Monday, October 29, 2012

What Have You Been Hiding?

He who has imagination without learning has wings but no feet.
                                                                             Joubert


Today I travelled to the little village and went to the little house where I grew up. I noticed while slowly driving by that the man that bought the place and has been trying desperately to preserve its lovely charm was there, I parked and went up to talk to him. He has graciously let me explore the house ever since he bought it and has been working on it. There was finally an old wall with old wallpaper, old newspaper and horse hair exposed, he let me take some pieces jammed under the old trim. I photographed different snippets of the old paper still stuck to the wall. I could not believe it had survived.

This is a house that my Dad used to always insist was built the year Jesse James was born. I had no idea who this Jesse James was at the time until I seen a movie in black and white on the old TV set, fuelling my imagination.

Mr. New Owner I shall call him Pierre was informed by the engineers that no matter what he was to do with this house it would cost too much to save it, it was structurally unsound. He has decided to demolish it and built a brand new fancy house.

I remember as a kid in that cold old house with lots of drafts and no plumbing, and wishing the wind would take it away like in the Wizard of Oz. We would all be whisked up into the air and land in the land where Munchkins and the Good Witch lived. I would always wish for a warm place where my Mom and Dad and all us kids would not have to huddle all together, and we did not have to go get buckets of drinking water up the street, around the corner. I wished for my own room and a fancy toilet that you could flush like the other kids who lived down the street. After thinking back and remembering dreaming of that day so long as a kid, I must say on hearing this news today I was a little sad.

There is a whole lot of history in this old house and that history began long before we had ever been born. First off we were always told stories that it was built on the old Stage Coach Road. All I knew about Stage Coaches was what I had seen on those Old Westerns on TV and I loved that thought. The Stage Coach Inn used to sit on the man street and I imagined the Stage Coach would bring guests to the front of the Inn and the drover would pull hard on those reins on those beautiful horses and holler “Whoa. The people in the Stage Coach would go inside and rent a room to wash up and sleep, and the horses would go to the stable behind to rest and eat hay. At first light they would again begin the long journey to Toronto or Montreal. I stand here thinking back to those long lost stories in my head and glance over to still see the road bed hill in our old back yard.

I had also imagined the Stage Coach with those tired horses prancing down this old road with well-dressed weary people sitting inside, the horseman directing the horses, with old trunks stacked behind him as he sat high atop. The luggage would be filled with beautiful dresses, and treasures of jewelry and coins. This was usually when my imagination used to take me off in the direction of robbers ambushing the Stage Coach, and coins being spilled all over the ground while the beautiful dressed people tried to hold tight to their coin bags while fighting with those robbers.

I seemed to be able to pull my brothers and sisters into those stories that I delightfully shared. That is when all this compulsive digging started. We were all searching for treasures at different times and different spots all over the back yard. My stories would just keep getting bigger and bigger. Everyone was always trying to find those spilled coins that missed the robber’s eye lying on the ground during the scuffle.

Well one day my brother actually found a coin from 1850’s and I then knew I was not just a storyteller, I was truly a teller of truths or so I told myself. Maybe I was not as “Full of Malarkey” as my Great Grandmother used to say. This made for constant searching and more holes in our back yard over many years. We were going to find the coins sell them and be rich and then move out of this old house someday. No more coins were ever found.

I have gotten to know the new owner Pierre very well and he vowed to inform me if he finds any of those hidden treasures in the walls that I have always imagined in my head. Who knows what this house has been hiding.



Yes it is a sad day but, I do know there are many more stories hidden in this old house or under this hunk of land and I intend to keep trying to solve some of the mystery. 

I wonder if Pierre could lend me a shovel. Stay tuned.

Later

31 comments:

  1. Wonderful post . Hope you find your treasures !

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  2. I love hearing how imaginative you were as a child - definitely not surprising - I think you've retained your imagination over the years :-)

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  3. I know that growing up in this old house made you what you are today, my friend. Something money cannot buy.

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  4. Looking for treasures is almost as fun as actually finding them. I drew up in a house built in the 1890s and never got to see what was inside the walls. We had indoor plumbing but that had been installed before I was born.

    But now I live in a house approximately the same age and when we've torn down the old lath and plaster we've found a few treasures like old newspapers. And the yard has yielded broken glass and pottery shards but never a coin. Very cool!

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  5. I'm sure it's bittersweet, but I'm also excited for what treasures might be found!
    When we painted our kitchen and tore off the old wallpaper, we found all kinds of writing on the plaster walls.

