Thursday, December 8, 2011

Most Awesome House Warming

Before we hosted our housewarming party a couple of weeks ago, I spent a lot of time thinking about what to name our house.  I wanted the name on the invitations but I didn't want to rush myself because I wanted a good name with a lot of reference to our location and the history of the place and also something that meant something to us. 

First off, why name a house?   Long before there were street names and numbers, houses had names.  Think England and Jane Austen and Jane Eyre: Mansfield Park, Pemberly, Gateshead, Thornfield Hall.  But not only big estates had names.  Small places also had names:  Shell Cottage, Orchard House, Rose Cottage, Stag's Leap, etc.

We ended up with "Gertie's Lair." Our good friend Kelly ordered this welcome mat for us and it couldn't be more perfect!
Now for the story behind the name.

We live right next to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and have a fabulous view of it all along the house.  These 2 bridges (but we always just refer to them as the bridge) are the 5th largest suspension bridges in the United States.  Originally, there was only one bridge and it was called Galloping Gertie.

If you know anything about the first Gertie, it is represented by this photo:

Galloping Gertie collapsed during high winds on Nov 7, 1940.  It had only opened on July 1, 1940.  Not a very long life!

Now when the original bridge collapsed, large tresses fell into the water and were left there.  Sea life took over and Giant Pacific Octopuses moved in, making their dens in the sunken ruins.

Now, my husband and I, we think of Gertie as an octopus that lives in the ruins of the old bridge under the water.  Hence the name, Gertie's Lair.  I have always been a bit obsessed with the octopus.  I am in the process of making a giant octopus vessel for my fiber arts class.  (Photos coming soon.)  I also plan on having a hand railing built with an octopus designed into it.

Long live Gertie's Lair and thoughtful friends!

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