Whenever I see an old house, one thought immediately pops into my mind. “What if walls could really talk?” What if the walls of old houses (or any old building, really) could tell you their stories? What would they say? No doubt, they could tell you about birthdays celebrated, holiday dinners – any number of family milestones. And some, should they feel so inclined, could tell you about significant historical events which occurred within their walls. But significant or not, all old houses have a story to tell.
Take this one, for instance.
What is its story? This looks as though it was a beautiful house at one time, someone’s pride and joy. The person who built it obviously put a lot of thought and resources into building their dream home. Look at the details on the porch railings. Look at the sheer number of porches. Look at the customized windows and the many levels.
Can’t you imagine the parties which were held here? Can you imagine laughing children running up and down the stairs? Perhaps business deals being struck over cigars in a dark-paneled study? Or can you imagine women in long dresses sitting on one of those porches enjoying a beautiful view while they drank lemonade containing chunks of ice chipped off a large block to keep it cold? Maybe a romance first bloomed here, or a proposal was offered and accepted in a dark corner of a porch. The possible stories these walls could tell are endless.
And look at the house now. No one has lived in this house for a long time. If one walked inside, once-elegant wallpaper is probably peeling off the walls. The banisters are no doubt thick with dust and cobwebs. The thump of footsteps now on the uncarpeted floors would stir up faint old echoes of laughing children in the hallways.
And walking to the back of the house would make it obvious no one sits on the porches anymore. Vines and the brush are crowding in. Trees are encroaching on the yard. Windows are missing. The house and its stories are being swallowed up by the slow advance of nature. Still, the house fights back the only way it knows how, standing tall and dignified even as it slowly gives way, conceding one lost memory at a time. No one loves it anymore, but it still has hope.
If houses had emotions, this one would be sad and abandoned. It is waiting for someone to rescue it from this slow slide into obscurity. It wants to feel alive again, with new owners creating new memories. Even if that new owner opened up walls and removed the woodwork and remodeled it into something unrecognizable, it wouldn’t matter, because the house would have a purpose again.
But until that day comes, these walls still have the stories they could tell, if someone cared to listen.
What stories do you think this house would tell?
I write historical romances, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.