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This old gal has seen so much in the past 103 years. She was around when cars and horses shared the road. She even had a barn with a few cows and chickens in the back yard. She saw the building of a garage for the family’s first car but as there were only 400 paved miles in all of the USA, it had to be washed often.

The steam whistle of the train changed to the piercing shriek of a diesel locomotive and, from her 2nd story window, she watched biplanes become jets streaking across the sky.  Skirt hemlines have gone up and down and up again more times than can be counted. She’s seen shoes change from button ups to sneakers to flip flops. She’s even seen a baby being born 2 weeks after the new family moved in. She’s watched as babies learned to climb the stairs and, too soon, teenagers thundering down and out the door.

She’s enjoyed music from a wind up victrola, a radio, and then an electric record player in each of the bedrooms. She remembers so well the first time she heard a voice come though a shiny black telephone in the hall – now she hears conversations in every room. She saw the wonder of the Indian test pattern on a black and white television – and then, Land a Goshen, a color tv. She may be wondering what will be coming after computers and Ipads.

She watched clothes being scrubbed in a backyard washtub and sheets hanging to dry in the wind. Next came a wringer machine on the back porch which gave way to a modern washing machine in it’s own room. She recalls the scent of fresh baked bread from the old wood burning stove and is amazed that now with a pop – fresh dough is found in a small cardboard container and food can be cooked in mere minutes from a microwave or convection oven.

She remembers the sound of the ice truck coming down the street delivering ice for the spring house; the children chasing along beside begging for slivers. She was surprised when the old fireplaces in most every room were closed up and new fangled things called steam radiators were installed. And then to be able to feel the same warmth room to room when the new furnace was in place was very fine. (But she still misses the hiss and clunk of the radiators each morning.)

She’s felt the worry of family members when war was declared in 1918 and the joy when the boys came marching home. And although it was said that WWI was the “War to end all Wars,” once again, the boys marched off to war after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. So many young men have died in conflicts around the world in the years she’s been around. She’s always been one to fly the American flag on the front porch, watching it change from 48 stars to 50.

There have been many changes through her years. She’s endured a fire, the weight of heavy ice, a flood, harsh hurricane winds and even a recent tornado. She’s seen happiness and sorrow, elation and depair.  Through it all she has remained steadfast, giving shelter and warmth, to everyone within her strong arms.

She even has a name given by one of the families – she’s called “The Happy Box” because everyone who’s lived in her, even though there has certainly been sadness and hardships at times, has enjoyed what life has brought.

As it tends to happen with centenarians, she’s beginning to look a little worn around the edges. There are a few joints that need to be replaced and  leaks that can’t be fixed with bandages. And so this month, old slate and decayed wood have been removed and soon, she’ll get a good sanding and some fresh color. An old lady can always use a little face paint.

Our family has lived in this wonderful house for over one hundred years. We pray that those who follow us will be as happy as we’ve been and will continue to tell the stories for many more years.

What kind of stories could your home tell? If the walls could speak, what would they remember? No one else can tell this story – so will you?

Happy Memory Making,


Background Paper: Earthy Digital Power Palette

Overlay: Distressed Digital Overlays

Embellishments: Elegant Digital Embellishments Duos, Earthy Digital PP, Autumn Breeze DK, All Roads Lead Home DK, Swimming Digital Add. , Holiday Dig. Card Kit, Reminisce Charm Dig. Kit

Fonts: 1942 Report

Happy Box B

Centernarian page 2

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28 Responses to Blog: Love to the Centenarian plus three!

  1. Glenna says:

    What an inspiring story. I too do not have a home that I have lived in or my family has lived in for over 100 years. The current home I live in we have been here for about 30 years, and there have been changes, which I may start the story of that and include some technology changes through my lifetime. Unfortunately I have many photos from my grandmother and mother but they did not document anything and died and young ages, so I’m at a loss for finding out who is in them, but I’m digging where I can to find out more of my history. Thanks for a great blog. Very inspiring.

  2. janeenK says:

    beautifully done Anne, i love the comparisons you made in your blogging.

  3. Denise Nawrot says:

    Awesome….I love how you wrote about your family’s history in chronological order! I am amazed with this program!

  4. Liz Propst says:

    A spring house…tell me more and a fire, oh my!! She is a beautiful lady and the name Happy Box is perfect and so true!!

  5. Melissa Sullivan says:

    Awesome blog! And even though we do not have a long time family home you gave me a great idea to do some pages on how technology has changed through my lifetime alone and I’m only 47! I do remember the first super clunky “car phone”, disco record players, 8 track tapes, sony walkmans, etc etc. We take everything for granted but we really have all been blessed (and some days cursed) to be given so many comforts!

    • Anne says:

      Thanks Melissa! You are so right when you say “some days cursed”! Sometimes I wonder if we’re better off being in touch every single minute of our lives. But then on the other hand, I’m one of those who doesn’t want to miss a thing!!

  6. pamela smith says:

    wow, very moving.

