My house is old.
My husband found a record that suggested it was built in the 1890′s. We bought our house in 2004. About a year before all the home prices got really cheap. We were told that Phil Donahue used to live in the beige house across the street. (There are two beige houses.) I LOVE PHIL DONAHUE. We were also told there is a jar of pennies in the wall between the dining room and the nursery. We haven’t knocked down the wall to get them yet.
When we moved in, my husband was hoping to find secret passageways and treasure. He stayed up late nights poking around the house trying to find something to discover.
I think maybe secretly he still does.
For someone expecting to find treasure, it is a big disappointment to only find a roof leak that a previous owner tried to disguise and some Scrabble tiles in the heat registers. I have a whole box of trinkets I keep of the things we have found in this house. They do tell its history, even if they are worthless to the average antique dealer.
Most of our discoveries came from vacuuming out the heat registers. Some kid(s) lived here that shoved everything that would fit down there. When we redid the dining room ceiling, we found ugly old wallpaper and nuts. Apparently at some point in the last hundred years our house served as a squirrel motel. (I HATE SQUIRRELS!)
Someone told me our house is Victorian. I have no idea. I do know that between the time that the house had its original wood exterior siding and the aluminum/vinyl siding it currently sports, someone had shingles all over it. Not like nice, New England wood shingles. Like the ugly asphalt kind you put on your roof. I cannot imagine. I guess I should be thankful they are still there, buried under other siding. I think it makes up for our lack of adequate insulation. (If I win the lottery, I am having the siding striped down to its original wood exterior again.) And someone who used to live here loved the color “brick red”. The kitchen cupboards, many rooms, (I also believe) the now white aluminum/vinyl siding all used to be that dark red.
Our attic has a hobbit door. That is what we call it. Somehow we crammed an air hockey table through it. (Air hockey and bowling and badminton are the only sports I can play at all. My play is definitely below average.
When we moved into our house, my Lab-Chow mix dug up a rawhide in the backyard that some other dog must have left behind. My Pointer recently would not stop digging holes in the backyard. And every time he digs, more of the dirt dissipates into the grass and cannot be recovered to refill the hole again. This makes for a dangerous backyard (not to mention the dog poop out there). Not to mention there used to be a swimming pool in our backyard and the ground is forever compacted and lower where it used to be. (As told to us by the neighbors who live behind us. The husband’s brother used to own our house.)
The Pointer ended up unearthing a glass perfume bottle. It doesn’t look very old, as I think the glass is molded rather than blown. That was a nice discovery. Usually, as it rains and we walk around in the backyard, all that gets unearthed are pieces of broken glass and marbles. (It makes you wonder what sort of people use their backyard as a trash dump. My husband insists that everyone used to.)
Because the Pointer kept digging, that got my husband curious and he took his metal detector (that he got at a garage sale and it didn’t come with instructions and he doesn’t know what the controls do) outside. What did he find? A piece of twisted red scrap metal and an old clothesline post base.
The poor treasure hunter can’t catch a break.