many don't see.

    Willene Fagen @ Roofing and More INC