A while back there was a show on one of the networks featuring stories of old houses. I think it was called “If Walls Could Talk” or something like that. The host would visit a homeowner and the homeowner would share a piece of wallpaper that they found with a signature from someone famous or a shoe they uncovered in a wall of the house of someone who crossed the prairie in a covered wagon or the homeowner would renovate a room and find secret treasure in the wall.

I so wish that show was still on.

Because my house?

It has the stories.

A lifetime of tales of the people who have lived here.

Before us, there were five owners of this house we now live in.

Each of us has left a little mark.

Each of us has lived life to the fullest within these walls.

Each one of us has loved this house to distraction.

And this week? I got an email from one of the sweetest people who grew up in this house. She was coming in to town and she wanted to know if she could stop by and tell the house hello and bring me something.

Something that she wanted to share. Something that belonged to the house.

So yesterday?

The house got a present that looks like this.

It’s a marble garden urn.

It’s vintage.

And aged.

And HEAVY.

And after we lifted it out of her car and she unpacked it and removed the quilted cover that protected it on the journey…..

….I GASPED at how BEAUTIFUL it was.

These pictures do not even do it justice at all. The patina and the finish and the beautiful color and the carved details are absolute perfection.

After we unpacked the urn, we walked around the yard and she told me what was originally planted at the house (including the most amazing pomegranate tree) and I told her about all the plans we have for the garden beds (that I’m going to show all of you tomorrow) and I asked her where the marble urn was in the yard originally.

It was right here.

Right in the center of the backyard where the four sidewalks meet in a circle.

It was the most wonderful afternoon.

She came inside and we talked and talked and talked.

All about this house and how this was the happiest house we’d ever known.

And how much we loved it.

If you’ve owned the house before, you just can’t help but share stories about it.

This is a happy house.

A house full of sunshine.  A house where laughter rings through the halls and wise men show up with dishtowels and mirrors have re-written endings and sweet tea tastes even sweeter.

She told me stories about what colors the rooms used to be and how the school bus pulled up outside on the street and what the kitchen used to look like and how the living room was decorated.

I listened with joy.

And then I told them my stories about growing up here and how my mother had decorated it and where my bedroom used to be and the friends that I had over and how I had taken down the wall to the butler’s pantry and the plans I had for the house.

And how I wanted to continue the legacy of the house for my children.

It was a surreal afternoon.

It was amazing.

It was incredible to sit in this living room and share our hearts and our dreams and our hopes contained in all the stories of the house.

I have big plans for this marble urn.

I think it needs a pedestal. I’m actually going to be on the lookout for a vintage base to set it on, but in the meantime, I just ordered this from Amazon to put it on until I can find something vintage.

When my husband got home later, I showed it to him and we walked around the yard and discussed where we should put it and what we should do with it. Should it be a birdbath? Should I add a boxwood topiary to it? Should I add ivy?

And after we walked the yard, we sat on the porch together and chatted with the neighbors walking by.

Another day.

Another chapter in the story of the house.

And this garden urn?

It’s happy to be home.

Just. Like. Me. 🙂

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Comments

  1. Image for Nuss Laura Nuss Laura

    What an unexpected gift to have a former owner for a visit. We have lived in our house for twenty years . So many ideas for the marble base. Happy Day! laura

  2. Image for Eve Eve

    What a lovely story. It seems the previous owners, like you, lived in a Home not a House. There is a difference. A House is a place you reside in, A Home is where the heart is. A place of Love, Peace, Happiness and making memories to pass down to the next generation.

  3. Image for Cara Alvis Cara Alvis

    I love this story! You have a beautiful home. I have a home that I would love to walk into again someday, just always nervous about how to approach the new family.

  4. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Such a wonderful gift! I can hardly wait to see it’s place in your yard! I love your stories. You always help me realize the magic and blessings of every day. Thank you.