  7. barbara dejmal barbara dejmal says:

    My mom is 91 and we have 5 generations. I made a book on her 90 yrs. of funny things that happened to her. It turned out great. Your story reminded me of my moms book. Thanks

  8. Tara Wells says:

    Oh! So inspiring! We live in a house that is 173 years old! Well, the kitchen and loft are that old, when it was built as a fishing shanty. The rest of the 3 story house was “added on” 20 years later. So that is the “new” part of the house at only 153 years old! Although we’ve only lived here for 8 years, there are past pictures of our home and surrounding property preserved at the local historical society. I think you’ve just added inspiration for a Book About Home that would be neat to do, well, some day. I love that you wrote it like it lived and breathed. According to our town’s annual Historic Halloween walk, we’re not the only ones breathing in our home, and that it has a history of being haunted. I have yet to experience any haunts. I think my toddlers might have scared them away!

    • Anne says:

      Laughing about your toddlers scaring the ghosts away – yes, happy little voices would be just the thing that would work! A fish shanty – that sounds wonderful and it must be near the water. Yes, a Book About Home is a wonderful idea and wouldn’t it be interesting to read what has happened in past generations? How they cooked, washed, changed the appearance of the home – just little everyday occurrences would be fascinating in years to come.

  9. laurie7piper says:

    Love your beautiful story and pages! Please tell how you used the Distressed Overlays. How do you decide what color to make them? Do you make them opaque? If so, at what setting? What kit do the small rectangular tags come from – the ones with the dates? Thank you!

    • Anne says:

      Thank you so much Laurie. Overlays are an element that I am just beginning to use. The color was determined by the darkest brown on the page. Then it was flattened and I used the Erase tool to remove portions in the center. Oh gracious, I knew someone would ask about the small tags. Before I posted the page I realized that I hadn’t written down the kit for them. (When will I ever learn???) I looked for over an hour for those little things. I am really hoping that someone will recognize them and post here.

  10. Carolyn says:

    My childhood home is 100 years old this year. My mom and dad were the second owners. My mom still lives there. It’s her 43rd year in that home. There have been a lot of changes of course, but the wooden beams in the house are all original and gorgeous, the huge sliding doors to the library are original, as is the clawed footed tub in the bathroom. One of the reasons I fell in love with our current home is because it has two staircases. Of course the second staircase at mom’s house was for the servants but anyone can use ours. :-).

  11. John says:

    Thanks Anne for sharing this – u da bomb. a cool cat, one bad mamma jamma! Write The Book

  12. Jan says:

    Love your blog and your home, Anne! The Happy Box has been a favorite place of mine since I first walked through her doors. Thanks for sharing her with me and for sharing her story with all of us! xx

  13. Carol says:

    I love your blog Anne. My Dad and step-mother live in a Centenarian home as well, as does my step-grandmother. She actually lives in the same home she grew up in and my step-grandmother is 96 years old. I love the old homes they do have many stories to tell.

  14. inekeloux says:

    Wonderfully told Anne. Since I knew a dear old saint who went home to the Lord at 99, I really thought you were talking about a person, at first — as so much of what you said I could have said about Jettie. Very nice photos and pages too.

  15. I loved reading this today Anne as I sit in my old 1938 Cape Cod and longing to know its history since this has not been on our family except for the past 10 years. A past homeowner stopped by just one week ago to take a peek and let me know a little bit about some of the changes their family made in the 1970’s, and some tips of how to go about finding out some more! Looking forward to exploring more of what these walls cannot tell. Your pages are amazing too!

    • Anne says:

      Know your ‘old Cape Cod’ is a treasure. And how special to have a previous owner stop by with stories! You’ll unravel it yet and hopefully will document as you go.

  16. sistersunshine says:

    Oh Anne, Peace & joy. I just may have to STEAL you entire BLOG… and adapt it for our Happy Home. A couple of years ago we gave ours a brand new ‘umbrella’, and I kept a piece of the slate, and original wood shingles… as well as TONS of photos of the process, our Happy Home lost it’s chimney during the process (we hadn’t used it for YEARS) and we gained a wonderful covered patio outdoor space in the process of unifying the many ‘additions’ over the years, located the foundation to the originial ‘summer kitchen’, and yes journeyed down many a memory lane… LOVE your BLOG, saluting an often forgotten member of the family. *U* Kathleen

    • Anne says:

      These old places do need new umbrellas, plaster, and paint every so often, don’t they! A summer kitchen? Don’t you love how that sounds? But the person cooking might have thought otherwise when everything had to be carried back and forth! The chimneys are disintegrating up on our roof and we’ve just gotten the estimate on fixing those. As much as we’d love to have fires again in at least one of the fireplaces, thinking this will have to be put off for another day (or year or 2!). We’ve got to build a dock so maybe our ship will come in, you think?

  17. junegauntley says:

    What an emotional and amazing piece of literary art, Anne! This was so beautiful to read, and your pages are stunning. Bless “The Happy Box”, and the family who is in her! 🙂

  18. Penny says:

    Your story gave me goose bumps!

  19. judychronicles judychronicles says:

    Beautifully written Anne. 103 years flashed past very fast and so much accomplished and seen. Thankyou Judy

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