Tag Archives: dirt

The things behind the radiator

I’m thrilled that our new-to-us house has radiators.

But they aren’t much to look at – just a single pipe covered with  a smooth boxy cover rather than an ornate cast iron multi-piped lovely.

The cover around the one in my office wiggled though, and didn’t sit flush against the wall.

radiator-the radiator

So I jabbed some pliers around behind it and found yet another pile of child detritus – further evidence of the slobs who owned the place just before us.

radiator-recent crap

But the cover still wouldn’t go flush with the wall, so I fashioned a slim jim out of a thin piece of aluminum threshold and went to town on the thing, once again playing archaeologist

radiator-motherlode of things

And unearthed a many decades mother-lode of kid shit.

More precisely, shit from the kids who were in here in the late 1950s to early ’60s (along with the last people here from about three years ago).

radiator-not art things

There are kid scribbles (properly on paper this time, not the walls).

(And I’d rather not think of what could have been munching on the paper.)

radiator-pencil things

The pencils that perhaps created scribbles.

radiator-old maid things

Part of a deck of Old Maid that could now never be won.

radiator-food things

Food things that have no business outside of the kitchen.

radiator-baby things

Correspondence that confirmed the owner’s identity (with an addition that could been viewed as ironic commentary on today’s ridiculousness of availability and popularity of weapons in this country and the truly terrible acts of kids killing each other).

radiator-knitted thing

Play things and a knitted thing – and it feels incredibly familiar to me – I may have had a doll sock just like this one…

radiator-red things

Cheery red things.

(And I almost bought a vintage toy tin washtub with these same little clothespins at a flea market recently, but though the design could be considered charming, and had in fact charmed me momentarily, ultimately I was disgusted that something like that was made to give to a child (girl) to play with instead of a book or a microscope or something enlightening and useful and creative and educational… )

radiator-precious things

And little once precious things – perhaps given to a child once they were deemed crap.

(Yes, I did get a little excited for half of a second when I thought the tie clip could be gold…)

radiator-puzzle things

And things that don’t make sense without other things.

radiator-butt things

And evidence of what I thought were nicotine stains on the walls (though this too could have been a teen-child act of hiding her/his own evidence…).

radiator-animal things

And finally a few random toy things that were played with by a far-from-child again for a few minutes…

And if you spotted the snakeskin, that was my contribution to the mess behind the radiator rather than a living snake leaving it behind.  I think part of the reason so much shit ended up back there is a perpendicular breezy window.   Moments after I took a picture of it, it blew out of my reach.

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Sticky situation…

So the move was hell – torrential rains, flash flooding, heavy book collections, sewing machine collections, general collections of sh*t.

house-move

(sadly, this is only about half of my stash.)

A hell that also spread to others who were thankfully helping us.  Others will find it a source of amusement if you have tubs labeled “houndstooths” and “herringbones” and “unravelers.”  They will accuse you of having chintz, but you will be glad you know people who know what chintz is and are willing to help you haul the aforementioned heavy, excessive collections in the rain.

The “new” house isn’t very old – a baby boomer in person years, and  isn’t very attractive (yes, the vinyl siding followed us and we can’t afford to replace it) but it is modest and cozy and all ours (along with its problems – we woke to a dead boiler this morning).

It is also filthy.

This is what happens when you don’t have an exhaust hood over your stove:

house-dirtyceiling

I have to go in for a second or third scrub before I can even think of painting.

The house also had kids in it, and every room has evidence of them – stickers stuck to walls ceilings floors, glitter everywhere, scribbles on walls ceilings floors, little toy parts in cracks and crevices, and dubious and disgusting sticky places.

Speaking of stick, many people like this decorative crap for a child’s room:

house-stickers

But each little cheery leaf and branch and bird leaves sticky goo.

And your kid is no artistic genius,

house-scribbles

so why didn’t you clean that sh*t off when you wanted to sell your house?

N triumphantly killed the rotting jungle gym in the yard:

house-junglegym

and I’m totally thrilled we’re surrounded by hills again and that we have a window over the kitchen sink once more, not to mention plenty of gardening space.

house-holes

I also love the little bits of residential archaeology that come with sprucing up a new place – the kitchen was at least two shades of green in the past – maybe it needs to be again…

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Filed under collecting, home, home decor