A picture of my house in an earlier time
Tuesday is trash day at my house. I usually try and get all the trash out to the garbage can in the alley by Monday afternoon, and thankfully, I made my goal this week. There’s nothing I hate more than rushing around at the last minute, racing the approaching trash truck to see who can get to the garbage can first. But some days are like that. Despite these little inconveniences, life is pretty good, even on cold December days like this one. My irritation at racing the trashman is definitely a first-world problem. Yes, I’m aware of it, and yes, I still whine about it, and then I catch myself and remember that people of past generations didn’t even have a garbage truck that came and removed their trash. Probably people in some parts of the world still don’t. So, what have people done with all their trash for the last several thousand years anyway? Whatever it was, I’m not convinced that our system is the best, in which everything goes into a landfill and sits in there for a couple more thousand years without breaking down. So, I recycle what I can. Next week is recycling week. It’s not scheduled to be any warmer next week at this time, so I’ll be outside in the cold sorting and stacking my recycling for pickup, which usually happens late morning or early afternoon every other Tuesday. So, while some people have “Taco Tuesday” I have “Trash Day Tuesday.” I think tacos are more fun.
My house and I are about the same age. It was built in ’55 and I was built in ’56. It’s a smallish house, built in what some people call “the post war years.” Although some things about it have been updated since then, it’s not by any means a modern home. I sometimes wonder about all the people who have ever lived here. What were they like? And what was life like for them?
I don’t know if you know this, but you can look up your house’s records to find out who lived there and when. The only trouble is the records on my property only go back as far as 1973 and my house is nearly 20 years older than that. I suppose I could ask for an O&E (Ownership and Encumbrances) report or a full abstract of title on the property if I really needed to know this information for some reason, but I don’t. So, there’s a break in the record, both online and in my mind. There’s some historical documentation between the years of 1973 and 1991, and then a gap where no data is online from 1991 until we purchased the home 5 years ago. I know someone lived here during the intervening 25 years or so. The house was occupied.
A couple years ago, during the summer months, I spent some time doing interior painting. The closet doors to two of the bedrooms had been removed at some point and were residing out in the garage. One of the bedrooms is used by John as his office, and he also uses the closet in there for his clothes, and I thought it would look less cluttery and more finished if I painted the closet doors and we re-installed them. As I was painting the doors out in the garage, I found that someone had written something on the inside of one of the doors. It was the writing of a small child. It said, “I hate them!” I could imagine some poor kid hiding in the closet while the parents raged throughout the house. It was a sobering and somewhat disturbing discovery.
There are places around the house that show evidence of someone with a temper having lived here. Places where holes have been punched in the walls or doors but have since been patched. All the bedrooms doors had locks on them at some time. Some of the homes in my neighborhood, such as the home directly across from mine, are used for student housing, where college students can rent out a room. It’s possible that my house was used in that capacity at some point, but I don’t know.
I do know that in 1973 my home was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, who paid $20k for it. They sold it to The Schnell’s in 1977. My house was extended out towards the back sometime during the 1970’s. I’m not sure, but I don’t think it was professionally done, as there are no permits on record for anything and the space has a kind of folk art feel to it, like it was done by the homeowner. The area where the dining table is, has been extended out and was initially a sunroom like place, where plants could be grown. In fact, there is even a place for an indoor hose which I never use. The floor sags down a bit right there, and that sunroom area, which I call the catio (because the cats like to hang out in there and sun themselves in the spring and fall) is propped up on wooden stilts on the outside. One of the glass panels that make up the catio was shattered a couple years ago when the lawn mower threw a rock into it, and it had to be replaced. There are three panels of glass there, and that is the only one we can see out of clearly. The other two lost their seal from water damage decades ago and are clouded on the inside. I thought this was a cute feature when I first bought the house, but now, I realize it really isn’t a feature, it’s more of a bug. I would just as soon have it removed and have a real wall and real windows installed. If I live here long enough, I just might get around to that eventually.
And on the history goes. This house went into foreclosure in the 1980’s and was repossessed by the bank. Colorado’s economy in those days was tied very tightly to the oil and gas industry and when that tanked in the eighties, there were foreclosures throughout the state. Western Colorado was especially hard hit by that event.
One of the couples who used to live here in the 1990’s, is still friends with the lady who lives next door. We met them when they needed to have a will done and John did it for them. It was interesting to meet people who lived here at an earlier time. The old man admitted to being the one who built the counter where Mom used to sit and have her breakfast every morning and read the paper. I think it’s been updated since he built it with new paint and a new countertop. He did a pretty good job otherwise though. It’s rustic, but well done. The lady told me that she had a type of indoor pine tree that she started growing in the sunroom and it grew so big and tall that it wouldn’t fit in that space anymore. Maybe they had to move out to find another place for the tree, I don’t know. She said she was going to give it to her church to put in their lobby. We have a big tree like that in the lobby of our church. I sometimes wonder if it’s the same one …
And now I’m going to write about something that some people will find absurd and ridiculous. I’m a very intuitive person and sometimes I can feel the presence of people who’ve been places where I am, only years before me. I can practically hear exact conversations and things people have said or exclaimed. These moments only come to me in small, fleeting impressions, and seem to be otherwise unconnected to whatever happened right before or right after them. They aren’t necessarily important moments, or anything that would lead to crime solving or anything, just odd moments in time, kind of like finding someone’s old wallet that was accidently sealed up in the inside of a block wall 60 years ago and is only discovered when the wall needs to be repaired or something. A time capsule.
It wasn’t that long ago that I became aware of the term “The Akashic Records”, which is where all the memory and records of anything and everything that has ever happened, or ever will happen, are kept. It’s a place known as “the mental plane,” where all things are known. Edgar Cayce claimed to be able to tap into The Akashic Records, for instance. Akasha is the Sanskrit word that means ether, or atmosphere. I want to be clear that this is a teaching of the Theosophy Society and has no scientific basis whatsoever; and yet, it’s a compelling idea. How do we know what we know when there’s no other way to know it? And yet, we do.
When I was doing my undergraduate work, I had a professor who was a devout feminist. She once hypothesized that if the world had been run by women, we would have skipped the age of technology and gone right into telepathic communication, teleportation, and other forms of what is now called ESP. Of course, it’s hard to make a profit on that.
All I know is that sometimes when I’m out wandering around in the desert, or up on the top of a mountain, or out on a summer night observing The Milky Way, I can feel and internally hear the murmuration of the generations that have gone before, a vast crowd of souls, floating through the river of eternity. I think of their lives, in some cases hundreds or thousands of years before mine. And I sometimes think of future generations, a subject which is more personal to me now that I’m a grandmother. If I live out my full span of years, my granddaughter will be in her early twenties when I leave this physical plane. If my granddaughter lives out her full span of years, it’ll be a new century already when she joins me. She may have grandchildren of her own by then, and likely will. These generations represent nothing more than a mere jot or tittle in the record of time.
I find it infinitely easier to tap into the past than I do the future. So many things could change between now and then. We seem to be headed in a specific direction, but anything could happen that might change that in a moment’s notice. There’s no doubt in my mind that humanity needs a course correction, at least in some areas, such as population control, and environmental and ecological conservation. My generation, known as “The Baby Boomers,” has left a huge mark on society, both good and bad, but every generation is required to step forward and make necessary changes to improve or in some cases repair, environmental and societal issues of their time.
I must admit that there’s a part of me that’s glad I’m here right at this moment in time. This is my time. It’s our time. Let’s make the most of it.
Ghost Trees Winding Around Each Other Over Time