If These Old (Condo) Walls Could Speak

At this moment, in the adjacent room, my children are enjoying their final naps in our current residence. This evening, they will be driven by yours truly to Irvine, where there will be a hand-off to Grandma and Grampa, who will take them home with him to San Diego, where they will enjoy a leisurely weekend.

While they are gone, their mother and I will continue furiously sorting, trashing, and packing all of our worldly belongings in preparation for an actual move this coming Sunday. When they are returned to us, we will be in our new place.

Now, the funny thing is that we’re still the owners of our current residence, and there’s a fair chance we might actually come to live here again, once The Dailies gets firing on all cylinders. In the meantime, renters will subsidize our extravagant, luxurious lifestyle.

I’m terribly sentimental today. They were both brought here directly from the hospital. They both learned to walk and talk and think (a little bit) here in this 1000 square feet. They learned about family and cartoons, and migratory ducks, and looking both ways before crossing the street, and asking nicely for a glass of water, and that they like the silicone binkies, and not the rubber ones.

I believe the reason that I am sentimental is that I know that these memories will be mine and Erica’s alone, as we don’t often recall our memories from prior to age four, and certainly not from fifteen months. The memories that they will take from their childhood have yet to begin. This place will be a place they are forced to visit whenever mom and dad want to stroll down memory lane.

I believe Amy Grant has made one truly great record in her career, 1988′s Lead Me On. I still listen to this album from time to time, and marvel at how well it has aged, save an inevitable case of Late 80′s Big Snare. Near the beginning of the B-side, there’s a little piano ballad called, If These Walls Could Speak. The lyrics capture my day perfectly.

Before I leave you with the lyrics lemme tell you this: do yourself a favor today, and grab your kids, or your spouse, or your girlfriend or boyfriend, or brother or sister, and even a friend, and embrace them. Remember how their hair smells. Take a mental snapshot of them standing in the foyer or sitting in their favorite chair. Listen to and appreciate the timbre of their voice, the word choices, and the phrasing. Change is coming, always.

If These Walls Could Speak

Written by Jimmy Webb

If these old walls,
If these old walls could speak
Of the things that they remember well,
Stories and faces dearly held,
A couple in love
Livin’ week to week,
Rooms full of laughter,
If these walls could speak.

If these old halls,
If hallowed halls could talk,
These would have a tale to tell
Of sun goin’ down and dinner bell,
And children playing at hide and seek
From floor to rafter,
If these halls could speak.

They would tell you that I’m sorry
For being cold and blind and weak.
They would tell you that its only
That I have a stubborn streak,
If these walls could speak.

If these old fashioned window panes were eyes,
I guess they would have seen it all–

Each little tear and sigh and footfall,
And every dream that we came to seek
Or followed after,
If these walls could speak.

They would tell you that I owe you
More than I could ever pay.
Heres someone who really loves you;
Dont ever go away.
Thats what these walls would say.

9 thoughts on “If These Old (Condo) Walls Could Speak

  1. Zack

    Funny. About 10 years ago, I wrote a song about your old house, Chad. The Montgomery one. Some of these lyrics look familiar….

  2. michael lee

    I’m on my way out the door to go pick up my wife and daughter at the airport, after they’ve been gone to Texas for a week. This struck me in exactly the right spot today. I’ve been missing them terribly.

  3. Morphea

    Zack, stealin’ lyrics from Amy Grant…wow, I have no headspace for that. At all.

    Chad, there is nothing I can write on this qwerty that will suffice. You’re amazing. I love you. Be well this weekend, poor things.


  4. aly hawkins

    Man, I remember helping you kids move in there. That was the night you announced Ella’s name, and we all cried after slogging in your enormous couches.

    It’s good to have history.

  5. Rach

    Ah yes, that was one of the first songs that I taught myself to play. I’m a sucker for gorgeous and haunting…

  6. Paul

    On a very hot day in September, 1989 we moved into our current home (where the Dailies and their children will reside for a season) after packing up ten years worth of stuff from another house. We had moved there when Chad was 3 and his sister was baby. As I walked through all of the rooms the last time and then drove away, “If these walls…” played in my mind, and I could barely drive to the new place because I was so overcome with emotion — not for the rooms, but for all that had taken place there. I am getting rather verklempt now thinking about it.

    Two lines from “Wake Us,” referring to the owners of “twenty small fingers, twenty small toes,” are a notable collorary to “If These Walls” —

    The house is the shelter,
    But they are the home…

  7. Paul

    Sorry, I misspelled “corollary,” and meant to say that Chad’s sister was “a baby.”

    It’s late. Let’s hear it for proofreading.

  8. JC

    As someone who will be moving this summer and has moved several tims over the past 25 years, I can totally relate. I find moving a deeply emotional time. It’s almost like breaking up with someone you really, really care about. You know it’s the end…and it should be…but there is still a lot of love and memories there, but the physical connection is gone forever. It seems too final for something that played such an important role in our lives. Good luck Chad & Erica on this new chapter in your life!

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