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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Framing in memories

One of the things that we happily left behind in Dallas was the "dozer mentality"- the builders and homeowners who tore down lovely 1940's/1950's homes to put up their own Mac Mansions. We lived in a neighborhood of 1950's ranches and you could not go a week without one or more of these old gems being torn down. It made me so sad to see these sweet, lovely homes demolished and to have a huge house that took up the whole lot built in it's place. I would guess the current economy has slowed the dozing... . We love the Yankee ingenuity and that they save everything here... including old houses!

So, it dawned on us that the improvements we are making to the house could enable it last another 150 years, and we should place some mementos in the wall for another generation to find. It is not uncommon when remodeling an antique home in New England to find objects in the walls- things placed there during the original construction; some for good luck (like children's shoes) and other utilitarian objects that show life at the time. We often wonder about all the souls who have lived in our house, and would love to have more information. Unfortunately, we didn't find anything in the walls.

When we first had the thought to frame some items into the wall it was the day after the inauguration, so we purchased a local newspaper. One of our framers suggested a dollar bill from this year, but other than that I am at a loss! I would love to hear your ideas of other things to include!


  1. Great idea. You might want to write a letter to the finder about your love of the house and what brought you to NH. Maybe include some before pictures.

  2. How about framing the contractor in those walls? hehehe Really though what about a piece of Texas and a dated handwritten note.

    As for a favorite drink I would be wanting Granddaddy's Olympia beer on tap in his own personal keg in the basement? I like olives in my beer. Be sure to drink out of a coffee cup though before 5:00 so the neighbors won't know. :)

    Hang in there. You know it will be worth it in the end. I'm glad it wasn't your middle finger.

    Love you both


  3. What a smarty you are !! I like the previous ideas - especially the contractor. And maybe your splint when it comes off your poor finger - but make up a better story. And an empty olive jar.

  4. I really liked Kathy's comments about what to put in the wall. I would also include some pictures of you and Dan (that look amazing like Brad and Jolie, dressed to the nines with great jewerly.)
    I also agree with Susan, so glad it wasn't the middle finger, although that could be really handy with the contractor.

  5. Kathy- great ideas; thank you!

    Susan- love the contractor idea! We were just talking about me carrying up the beer- with sips missing!!! I've never had an olive in beer- sounds great I'll have to try it! Good thinking about the coffee mug!! Waiting to see more grandbaby pics!

    Mary- love the empty olive jar idea!!!

    Patti- What are you talking about? We DO look like Brad & Angie!!

  6. Hi Joanie! I always thought it was neat that my Dad kept a journal/diary of the building of the Barringer hoouse. Are you keeping a journal? Maybe I wouldn't put it in the wall, but continue a journal to leave with the house of your experiences and renovations.

    as for the wall... a picture of me... just kidding.
    you could put a list of facts from 2009. Gas prices, iraq war, electronic gadgets, just general things.

    lucas said... one piece of your china or silverware (if you can replace it) and a bottle of ya'lls favorite wine.

    or what about your favorite or old dog collar.

    I am so glad I am finally posting this comment, as this has been my
    3rd attempt, computer is acting up.

  7. Jenny- great ideas! I love the list of 2009 facts! Yes, I am keeping a journal-- this blog!!hehe! Maybe I'll copy it off! Tell Lucas he has expensive taste!!! A bottle of wine is a very creative idea!
    I didn't know/or have forgotten that your Dad kept a journal on Barringer, but sounds just like something he would do!
    Picture of you already in the wall! Hope you are having good mornings?! xoxo, j.

  8. Ugh! Unfortunately the dozer mentality is alive and well in New England. Take a drive to Westport and Fairfield Connecticut. The MacMansions and changes are just plain sad.

    On the other hand I love what you are doing. I put before and after pictures of the before and after of the exterior of the house. And also all the views from the house -- because the landscape and view is sure to change over the years.

  9. Anon- Yes, I remember Dan bringing home a paper (last Spring?) with a sad story about some fabulous antique (huge) mansion that was purchased and then immediately torn down. It was in CT. Think they had even promised the town they wouldn't tear it down and then did. Such hubris and ego...
    Great suggestions about the before and after, and I especially love the landscape idea! I hadn't thought of that, but we are always commenting how we would love to see what the property looked like when the house was originally built.
    Thanks so much for you comment- really appreciate it! joan


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