Cherished Memories & Salvaging Old Chippy Wood

Ever since that snowy day at MawMaw’s old house, my heart ached every time the thought crossed my mind that this house would be destroyed. What about the memories? What about the good times had beneath that rusty tin roof? What about the front porch chats behind the, now tattered, screen?

My Great Grandma's House

Mom was only about three when she moved away from this house… but certain memories she will never forget! As I went into the house for the first time, mom showed me the spot where MawMaw used to sit, rocking in her chair, by the wood stove. She was a big reader and loved writing. No novels or anything profound, but little notes. She would write everyone’s birthdays, what time to take her medicine, scores to sporting events, or time of wrestling matches. She loved her some WCW! That was back in the day! … all things that, to many, mean nothing. But every time I stumble across one of her little spiral top notepads, I have to sit down, take a break, and enjoy a moment with MawMaw’s thoughts.

How to Salvage Wood from an Old House

After the family told me I could salvage what I wanted from the house, I wasn’t really sure where to start. But I knew I wanted part of the actual house! As I stood on the front porch, I thought how many times did MawMaw gaze through those front windows, waiting for PawPaw to get home? Or would she take a peak to see if  mom was still playing in the front yard? Truth be told, Mom said, she liked to crawl under the house (there was an open air crawl space) and play under there. I think it was her ‘safe place’. And what kid doesn’t love a secret playhouse? So, it was obvious to me, where I would start… with the windows.

Salvaging Old Wood

It wasn’t an easy task. And I am by no means a pro. But I borrowed a little crowbar and some other little tool… and the hubs and I went to work. There’s really no method to it. Just stick in the crowbar, pry it loose, hammer, pry some more, careful not to snap the wood… it is old… and eventually it comes off. Or at least that’s how we did it! Of course, I couldn’t help but think about MawMaw the whole time I was working.

How to Remove Wood from an Old House

I know she would be so happy that I am salvaging part of this old house… and sharing its story too! Not everyone has roots they can track down. Heck, the hubs was a military child. His family moved all over the country… the world! He would be hardpressed to trace his roots. And yet, he willingly helps me preserve mine. (Sweat and all!!) Blek!!

Salvaged Wood from an Old House

Once I removed the wood surrounding the windows, the hubs would pull them out. We were quite the team. I was shocked to find these heavy weight looking things inside the window casing. Since then, I have learned they are called sash weights and they work to balance the weight of the glazed panels. Interesting! I decided to salvage those too!

Salvaging Old Windows

When I tell you we were there from sun up to sun down. I mean, Sun. Up. To. Sun. Down. We were incredibly tired, hot, sweaty, so gross, but it was all worth it. Look at the stash of wood I rounded up…

Stash of Old Salvaged Wood

Most of it came from around the front windows. We just couldn’t get any of the siding to come off without snapping in half. It’s just so old. And I managed to salvage a few other goodies as well. Remember vandals did a number on the house. They had busted the glass out of the front door and had even torn it off the hinges. But lucky for me, all they wanted was to get in. They left the door strewn across the front porch.

Salvaged Old Door

 In addition to the front door and the windows I salvaged, I was also able to preserve a window screen and some screen from the front porch as well. I found a couple flower pots and some mason jars too! And if this isn’t cool… Mom went back under the house to see if there was anything under there. She spotted a couple mason jars that she couldn’t help but think perhaps she put them there more than 50 years ago. Maybe it was a tea party? Maybe it was a home for fireflies she caught. Either way, memories…

Salvaged Architecture from an Old House

 Memories that I loaded up in the back of my truck on that hot summer day. It may not be much and I would love to have more. But for now, I feel that I rescued all that I could. I am no master deconstructioner. (Yes, I made that up.) But I know this house had memories worth saving!

The Story of Salvaging Wood

And I just know there is beauty to be found in these Rusted Roots… even more beauty because these roots are mine!!

Until next time, let us remember..

Beauty Stems from Rusted Roots

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  1. Jennifer Ozanich says:

    Your sweet post brought tears to my eyes. I am sure your Grandparents were right there beside you while you worked! If they were anything like mine, they were probably chuckling over you “wanting that old stuff!” God bless you for saving those old memories! I am sure you will find something wonderful to do with them!

    • Candace says:

      Oh, Jennifer, you are so sweet! As I was tearing down some of that old wood, I could definitely feel my grandparents there with me! And when I removed Mo’s cast iron sink (I’ll tell ya about that one soon!) I could honestly see her standing there washing dishes and taking her morning meds. The memories were so strong in that old house. I can’t wait to have parts of her home in mine and experience that every day!! Thank you so much for stopping by!! I hope you’ll stick around!! 🙂

  2. Cindy Eddins says:

    I loved reading about your salvaging your family roots! I feel the same way – to have those items close by is to have the person and those memories close by you all the time. I know your family & grandparents are honored that your heart wants this history! 🙂

    • Candace says:

      Oh, thank you Cindy! It really is special to be surrounded by the history of your family! I do believe that memories would live on whether I had these treasures or not. But it sure is sweet to be reminded of these very special people each time I see something in my house that was theirs!!

  3. Beautyful things
    And a very beautyful story.
    Must have been very special to be there 🙂

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