I was truly enjoying the notes I was finding but I didn’t know if they had been written by a little girl or a little boy. The dates were on the notes but I had no idea how old the child was.
I was almost finished with the dining room. The last task was cleaning the windows and as I worked, I noticed a small piece of paper behind the casing. I gently pried it out, sat down and carefully opened it. It said “Dear God. I didn’t mean to be bad. Could you please make me a better little girl?” The note was dated 1957.
The mystery was solved. The notes had been written by a little girl who had obviously done something wrong, at least in her eyes. I couldn’t help but smile, wondering what she had done that she thought was bad.
The dining room was finished, so I decided to work on the upstairs bedroom that I had claimed for my own. I had noticed a small room up there, in the very back of the house that appeared to be unfinished. It also seemed to have been an afterthought of whoever had built the house.
It only had baseboards along two walls and the one tiny window seemed somehow out of place. The rest of the house had grand windows that were 7 feet tall.
The walls had been partially painted a dull blue color. I didn’t think it could have been a bedroom because it didn’t have closet. If it was, it could have only supported a twin bed and even that would have taken up most of the space.
I would take as much care with it as I would take with the other rooms. I intended to turn it into a library of sorts, putting shelves along the walls and maybe an easy chair and lamp in the corner. For some reason, I began pulling up the baseboards. They were formidable foes but I finally succeeded in getting the first one off the wall. When the piece finally lost its grip, a note fell to the floor.
I sat down and excitedly opened it. It said “Dear God. I hate you.” It was dated 1964.
The notes had just spanned eight years and I wondered why she now hated God. I felt a sadness for some reason but like running away from home, haven’t we all at some time been a little pissed at God?
The other baseboard hid nothing but nails and a bit of plaster.
As I worked in the bedroom, I was disappointed when I found no notes behind window casings or baseboards. The closet hid a secret staircase that went to the attic.
I have always been an adventurer and this was going to be fun. If there was an old abandoned building on the side of the road, I would stop and wander through, although with a little trepidation. I remember finding an old yellow Tupperware bowl, complete with lid in one of those abandoned shacks. I still have it.
I wondered what kind of secrets lay hidden in the attic. Maybe another Tupperware bowl? I was ready to play Sherlock Holmes.
As I walked up the narrow steps, I got a whiff of what smelled like burning wood. I knew everybody smoked back in those days but this smell was not from cigarettes.
When I made it to the top of the stairs, I could see that I was right. Burned rafters were visible but they were still sturdy enough to hold up the roof. There must have been a fire at some point.
The attic was huge and I felt like I was on a treasure hunt. I had given the okay for the previous owner to leave some of her possessions behind, like that wonderful dining room table, so I wasn’t surprised when I found things. The first thing I noticed was a set of bed springs. It wasn’t the kind of springs we have today. It was the kind of springs that my grandma had in her house.
Jumping on the bed was strictly prohibited, but when her back was turned, I discovered that the springs almost sang as I jumped on different parts. When the slats fell out, telling her that I just walked in and the bed fell down never worked. Grandpa had to come put the slats back in the rails and he wasn’t happy about it.
There were old doors, which had to be original to the house and I wondered where they might have once been. There were boxes everywhere. I picked one of them and when I opened it and looked inside, I saw several old toys. There was a top and the upper part, although cloudy with age, was clear. A train went around a track when I pushed the handle down. There was a little wooden radio with a pretend antenna made from a red ball on top of a spring. When I turned the knob, it played a tune. These toys had to be from the fifties and I wondered if they were hers.
These treasures would no longer be hidden away in the attic. They would come downstairs and find a place in the front room, perhaps gently resting on my childhood rocking chair.
In another box, I found a plate. It was thick and heavy and had little partitions in it. A small coffee cup had been wrapped in tissue paper and the green stripe matched the one on the plate. These were old and they didn’t look household dishes. They looked like they had come from some little side-road cafe. They too, would find a place downstairs.
As I stood up, I noticed a piece of paper stuck inside one of the burned rafters. I took it down and carefully unfolded it.
To be continued_____________________