June 21, 2010

If Walls Could Talk


I love treasure hunts. That's one of the reasons why I start to sweat profusely whenever I see a Marshalls or T.J. Maxx.

In a former life, our house was Santa's Village. When we moved in five years ago, all of the carpet was red. Every other surface was covered with forest green wallpaper.

My husband and I renovated our house entirely by ourselves (it was as fun as it sounds) and every time we embarked on a project, I always held my breath in hopes that behind a wall or underneath three layers of hideous bathroom tile we would find a stash of reindeer antlers or a petrified elf.

For the record, all we ever found were mouse droppings and dry rot.

We don't want the future owners of this home (yep--we sold the house again and this one is a keeper!) to experience the same disappointment of deflated expectations that we have been forced to endure over the years; that's why we have left them special hidden gifts.

On the pine plank sub floor of our family room, I wrote a letter to Santa in black magic marker. Chip off the bead board paneling in the master bathroom and you'll find hieroglyphs depicting us winning the lottery and hiring someone else to rewire the overhead fan. My husband and I were not in the best of moods when we remodeled the kids' bathroom. Our sentiments toward the project and our feelings towards tile saws in particular are etched into the drywall behind the toilet and vanity.

In about a hundred years, I expect our home to make a very good episode of If Walls Could Talk.

When the moment is right and our walls speak up, I have a sick feeling that they're going to tell the world that their previous owners were a teensy bit disturbed.

29 comments

Jennifer said...

That is SO cool! I want to renovate and do that to my house, now!

Tricia said...

When I was little my parents remodeled our kitchen after a grease fire(Mom got caught up watching Little House on the Prairie and almost burned the house down). My dad wrote various messages on the walls before covering them in green paneling. My mom is a school teacher and ~20 years after the remodel she found out one of her students lived in our old house. He told her that when they remodeled the kitchen there was various messages written on the wall like "Bennie loves Pat." My dad had written that to my mom. I thought it was sweet because my parents had divorced shortly after the remodel.

Shannon said...

Hi! We've never met and I can't even remember when or how I came across your blog, but I just wanted to say thanks for writing. I'm a touch older than you (38) and have 5 children a little more spaced out (9-16 years old), and I live out West, but I totally relate to just about every one of your posts. They always leave me with a smile. We even lived in a house on the East coast (NH) that we spent the three years we lived in it removing wall paper and just about completely redoing it top to bottom. Wish I'd thought of leaving messages in my walls, though. Perfect touch!

KelleEvil said...

hahahah sooo awesome!

the thrifty ba said...

whenmy uncle was redo the family home, he found a hiding place that was used (we think) inthe underground railroad! it was hidden in the attic floor and it had clothes, old nasty food and shoes. the house in outside of philly, right above the mason dixon line and we have always thought that was cool!

I'm just me... said...

When Hubbs and I got married I refused to let him decorate with the blacklight posters of aliens he had had in his room at his mom's. As we remodeled he got a kick out of hanging the posters on the studs under the new drywall. When we sell the house (soon I hope!) and someone else remodels in the future they will get a big suprise!

Mrs. Ohtobe said...

Oh I do the same thing. There are long tirades...er...messages under the hard wood floors in the living room and same thing behind the drywall in the bathroom and kitchen. Next project I am going to leave a photo of our family and a story so they know who is responsible for all the screw ups.

Heidi G said...

Your post reminded me of something my dad did when he was remodeling the livingroom. He taped a $1.00 bill to the inside of the wall and wrote underneath it "Keep looking, there's more where that came from." I envision the poor people who find it, tearing out the walls in hope of finding a private hidden stash of cash when really the dollar bill is the only money there. How much will it cost to redrywall the living room???

Kelly said...

Congratulations on selling your home! You are so kind to think of others by planting seeds of mystery before you exit!

Laurie said...

When my parents remodeled their kitchen after living in the house more than 20 years (they bought it new), they found a tiny door with a note. I can't remember what the note said though, something like "open me" I think. It really was just a piece of plywood with a doorknob hidden deep within the cabinets - whoever had built the house thought it would be a funny thing to hide. My parents thought it was great, so I guess it worked.

Skubaliscious said...

Congrats on selling your house!!!

Karen said...

Wow, congrats!! I am so enjoying reading these comments...I always hoped that I would find a secret door in our house when I was growing up....Tricia-that was so touching! I'm sorry it didn't have a happy ending though. :-(

Karen Mortensen said...

