After years of being professional military renters, my husband and I were thrilled when we purchased our first home. I love to redecorate and renovate, so I set about painting every wall, changing the layout of our home, ripping out the flooring and replacing it.
I've always dreamed of purchasing a stately old home rich with character, and learning that the property was owned by some Civil War General, or that the home was used to hide slaves who were escaping to freedom or maybe someone who worked in the woman's suffrage movement owned the home. Probably won't happen, but wouldn't that be interesting?
Our home is only six years old, so there's not much "history" associated with the home. Memories, certainly, but history? Well, maybe there is. At least someone might think so decades from now. Fifty years from now, historians will have studied the Global War on Terror. They will have dissected battles, political decisions and the troops of our generation.
Our home was purchased, pre-construction, as an investment property by a Vietnam-era veteran who has a son serving in the Army. His son is an OIF veteran. The first people to move into this house was an Army family. They lived here for one year, then my husband and I moved in. After renting for a couple of years, we purchased the home.
Last weekend, I wrote a history of our home and its occupants. Wooden floors were being installed in the guest rooms. Before the floors were laid, I tucked the history letter into a ziploc bag, sealed it and had the floors laid on top of the letter. My hope is that years from now, when someone decides to rip up the flooring, they will uncover the letter and have a greater appreciation for the history of their home.
Sometimes, because we're so close to the fight, it's hard to imagine that we are making history. Whether you're in favor of the war or not, it does have historic significance, no matter the outcome. It excites me to think that one day, many years from now, some father will find the letter as he pulls up the floors. Hopefully, he'll then sit his family down and read it to them. I hope they say, "wow, this home has a rich military history. OIF and OEF veterans lived in this home and this letter was written during the Global War on Terror." I'm hoping the kids will say, "wow, how cool." and take the letter to school for show-and-tell.
Nobody is as actively engaged in history-making right now more than we, as military families, are.
Pulling up the old carpet, prepping the flooring, etc.. was quite a chore. The guest rooms were the last in the house to be done. As I think of it, I should have included this sentence in the letter:
I hope shag carpeting hasn't come back in style by the time you find this letter. I grew up with it and trust me, it's just a fad, a really bad one. Don't even think about installing shag carpet in these rooms. If you do, I'll haunt you from the grave forever....