  5. Image for Cindy Vojanec Cindy Vojanec

    What a kind thing to do! I so envy people who have a home with stories. I was a military brat so lived in many homes but not one that I can ever return to. Bless you and that wonderful generational home that you have! 💕

  6. Image for Mary Evans Mary Evans

    That was the kindest thing a previous owner of a home could do for the house. I know you will find exactly what you are looking for as I know you don’t give up. By the way, I used Google search engine and found Mudpie.com. You will find items on Amazon! The Easter gifts are adorable and table settings are cute and pretty in their pastels.

  7. Image for Janette Janette

    Another beautiful story to add to your list of wonderful stories. I am always amazed as to what comes next with you, honestly the heavens must love you a lot. Thanks for sharing. Xxx

  8. Image for Terry C Terry C

    I bought a small 50s ranch a few years ago and did some moderate renovations before moving in. Last year, I was visited randomly one afternoon by a lady who had rented a room in the house from a previous owner, Ms. Gayle, and she was still in touch with her. She had told Ms. Gayle about the new owner and the renovations and Ms. Gayle wanted to know if she could come visit the house to see all the changes. The renter lady brought Ms. Gayle one Saturday afternoon shortly after and we had a nice visit and she oohed and ahhed over the changes I had made - all things she felt really helped the house that said she would have done too if she had the money when she owned it. It was a completely random, but endearing, visit.

  9. Image for Marlene Marlene

    Either you've great stories or you have wonderful things in your life. What a precious day for you and thanks for sharing.

  10. Image for Rizae Rizae

    What a wonderful, unexpected gift! Did she tell you where it originally sat? Maybe place it back in the original spot with a glider filled with pillows, a side table and sweet tea!! Big Hugs,

  11. Image for Jem Jem

    What a beautiful story! And, how sweet of the previous resident’s generosity! Not only with the gorgeous urn but for the memories she shared. Priceless! 🥰

  12. Image for Diana Diana

    What a beautiful moment and nice way to spend a day. The riser is perfect for now can't wait to see what you do with it.

  13. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    What a special day and what a special well-loved home. Can’t wait to see where your treasured urn comes to rest in it’s special place of honor. Our 1908 home saw 4 generations reside within these walls (1908 to the early ‘90’s). It then became a rental and was neglected. But we have brought the old Dame back to life. The original owners’ families are now scattered far and wide but have met back in town for family reunions. We have opened the doors so they can see the rejuvenation of their beloved family home. They have been thrilled to see Hillhouse cared for once again. And the many stories of early life in this home really made it all the more special. BTW. It’s actually a Sears and Roebuck home. Delivered in pieces and parts by train and loaded on horse drawn wagons and pulled up the hill to be assembled. Amazing just how well built she is!

  14. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA)

    KariAnne, how precious to have a visit with that gal -- and what a wonderful gift she brought you for your beautiful home! That marble urn has come back "home" to you! It's so beautiful and I love the riser you have ordered to put it on. I know you will find the "perfect" place for it and you will enjoy it forever. So happy that you can enjoy this gorgeous marble urn at your home. Now this lovely gift is yours to love and admire and treasure all those precious memories of days gone by! Enjoy -- I know you will.

  15. Image for BeverlyO BeverlyO

    Oh! I am so envious! My mother sold the farm and the house that was built before 1813 where I grew up and have so many fond memories. There is now an elementary school on the property and the house was torn down because it had remnants of asbestos in it and was too expensive for the local school system to renovate and maintain. I'd love to go back and wander through it and to take my grandchildren back through while sharing stories. I still have the memories and I have some photos and that will have to suffice, I guess. Write or somehow capture those stories to preserve them because they are precious and priceless!

  16. Image for Val Linn Val Linn

    I know the past resident enjoyed the visit as much as you did. We had been in our house a few years (now 46 yrs here) and the former owner's son and his wife brought their children to show them where he grew up..They were young and more interested in just running around in and out but he was very happy to explore the changes we had made, Men sometimes find it hard to deal with their emotions but you could tell he enjoyed the 'visit' very much. Over the years this house has seen and felt so much. Love, joy, deep sorrow, and even anger..But we've made it and it's still the place to go to for everything we treasure and celebate.

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