One good thing about moving is that it makes you clean out your house and re-evaluate all of the things you've collected over the years. Sometimes, you come across stuff that's been stuffed away and stored and you realize, it should be displayed.
Recently, when Jason was cleaning out our garage, he came across something that was left in this house as part of the estate when we bought it.
Originally, we tried to donate it to a historical library, but at the time, the library was renovating and said they didn't have room.
We're kind of glad, because it is a really cool piece and Jason decided to dust it off and hang it in our guest room.
It's a certificate of service for a person named E.R. Aldred for the Horseheads, NY fire department dated March, 1890.
We have no idea who this is, or why it was left in our house. Our house was built in the 1940s, and, to our knowledge, no one with the last name of Aldred owned the property.
Nonetheless, it's an interesting piece of local history, so we decided to hang it proudly in the guest room.
As I've mentioned before, our house was filled with remnants of someone else's life. It was really sad, actually. Prior to closing, the deceased woman's children came through and took what belongings they wanted to keep.
I was saddened by their choices. They left boxes of their mother's poetry, love letters, books and tons of other sentimental items and instead, they chose to keep objects that had more monetary value - like pieces of solid wood furniture.
I spent countless hours reading the journals and books of poetry that were left behind. I found joy in piecing together who this woman was and what meaning her life had, yet at the same time I struggled with reading the writings at all, fearful of violating this woman's personal thoughts and feelings.
She was a peace keeper -- a lover of animals and of life.
So I struggle with the question one of my dear blogging friends, Deborah from The Fairfield House posted yesterday to my blog. She wrote:
"Stephenie, There are pieces here that we feel belong to the house and not to us. So, if we ever decide to leave, they will remain. Are you going to leave something that you found behind? Imagine what you will discover in your new old house!"
I understand what Deborah means in that houses have a life and history that go beyond their owners. But I struggle with the thought of leaving some of the wonderful belongs behind -- not so much because I cherish objects -- but because I feel a desire to protect what was so freely discarded before.
What if the new owners throw away this woman and this house's history because they don't see it "fitting in" with their decor?
What about all of you? Have you found treasures in homes you've purchased? Do you feel the desire to keep and preserve them or leave them as part of the house's legacy?