Happiness and Misadventures


A couple of days ago, while working on the facade of the house we're renovating, the carpenter found that, on a stone, the year 1839 was engraved.

A wall made of stones, light greyish. The one in the middle has 1839 visibly carved. It has been brushed up with a pencil.
Here it is!

The rock is currently installed upside down (the more I think of if, the more I wonder why), but the plan is to move it above the entrance.

We were sure that the house was older than one-hundred years, and suspected that it could be almost two-hundred… And we were right!

So that cottage is about 184 years old. When I think about it, I am a bit dazed: I can't realize what that amount of time means.

What happened in 1839? Or better: at what point were we?1

Napoleon died less than twenty years before. Italy, my country, was still divided in several kingdoms. In the USA, less than ten years before, the Indian Removal Act was signed. Let's not even speak about the World Wars. It has been built at the end of the Industrial Revolution.

That house has seen at least four or five generations of men. Who know how many lived within those walls.

What is certain is that it has been modified many times. It is tiny, but it is clear that doors and windows have been moved uncountable times. During some past renovations, the 70-centimeter walls were also constructed with very cheap materials, including manure, mud and earth. The actual renovation made us lose a lot of time also because we had to reinforce them.

Anyway, even though it required a lot of effort and money, and we'll move there for Christmas if we're lucky… I get a strange sensation when I think how many things that house has passed – how many seasons it has seen.

Maybe it's silly… but it's a mixture of respect and reassurance. If the stones could talk, I'd love to hear some of the stories they would tell.

🎮 I just could play 5 minutes of Endling

🎧 Attack & Release by The Black Keys

📖 The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

  1. I mean "we" as civilization.