Last night, I had a fit of emotion as my husband started taking framed artwork, photographs, and canvas prints off the walls. Somehow that very action struck me with finality…we are moving.
I’ve always taken pride in our homes. From the 1912 Federal period home, we owned in Amherst, New York as our first house and one which we completely renovated, to the classic, traditional two-story in the town we live in now, and finally, to the rambling walk-out ranch with a non-descript front facade but a glorious back exterior facing East and a coulee where sunrises regularly greeted us with vibrant colors for the last 16 years, we’ve made them ours.
Part of making a house a home is photographs and the artwork chosen to adorn the walls. Over the years, I realized that I am a slow decorator. But since we’ve lived longer in this house than any other we’ve owned, I’ve had more time to really personalize the decor. The first realtor that looked at our place this winter when we were preparing to list the property wanted me to “stage” our house for sale. When I asked her why she replied that I had a lot of family photographs on the walls, and it would be “distracting.” When I asked what I should replace the photos with if I took them down, she said, “a piece of art.”
Nope. Nope, and nope. We’ve never staged any of our homes and they all sold rapidly. This one, as it turned out, never even got listed before it sold. Needless to say, we didn’t use the above-mentioned relator as our agent. And I didn’t remove any photos or artwork. That didn’t happen until last night.
I must tell you; it was painful! Carefully preserved memories whether it was a family photo or a piece of art one of our sons created, all came off the walls. I counted them this morning. There were seventy-six framed pieces of art or canvas prints 8 x 10 or larger that were on our walls! It is a large home with lots of wall space, so I filled it. There are still some hanging in three rooms. All told, about 100 framed memories will be removed from the walls. Holes need to be patched on some, but not all, as we’ve painted recently enough that most were hung with the contact strips. And the number does not include other hanging pieces, like whiteboards and decorative shelves.
I know, I know…some of you might have more than 100 photos that hang on your walls. Don’t one-up me here. It is not about the number. It is about the fact that they came down. Last night.
It was hard. I had to fight back the tears.
There’s something about taking down what’s on the walls, about the packing up that makes it so emotional. Is it the ties we feel to the subjects of the photos, or the stories behind the art work? Is it because it’s a reminder that this structure has been a place of refuge? I don’t know what it is, but I know what you mean. It *is* hard. ❤