Story Walls

This weekend, I was attempting to finish a long, overdue task. I was on a break of many, as I did other things around the house. So, I thought I would share as I go down memory lane. Memories can make you smile and laugh and then turn right around and make you feel sad and cry.

The mother in me, I see the angled walls going up the stairs to our finished attic with memories on both sides. Through this pandemic, the attic space has been my go-to in order to do things, plus getting away, but I have wanted to do through the years. This is one of those, out of sight and out of mind places we try to ignore in our homes and ends up as a catch-all of stuff. Still, life moves forward and the project, becomes the thought, maybe tomorrow. Then years roll by just like that. Who knows, my paper all rolled up and protected might be dry rotted. I only bought one double roll long ago so I have no leeway to make an oops. The pressure is on.

Thankfully, I finally have a handle on the attic and it feels great. To organize, give away, pitch made a huge difference, not only in the attic but in me. I don’t want it, I don’t need it, I don’t want to see it so I put my organizational skills to work. Dividing up various items gives me a sense of freedom, and I will continue to do so.

So, before I start on another project of working on my kitchen with stripping the border, paint and have my handyman build in the space over my cabinets, and adding crown moulding, I WILL finish this task first. This makes me push through what I dread. For one, I hate wallpaper. With a stairway, the angle aligning with the steps is a pain so I hate it even more. I’ll say the same when attacking the border and removing. It won’t take long but I have procrastinated long enough. A friend informed me the other day that wallpaper is coming back in style. Nope, not here it’s not.

I grew up in this house and we later bought out the estate when my parents passed. The house is solid and built well. It’s an old house, it has its issues but I would prefer this than the stick built ones today. Concrete block from foundation up with plaster walls. As with the story of The Three Little Pigs, a great big huff and puff will not blow it over. A tornado will definitely do damage but it will not fly away as those newer ones around us, just everything in the attic and inside. So growing up, my sister taught me how to wallpaper on these very walls going up to the attic, which we did together. In that, it was fun being together and learning, it started a trend with me.

As my own family moved in, many years later and we remodeled, painted, etc. I no longer wanted the wallpaper previously hung so off it came. Lo and behold, I forgot that I wrote on the wall with the date (1982) and that she taught me how to wallpaper. That was pretty awesome. My own note and autograph was a nice surprise.

So now, with that being fun to read, I made the bare walls going up a place where my boys could write or draw. I also had them stand on the bottom step and I would mark their height, age and date through the years until they were too tall. With my two boys, they always had friends come over and many stayed often enough that they called me mom so they, too, got to sign the wall. I have many names, dates and drawings. I was in no hurry to cover these walls although it would look better with the carpeted steps. Definitely a conversation piece.

The future of this house, who knows if it stays in our family for a third generation or what but whenever somebody decides to remove the wallpaper, they will be busy reading the notes and dates left behind and continue the tradition hopefully. Today, as much as a chore it is to finish wallpapering, paint would be so much easier. I just cannot do it.

So today, the memories come alive within me as I see the walls. I remember the laughter, the surprise in their eyes and voice and questioning me if they can really write on the walls. Yes! Here is a marker, as they write and giggle. I hope my boys and their friends remember these walls and tell their children a story of the walls and hopefully do the same perhaps in their own home, leaving a mark.

I will cover up the walls and finish this task of my story on the walls with the visible memories that will remain for years to come.

Walls have stories and as the old saying goes, if only they could talk.

In the midst… I had to get wallpaper paste to fix the seams. It’s looking good. I’ll come back and post the final outcome and accomplishment and check this off my list… Thank God.

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