Does anyone take down walls or ceilings or floorboards in an old house without, at least idly, wondering what they might find? Some hidden money would be nice, of course, but even a bundle of old love letters or the invoice for the lumber used in the building would be exciting too.
Alas, none of these things have turned up in our house so far, but there have been a couple of interesting finds nonetheless. In taking off the shelves in the bedroom closet, I spotted a glimpse of red behind one of the wooden shelf hangers. It turned out to be a child’s Christmas card, addressed to “To Jack” “From Aunt Cicely & Uncle Norman”.
We’ve been fortunate enough to have been given a history of the house written by the woman (now deceased) who lived there from 1945 to 1988, and so we know that “Jack” was her oldest son, who was of an age to start school in 1945. We also know that Jack’s father had a brother named “Norman” and they had lived in the house as well for a time during their own childhood.
A week or two later, in another bedroom, behind a baseboard I found an old baseball card. Yes, I checked the value online pretty quickly that evening, but it is less than $10 USD so we will keep it as an interesting and fun souvenir of our renovation adventures. The card has a bit of a crease in it anyway, and some crayoned in numbers on the back.
Co-incidentally, the head office of John’s employer is located in Kansas City and the player on the card, Arnold Portocarrero, played on the now defunct Kansas City Athletics (who eventually became the Oakland A’s, I am told).
About 10 days ago, I made another find but this one was less thrilling, although it did generate a louder initial response (i.e., a shriek). Yes, it was a dead mouse who plummeted out of the ceiling when I was pulling off lath.