I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Friday, September 19, 2008

If the Walls Could Talk

I just heard that the county I live in has a website in which you can check your home's evaluation. So, I did a search for the home I live in. I wasn't as interested in the evaluation as much as I was to find out when the house was built. The website says it was built in 1915, so the house is 93 years old.

Knowing that fact made me wonder how many families have lived in my home over the years. What did the first family who lived in the house do for entertainment? Television hadn't been invented yet. I wonder if families sat around in the living I now call my own and listened to radio theater? Or maybe they gathered around the radio and listened to news about WWI that was about to begin.

I wonder if the first family who lived in my house built it to their specifications? If so, did they have two children (since there are three bedrooms in the house)? Did they spend quiet evenings on the back porch? Was it enclosed like it is now? How many other houses surrounded mine? How long did the first owners stay in the house? What made them leave? Did someone die? Did someone get a better job in a different city? Did they strike it rich and buy a bigger house?

And who moved in after them? Were they happy to move into the house or was it a step down? What changes did they make? What nuances of the house had settled in by that point? Did the floorboard creak by my bedroom door like it does now? What color did they paint the walls? And what exactly are those flaws in the living room ceiling? Are those the result of a poor repair job of some sort?

How many other families have come and gone from my house since it was built? Ninety three years is a long, long time. Woodrow Wilson was president in 1915. According to this website, the population of the United States was 100,546,000. Federal spending that year was $0.75 billion. And postage stamps were two cents. Yeah, it was that long ago.

This old house has outlived its first owner and probably its second. It has lived through two world wars (and several others), the Great Depression, and so much more. It really does make me wish that the walls could talk.


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