Tarbox Redux

Welcome back to this blog, which has had a two-year hiatus. I’ve been writing a new novel (currently unnamed) as well as a book about our adventures on which this Ipswich, Massachusetts house blog is based. The title? Tarbox Redux. Of course.

And so, to continue…

Recently, while digging a four-foot-deep trench in our driveway to lay a pipe, our contractors unearthed a new cache of artifacts – mainly pottery fragments.

After all that dirt was brought forth from below, John and I scoured our driveway and here are but a few examples of what we found.

colonial pipe 2

I discovered this face today after casually sifting through some of the latest pottery fragments. Perhaps this rounded relief (which I’ve digitally magnified) was once a section of the bowl from a colonial clay pipe?

The tiny details on some of these pieces are nothing short of fine art.

deep cobalt


Here is an example of how the driveway looked after the dirt and pottery fragments and old glass shards and ancient brick segments arose from the deep.

driveway finds.JPG

It has been like beachcombing in our yard. Yardcoming.

This really old shard of glass has some interesting etched textures:

glass shard

Here we have an old jug top:

jug top

Along with the face, these are some of my favorite finds. The design seems terribly old, intricate, and beautiful:

design detail.JPG

Our deed dates to 1634, so our yard has gravitas.

But some pieces seem unusually modern, like these:

interesting colors and design.JPG

modern design.JPG

It would be hard to know the date of each fragment as they’ve all been mixed in the earth and they appeared quite accidentally, courtesy of a large tractor. Our property had been owned by one family from 1634 until around the beginning of the 20th century, so that family may have kept one place in the yard for disposal of broken plates and so forth. (I’m guessing.)

The word “Britannia” beneath this boat may help date this fragment (although I’ve not yet found an example of this design online).


This appears to be an old spout.

old spout.JPG

And speaking of spouting…

Rant du jour…

If you know me at all, then you’ve probably heard my daily rant about Ipswich traffic safety. But please bear with me, as the rant du jour is a new feature of this blog.

Our home is located in a densely populated residential zone, which is also the walking route for many middle and high school students.

Our front door is approximately 12 feet from the street.

When my husband and I purchased our old home in 2014, we knew it was situated on a (small) state highway and we knew there would be traffic, but it also clearly sits in a residential neighborhood, and whenever we’d visited the house prior to the closing the traffic had not seemed too bad. Then we moved in.

Trucks drive by at all hours, especially between five and seven on weekday mornings, and quite a few regularly pass by all through the night.

We are not talking about your average size truck. We are talking about the biggest tractor trailers I’ve ever seen. Some are so large that when they pass our house they obliterate all views from our front windows; all windows at once. Some carry 12 automobiles on their double-deck trailers. Many seem to have no limitation to length or weight. These trucks are indescribably large.

About two years ago I woke up to the house shaking, which happens frequently when the trucks pass by, but on that particular day, the shaking was so violent that it set off our attic smoke detector. We took the device off the ceiling but it could not be calmed until the batteries were removed. The shaking had apparently dislodged such a large piece of plaster that it permanently disabled the device sensor.

I truly felt that my home was screaming. My home was literally screaming for help.

I’ll pick up this rant later, but for now, consider the following: The largest trucks on earth constantly and habitually and routinely speed within inches of the oldest homes in North America. What could go wrong?



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