Many people who were not fighting for their lives during the pandemic spent their time remodeling their homes. Just do a search on “home remodeling during the pandemic” and you’ll see what I mean. People had more time, motivation, and money to remodel since they couldn’t travel.
Russ and I were no exception. We decided to remodel our kitchen, a dark brown dungeon that was probably last remodeled in the mid-1980s. We didn’t have much room to work with, so we didn’t enlarge its footprint — we simply brought it into the current century by replacing the cabinets, countertop, sink, and backsplash. We also painted a few window frames.
It looks marvelous, I must say. We went for a modern farmhouse look, and I think we succeeded. However, I’m not going to post any photos because I feel weird about having you all know what my kitchen looks like.
What I will post a photo of is something mysterious we found inside one of the kitchen walls. One of our last jobs involved removing some old Z-brick tile (the stuff that looks like white bricks) on a furnace chimney that runs through the kitchen and retiling it with stone. We hired someone to do the work for us.
When we came back home from a walk, the tile guy said he had something he wanted to show us. He’d found it in the wall surrounding the chimney. He held up a dusty yellowing wooden plaque. It featured paper with burnt edges – a technique popular in the 1970s, with a picture and prayer associated with St. Francis of Assisi.
We weren’t quite sure what to make of this find. We aren’t Catholic or particularly religious. Russ, for one, was disappointed they didn’t find a hoard of gold instead!
After cleaning the plaque and pondering on it for a while, we decided it would not go back inside the wall. But we wouldn’t throw it out, either. That would seem a shame since it’s part of the history of the house. Instead, on the back of it, we wrote in sharpie marker when and where the plaque was found along with our names. We plan to hang it up in the attic so that it will remain with the house – it will be hidden, but not too hidden.
I wonder how many others who remodeled their homes this past year found unexpected treasures in their walls?