Quilting, Farming, Variety

Friday, June 10, 2011

Could Your Walls Talk?

Have you ever wondered about the life stories lived out in some old house you've seen in passing? I always wonder about the family: mother, father, how many children, how they earned their living, good times and bad. And maybe, just maybe, if I could go inside, there would be some items left to answer these questions: a chipped plate or bowl, a little table or iron bed, and sticking out of the wall, a note written in faded ink.

In past years I have enjoyed the program, If Walls Could Talk, on the television channel, HGTV. Usually the clues, to the mystery of the past, would be found in the attic, or behind a hidden wall panel. Our house was built in 1968, so maybe it doesn't qualify as an old house, but ten years ago, when we did some remodeling, I wanted to leave something of its history for the next residents, for whether we like to think about it or not, we'll be lucky to be able to live here for twenty more years. The house was built by my uncle and his son; we found the walls and corners to be perfectly plumbed and when it came time to tear out the kitchen cabinets, well, they were built to stay! We had put wood paneling on most of the walls, the "in" choice for houses in those days, and now we decided to tear it off and replace it with sheet rock that could be painted white and lighten up the rooms. So, while the walls were naked, I put together a little collection of memorabilia, stuck it between two studs, and watched as bead boarding was nailed over it. Now my walls will be able to talk during the next renovation. In the plastic bag I put pictures of the original kitchen, a piece of vinyl floor covering, a few pages from a catalog to show the fashions of the time, a little history of the actual building of the house, and pictures of our family.

Sometimes I wonder about who will live here when we're gone. If they don't like the condition of the house and decide to remodel, will they find the bag filled with history and listen to what the walls have to say? Will it matter to them?

Could your walls talk? Charlotte


  1. The house I grew up could tell lots of stories. It was almost 100 years old when we moved into it. It was a family house in that my grandpas family had built it. The original 2 rooms had wood nails in the door frames.

    The house was added onto and added onto until it had 7 rooms and a porch. All with unique character.

    Nice post!

  2. Oh I love old houses, just wrote a poem about one a while back, called Nostalgia. My old homeplace was built by my grandpa too, back in the 1920's. They have lots of stories to tell. I love this post ,Blessings, Susie

  3. What a unique idea Charlotte. I can just imagine the delight of those who will one day find your hidden treasure.
    I am like you. There is such a loneliness about those old abandoned houses, and I like to imagine what they were like when they were filled with life.
    have a blessed weekend.

  4. What a wonderful post! I, too, have thought about the stories an old house could tell..... Or sometimes, I'll look at an old tree and think of all the events that have taken place since it's been standing.
    That's a neat idea to leave a little "time capsule" within the wall of your home..... Someone will be thrilled to find it.

  5. Great post! I love old houses and the stories they could tell.