Essays by Karen Anderson: A Well-Hung Door
I live in an old house, and there are some nice things about old houses. Nooks and crannies, history and character. There are also other things, many of which appear on a list called “Improvements.”
Last summer, it was a new back door. The old door was here when my husband and I bought the house over twenty years ago. It had huge claw marks in the wood as if the Hound of the Baskervilles had been trying to get in.
Clearly, it was time to replace it, but like so much else in American life, there were too many choices. Wood, steel, fiberglass? Hardware? Storm door?
Then, when those decisions were made, there was the old-house factor: nothing was square. Except, of course, the new door. So we were grateful to have a carpenter who knew the ins and outs, you might say, of creating a functional door in a dysfunctional space.
A high-traffic space that’s in use every day, four seasons of the year. No small thing, this rectangle of elegance and precision. The smooth glide and solid thunk of that door in its frame. Tumble of locks, turn of key.
Maybe it’s not rocket science. Maybe it’s more important.