These Walls

Posted on February 09 2021

An original Andy Warhol painting used to sit over the clawfoot bathtub in my one bathroom small Victorian home. It balanced on a shelf where any small movement during a bath would send it to its watery ruin. Next to it were two framed postcards with drawings on them from Karl Priebe. The house was built at the turn of the 20th century using a Sears kit distinguished by a round window in the attic and a small perch just big enough for four watchful eyes on the sidewalk below. 

Your house has character, they say. I always found it hard to find the character in one bathroom, a small kitchen, and no closets. I do, however, find character in the walls throughout the decades of time. This house has been in my family since 1968 when Dudley Huppler first bought it. He saved his money by keeping his expenses low by finding expired food from grocery store dumpsters, he kept the heat off during the winter, he never owned a car, and would use his colored pencils down to small stubs barely big enough to grasp. 

As I soak in the tub with the heat at a comfortable seventy degrees, I wonder what history stays within the walls and what leaves through the drafty century old windows. I know some of the things the walls would say, at least since 1968. An expired lamb chop found in a dumpster became dinner, that two babies were born here, and that famous artists and writers have visited this home and possibly sat their bottom where mine sits now. Those once houseguests would admire the artwork that hung throughout the house and tell stories over a glass of whiskey. Over time, the amount of artwork on the walls has reduced and the whiskey story time has been passed down from generation to generation.

The stories of those who once have lived here are less known prior to 1968. Six decades of families in and out throughout time must have something to say, but what is it? This home has comforted families through two world wars, the great depression, the Spanish Flu, and now it is comforting my family through this pandemic. I find comfort knowing that those things passed and this too shall pass. Life will continue. Life will thrive.

Wherever you may be and whatever history is in your walls, my hope is that you can find comfort in the little things and be kind to yourself and others. And, if you’re looking for a new project, try creating something out of tiny little dots! Grab a pen and piece of paper and let your mind turn off while you create something beautiful.

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