Beth Meadows

My day job

"beauty", "historic preservation", "knox heritage", "photos", "salvage", "school", "simple", "thankful"B1 Comment
Managing an architectural salvage program for a non-profit may seem like one of the coolest jobs around (It is. I boast.), but I must tell you, every job has its dismal moments. There is a point when monotony rears its ugly head for every career, and the day-to-day can become painstaking. (I hope art never gets that way.)

But then that job puts you in a situation that reminds you why you're doing what you're doing, and new life is breathed into your work.

This happened the other day. I received a call from a man who had some doors he wanted me to see. On Monday, I drove out to his address in South Knoxville.

{Sidenote: South Knoxville is a hidden gem. It's just really something else.}

I passed his house a couple of times before I realized it was his; each time I did, I thought to myself, "My, that house is precious." Lo and behold it was his.

I drove down the gravel driveway, noticing a beautiful black and white chicken sharing a drink with a cat out of a water bowl. I passed two Saabs in the driveway, and the man directed me to pull around the circle garden with a fountain in the middle of it.

Some people I meet through this job are crazy. Some repeat themselves over and over again and don't listen to a word I say. But then there are some I just know I'm going to like. I know it right off the bat.

The man led me to the barn, chock full of old chairs, furniture, wood, doors, etc. He showed me this beautiful mantel that he had stripped and is currently trying to sell on Craigslist.

Right past his barn were all the doors. "I pulled them out for you so that you could see them." Perfect.

His wife, came out soon after. As they pointed out everything, they discussed where they got each item and wondered out loud if they thought they should hang on to anything in case they wanted to use it some day.

Their home was her grandmother's, and they are renovating it.

"Want to come inside and see if there's anything you want in there?" the woman said.

"We don't have anything in there to give her!" the man said.

"Ok, I'll show you around anyway," she said.

"I'd like that," I complied.

Forty-five minutes later, after receiving the tour of all three floors of the house and and also her gardens, it was time for me to head on.

"Come back anytime," she said.

"Don't say that unless you mean it," I replied.

Sadly, I'll most likely never go back over there.

On these errands, people tell me to come back all of the time. Do they really mean it? I suppose I'll know when my hair is long and grey and I have chickens and gardens, and a beautiful old house, and a barn full of antiques.