I'm not sure when our house was built, but I know it's over 100 years old.
The Danielsons raised five kids here during the Great Depression.
Five kids. In 1000 square feet.
There were two other owners between then and now, but to all the old-timers around here it'll always be the Danielson Farm.
I often think about them.
Like when the broken handle of a tea cup emerged from the garden soil after a hard rain, a tiny art nouveau rouge tin appeared by the barn, and the bottom of a blue canning jar was unearthed down by the creek.
It makes for dangerous barefooting, but also interesting history.
Mostly I think about her.
When I'm canning tomatoes or tucking children in for the night.
When I'm in the garden, filling my basket with green beans or hanging laundry on the line.
When I look out on the same hills and the same mist and the same creek she did when I pause from my day.
Our lives share the same stage.
And then today Pete went into the attic to work on the chimney and found a handful of treasures tucked up in the ceiling by a young Lewis Danielson.
A voided check from the Soldiers Grove Bank.
An empty spool of thread.
A newspaper clipping from 1925.
A stash of handmade valentines, likely collected during on a cold winter day at the one room schoolhouse just up the road.
And this small collection of treasures is at once fascinating and humbling.
Because some day we, too, will be just stories pieced together from what we left behind.
Time is swift.
When I shared this story a friend suggested that we make our own time capsule and tuck it into the attic or a wall. A ziplock bag stapled to the rafters or a mason jar tucked in the crawl space, filled with our story – a letter, some photographs, keepsakes, and treasures – for someone to find 100 years from now.
When, perhaps, this place is known as the Wolf Family farm.
I think we will.
P.S. Somehow 3000 of you have found me on Facebook (Three-thousand. I can't explain it.) To celebrate I'm hosting my own giveaway of LüSa goodies tomorrow. See you then!
21 thoughts on “The memories of strangers.”
I love the way you write. Thank you for these little missives.
Ahh yes. Our home was built in 1915. We found so many fascinating things in the attic, basement, and garage. It was owned by one family, and then the family’s son until he was in his 80s. Then a family bought it a couple years ago and updated it, and now us. We found in the basement a place where the initials of everyone who has lived here is carved into a door frame. Such cool history when you explain that our trash can was originally a flour bin and under the stairs is a coal chute.
So interesting Casey. Two of the Danielson boys stayed on here until they died in their 70’s or 80’s as well. I guess back then your home was your home. Forever more if you stayed single.
Our house was built in 1950. Before we bought it two years ago, only one family had lived here since it was built. One family for 50 years. I love to think about all the memories they must have made. Mostly I sit in the kitchen with it’s harvest gold counter tops and think about what a “fancy” modern kitchen it must have been when they put it in and how pleased Mrs. D must have been. I love this kitchen (though someday we’ll probably replace the counter tops). When I sit here or walk through the rooms, I can feel the goodness of a family and it makes me so happy to be raising my own here.
We owned a house that was built in 1894 for a woman that owned our lot and the one next door. I wonder about her story and how it came to be that she owned land then. I tried to imagine her walking around in clothes of the time wondering about the changes coming with the turn of the century. We wrote our names in the basement rafters and a note that it was a good house for us the night before we closed on the sale to another family. It was nice to be a caretaker for a while of a little piece of something older and more enduring than ourselves.
That is an amazing find. I always think about the families that lived in all of these tumbledown houses around here. Almost always there is a lilac bush by the house, still blooming although the house is just a skeleton of what it was.
So cool! So far we have only unearthed a big pile of rodent poop, but we will continue to dig. More often we hear the stories of the many people who have lived in our house and the stages the house has gone through.
I love this post and i love the feelings you get from it. It is dreamy and magical and timeless. It is good to honor and recognize what has gone before us. The energy and their story is still there.
It fascinates me beyond words to learn more about a place and what went on there before I added my piece to the story.
It almost made me cry, not sure why, thanks for sharing. This morning I’m having some gluten free scone, with water chocolate, a traditional Mexican drink, I wish I could share this with you that is more a food than a beverage.
Are you going to do something with those finds? They might make a really cool collage shadow box or something. Maybe in that way, you could keep them more present than they already are and remind you when you see it that time is fleeting.
Congrats to the 3000 people who found you on FB!!!
When we cut the hole for our woodstove, we found a newspaper gently laid under the floor boards, from 1939. The world was a very different place then, yet not so very different. Enjoy your little treasures!
Your lovely post brought to mind a book my daughter and I both enjoyed very much. I wonder if you’ve read it? If not, it may interest you and your children (I suggest reading it yourself first if your kids are sensitive like mine:) http://www.amightygirl.com/the-magic-half
This was a really lovely post- than you for sharing!
Beautiful post! What a great find. I collect all the glass that emerges in my garden, too along with an old tax token, glass button and hand-blown marble. Our foot prints are always on top of someone else’s. You and your kids might like to share the story of your house in this project: http://www.thatsmyoldhouse.com/.
What a great find! I love the idea of the time capsule! That would be soo fun for someone to discover 100+years from now. I would put your finds in there too..to add EVEN more awesomeness to it!
awe-inspiring! thanks for sharing! congrats for the 3000 FB fans. you rock gurl!! 😉
Please, please, please show a picture of the rouge tin!! I’m dieing to see it.
What a wonderful thing to have a house filled with life and memories. In the southwest it’s really hard to find old homes. Most of the oldest homes are from the 40’s or 50’s. Congrats on 3000 fans too!
I just want to say that I find your blog so refreshing. I wish more popular “natural lifestyle” bloggers…or whatever they might be called, were a bit more raw and honest. I understand the desire to focus on the good and clean and pretty, but frankly I am getting a bit bored with all of that. Real people are a hell of a lot more interesting, but so rare in in blogland. As a result, my blog reading list is getting short! Any recommendations?
One of the only blogs I regularially read is Small Things (http://www.gsheller.com/). Ginny is very real and honest. Youd love her, too.
I love reading your posts they make me wish I didn’t live in the city – all the hustle and bustle and racing to & fro… Baseball to hockey to dance and theater my daily life is a swirl of activities. I dream of the times when my children were younger and less active outside of our home. Life was sweet then, quiet and precious. The moments that you are spending with your family in that amazing space you call home are irreplaceable and something that many of us can only dream of and long for. Hang on tightly to those beautiful memories you are creating and sharing so generously with all of us!