I often love driving around or looking at Zillow and looking at houses. I always wonder what kind of stories would be told if the walls could talk.
My grandparents bought a house on Cape Cod when my mom was in high school. They had four children, my mom, her brother Jack, sister Paula and youngest brother Peter. The 4 of them often spent their summers at the house and sometimes fall (depending on how cold it was).
When my parents were married, my grandparents quickly realized their two-bedroom house would no longer suffice for their grandkids, so they expanded the house into what it is today.
Five bedrooms on the second floor with a full bath, a single bedroom, then the living room, and the most massive kitchen I ever saw as a child. As an adult, it’s still large but more of a pain to sweep. My parents went on to have my sister and me, Jack had his own two kids. Paula had three and Peter had three.
From the time I can remember, we were always at the Cape in the summer. On the last day of school, my mom would rush us home to finish packing for the summer with the promise of getting McDonald’s and getting down to the Cape before too late so we could get ice cream from our favorite shop.
Now, as adults, we still go but not for the whole summer. I wonder what the walls at the Cape would say if they could? How we hosted incredible family reunion parties where the adults drank way too much beer? Or maybe the excitement of my grandparents when they found out one of their kids was engaged. Would they talk about how the aunts would stay up watching tv and chatting all night while the uncles played cards and drank beers?
Would the walls tell the stories of my cousins hitting the baseballs in the backyard, hoping they would land on the beach or how all the kids loved the climb the same tree and play? Or how on rainy days we would play monopoly and someone would get mad and stomp off, or maybe how I got stuck in the table and had be cut out of it.
I wonder if these walls would tell the stories of my grandparents fighting over who would do the crossword puzzle (it was always in good fun). Do the walls remember when our parents were a little too hungover, and our grandfather would pile whichever grandchildren into the back of his station wagon and take us to Dunkin Donuts to get six dozen donuts for everyone when they got up?
Would these walls talk about the scarier times, when I needed another eye surgery, or when family members were going thru their own crisis – or would they just tell the fun stories of celebrating the births of new babies and kids learning how to swim for the first time?
This house has seen so many wonderful, cherished memories; I hope more good than bad. I love that my kids are now experiencing it for themselves. This is the house where my cousins and I would push the beds together and then fight over who slept in the middle. It’s the house where we learned the best moment to ask to get ice cream, which souvenir store was the best, and who liked what toppings on their pizza.
Things may be changing, and we may not all go down together (there’s far too many of us now for that), but the memories won’t fade, and I’d love to hear what the walls would tell me, the things I didn’t hear or see.
If only the walls could talk.