The Cross House

What We Do For Love

Yesterday, it was 60 degrees.

Today, there was a blizzard.

So what did Ross do?

He jumped in his car and drove through a blizzard so he could check that the Cross House was OK.



I promised myself that if the roads were really bad I would turn around. And after just a few minutes on Highway 50, I knew: TURN AROUND! The problem though was that I could not see. The wind was so intense that everything outside my car windows was just, well, a white-out. A flurry of white. I could barely see ahead of me much less to the side of the road where I might make a right turn onto a cross road so that I could turn around.

So I kept creeping along. I would, occasionally, see a cross road but this was always when I was RIGHT next to it. There was no way I was going to slam on the brakes and make a sharp right turn. No. Way.

So I kept creeping along.

At last, at last, I recognized, in a moment of clear sky, that the Saffordville exit was coming up! I could see it! And the road had obviously just been plowed!

Then a thought struck me: Saffordville was the half-way point to Emporia. Thus, going forward, or turning back, was an equal proposition.


So I kept creeping along.


The road was not that bad actually. It was the snow and wind, creating scarily limited visibility, that was so unnerving.

What compelled me forward was my worry about the Cross House. The wind was so strong I could not help but wonder: had any of the unrestored stained-glass windows been sucked out by the wind? This had happened before. Had the north chimney collapsed? This was possible due to how much mortar had vanished over the last 124-years. Had the boilers gone out, causing the pipes to freeze? Hey, this happens.

I could not get these worries out of my head. I had to see the house. I had to know my baby was OK.

So I kept creeping along.


And then the house was before me. The house looked, at a glance, OK. The north chimney had not collapsed in a heap on the ground. (Click images to enlarge.)


Inside, the temperature was exactly what it should be. 


The radiators, and their marble tops, were deliciously hot. 


The pantry windows were beautifully decorated with snow and ice. 


The basement eyebrow window had a small snowdrift against it.


Another basement drift. In 2014, when I purchased the house, it would get snow drifts INSIDE the house.


The sleeping porch had a blanket of snow. 


I wandered from room to room, and from floor to floor.

The house was quiet. And warm. With no drafts.

The house was fine.

I could breathe again.

After vacuuming the whole basement, and painting some sashes in the workroom, I returned to my car, and braved the roads again. Luckily, the wind and snow had stopped and plows has clearly been out. The return drive was much easier although, curiously, I passed a number of cars which had careened off the road. I saw no such thing on the drive in when conditions were vastly worse. My guess was that, due to improved conditions, drivers had grown bolder.

Me? I drove home even slower.


14 Responses to What We Do For Love

  1. I started this post humming “The Things We Do For Love”, and finished with “…sleep in heavenly peace…” 🙂 And as a fellow old house owner, I understand completely…

  2. May I suggest a camp bed in a corner somewhere? For the day when glamping really is the only way to go because the roads are truly foul. We wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.

  3. Just think what shape it would be in IF you hadn’t come along in the first place! Gadzooks, that house is very lucky to have you. Thank goodness you arrived back home safely. Another reason why I now live in NC and not PA or CO, too many blizzards.

  4. I was born and grew up in Kenosha WI, I now live in Eden Prairie MN, I am no stranger to blizzards and understand just how you felt driving. It’s scary but yes we will do it for love! I hope soon my friend that you will not have to make that trip anymore.

  5. Ah, a winter day in a warmly heated victorian-era building is one of my favorite feelings in the world. And that picture looking out the pantry window just sums it up perfectly!

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