Old houses that are new to us offer mysteries. When I was readying to move in I wondered at the number of high hooks on the doors. Closet doors, bedroom doors, the door to the attic, all secured from the outside. I don't think the previous owner had children, so after my initial alarm I dismissed the idea that she was locking someone in. I unscrewed them carefully, placed them in a box in case I need them though I can't imagine why I would, and began to fill the holes.
Later, when I wanted to close doors that wouldn't quite shut, I wondered if she had latched them to keep her cat from pulling them open with his inky paw. Wondered further if his nocturnal roaming, the soft creak of a door, might have been unsettling to someone living alone. And if that were the case, wouldn't it have been better to fix the door rather than take this sloppy short cut?
I puzzled, too, over the hook in the bathroom cabinet. What in the world had she hung there? Was I missing an opportunity? Did I need something that should be hanging there that I didn't have?
And then there is her obvious replacement of the original single hook inside my bedroom closet for two newer hooks. I hang my robe there. Did she? Did she make room for someone else in her closet, in her house, in her bed?
I've been here over a month and now I realize that these things are not my concern. Knowing them would not help me know the house better. Knowing them would certainly not help me know myself better. Originally intrigued by her life, her hooks, her robe, I realized this speculation and my accompanying judgements only keep me from getting my own house in order, which is the task at hand.