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  6. Rent yourself one of those metal detectors and take a walk around the property. You never know what you'll find. How sad though, that such a piece of history will be no more. Take lots and lots of photos.

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  7. Stay tuned.

    For the stories.

    And my share of treasure.

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  8. Thank you for stopping by Pricilla's blog today.

    It's sad to lose the permanence of your past but the memories will always remain into your future

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  9. At least your home's new owner has tried to save it's life even though it is on it's last legs. Too bad it can't talk and tell you its story. It might almost be as good as the ones you told!

    R.I.P. Button's First Home.

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  10. i traveled back to wisconsin a few times and was able to walk thru the old childhood home on the farm where i spent my first 13 yrs. the owner let me explore. i was so glad i ran into him as it was torn down the next time i returned. made me very sad.

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  11. It's so generous of the new owner to let you go through the old homestead and take little treasures. He is obviously a compassionate man. Love the story. :)

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  12. You should try and talk Pierre into saving that bit of wall and make it into a feature in the house. Just a thought.
    Lovely post buttons. I remember when I heard they had demolished the children's home I lived in. How sad I felt. And yet I hated that place!

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  13. So great that you've gotten to know Pierre and he has let you tour the house again. I bet there are all sorts of hidden treasures in there. Lots of memories for sure :)

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  14. what a wonderful story b!! my mom still lives in the home we grew up in. i am lucky to have that connection to my home and those memories!!

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  15. We used to live in a house built in 1911 in Lead. It was the parsonage to a church. We found 2 half dimes one from 1832 and one from 1854. I wish we had a metal dector, so we could have combed that yard more thoroughly.

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  16. Buttons!
    Fantastic post.
    Training is a great thing.
    I send greetings.

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  17. What wonderful history and what a wonderful imagination you had as a child. We all dug for treasure as children but alas, all I ever found were Coca Cola ring pulls and worms.

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  18. Very interesting history of the old house. I hope you fin your treasures.

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  19. Oh how great you get to go back and visit your old homestead. Ours was torn down years ago. It was also from the 1800's and had square nails.

    What memories you have!!

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  20. Well done, Buttons. What a brilliantly nostalgic -- and practical! -- post.

    Pearl

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  21. nice story buttons!
    it's too bad the house can't talk...let you know what it remembers...where to look for lost treasure!
    so nice of pierre to let you roam...wander about...stirring up all those memories...and visit before the house is 'no more'.
    save all the little pieces you can! build a collage.

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  22. I love your stories Buttons, you have such a way with words!! :)
    It is sad about the house but I'm glad the new owner let you have a last look...

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  23. Great story hope you find a beautiful treasure.

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  24. My childhood home was demolished for an apartment building. It was rather traumatic for us to sit and watch it come down as it had been my grandmothers family homestead dating way way back.

    When they were almost done, a man showed up and said his father had hidden a bag of money in the foundation stones years ago! I'm surprised the demo. company let him into the basement hole to pull stones out! He spent almost a day pulling and digging but didn't find anything, hahaha.

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  25. That's a lovely post as usual. Hugs M xoxoxox

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  26. It is great that Pierre will let you visit your old house (which just might blow away with Sandy if it is in her path). It is a sad tale. Jon has a good idea about saving a wall or a piece with newspaper attached which you could take and hang on your wall.

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  27. I do hope you find your treasures.

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  28. You are the treasure Buttons. *hugs*

    You are no less imaginative now than you were as a child; it is a rare so who can hold on to that. I'm so glad you could re-visit your old home and that the new owner is kind and helpful.

    Last year we drove to the old home town and decided to drive by the old grey elephant. Imagine my surprise when there was just an empty lot.

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  29. When we tore down the little green house, we got the idea/experiment to try to shoot a 30.06 and a .22 at the house - wannabe cowboy/12 year old boy type of thinking - which one would penetrate the walls? although it seems odd in reality you'd be surprised how many adult guys want to know what happened lol anyhow I still have a little piece of our dining room wall with a .22 bullet in it - that is lodged in 5 LAYERS of wallpaper LOL

    I suppose Pierre wouldnt like it if you tried that experiment...but I am very happy that he is so open to have you come in and explore and remember - good neighbor !

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  30. it wonderful of pierre to let you document your memories.

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  31. What a moving post for sure. It is too bad that the old home can't be spared.

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The mind grows by what it feeds on. J.G. Holland

Thank you so much for your comments, they mean more to me then I could ever express. Hug B

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