How cool that would be to find something in a house. I never really have had the experience but it would be great.

Laura, Ben, and family said...

Either a teensy bit disturbed, or the most entertaining people the walls have ever seen? How boring would life as a wall be if people just sat there nicely, watched TV, talked to each other, and behaved?

I bet the walls prefer throwing food, running, laughing, screaming, hysterics, and basically, personality!!!!

The Parent Trapped said...

You. Sold. Your. House. Already. I am so maddeningly happy for you. We are still waiting to sell ours.......still. Four months later.

Beth said...

My husband has done several renovations in our home, and each time I take advantage of those raw 2x4s, or exposed subfloors to write notes and draw pictures all over them. I love it!!

Anonymous said...

Wow! and i thought i was the only nut that left notes to possible future owners of our home....
there are stories written all over the studs and subfloors of my house! hopefully if nothing else the future owners will get a good laugh out of it. oh and when i helped my mom remodel her bathroom we actually took photos and stuck them in the wall behind the medicine cabinet :)

etiquette B* said...

funny about the writing, and congrats on *really* selling the house! cheers.

Tanya said...

When my paernts were building their house (after I was married) my siblings wrote notes all over the cement flooring of their bedrooms. :)

Mindy said...

That sounds like us when we worked away at our first, very un-leveled, home. We left notes in various places as to who had their level shoved in a crevice within their pantaloons (and it wasn't us).

Anonymous said...

We've remodeled our kitchen a few times, but behind the fridge all our boys wrote their names. In the basement on the hydro panel where you write which fuses go with which level, two say "dads brain" You can't buy those memories

Anonymous said...

my brother bought my uncles house and then my husband and I did some remodeling in their bathroom for them. behind the wall was written 'Todd loves Beck' ( my cousin and her husband) and a photo and a note from my younger cousin documenting what he was doing then and that he planned on being in the olympics one day. it was really kinda neat.

Andrea said...

A friend of mine was building her first house, and she had all of her friends come over and write their favorite bible verses and blessings on the studs before the drywall went up. I thought that was the coolest idea!

The Snow Queen said...

That's hilarious! My hubbs likes to remodel and I woud rather use a melon-baller on my own eyeball rather than remodel another house! I'm going to start to write cute little stories on the walls before they get covered or altered for a little therapy!

Qoddess said...

You've been quoted!

http://qoddessquotesblogs.blogspot.com/2010/06/quotes-june-27-2010.html

longge said...

These heels combine the ugg infant's erin boots with textured purple in its ankle strap style for a funky look. The Katrice heels by Sam Edelman, on the other hand, are slightly more subtle with ugg infant's erin thin zebra stripes. Nevertheless, ugg boots wedge heel with interlaced ugg at the front lends a flirty look. uggs have always been known to bring about a sexy look. Add a pair of sassy UGG Australia and it's a whole different look altogether.

wangzi said...

http://luxuryjewellery.obolog.com/
http://www.pianetablog.com/?w=luxuryjewellery
http://luxuryjewellery.publiku.com/
http://luxuryjewellery.skyrock.com/
http://tiffanyuk.sosblog.com/index.htm
http://www.tellthing.com/luxuryjewellery
http://www.tripslog.com/travel-blogs/luxuryjewellery/
http://tiffany.viviti.com/
http://designerring610.vox.com/
http://tiffanyuk.webs.com/apps/blog/

longge said...

http://www.gather.com/viewPostsByMember.action?memberId=869805
http://www.flixya.com/user/Replicawatches7
http://blogs.bigadda.com/joh5082108/
http://watch987.blog.friendster.com/
http://watch987.insanejournal.com/
http://replicawatchesclub.viviti.com/
http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3ARY6LRGFLK7CJTSRJNET4DL3A/blog
http://watch987.wordpress.com/
http://hubpages.com/hub/watch987
http://watchwatch987.blog.com/

&_&

office said...

The Tax Return Crack-Up<4>
Realizing he might have dug himself in there,Microsoft Office 2010the general emphasized that Office 2010he had spent some time as a junior Office 2007officer working "very closely Microsoft Officewith the Israeli air force" and that heMicrosoft Office 2007had found that "more cosmopolitan,Office 2007 key liberal version of the Israeli population" Office 2007 downloadto be just chock full Office 2007 Professionalof that sort of "goodwill" necessary Windows 7to give a bunch of land back Microsoft outlook 2010to the Palestinians.