Our Time Capsule

A few years ago, we did a major renovation on our circa 1954 Cape Cod house by adding a second level. Among the debris of the materials from the original top floor, our family found a Scrabble piece, a playing card, and a few other small remnants from previous owners. It was fun to think about who must have lost them over the years, and where those people are now.

Currently, we are doing a much smaller “fix” to our basement. Taped to the cinder block wall behind one of the wallboards we pulled off were a few painted coloring book pages left by a family from years past. It didn’t seem to be purposefully left, like as a time capsule or anything, because there were no names or dates on the pages. I think the family just forgot to pull them off before they put up the wall boards many years ago.

During dinner the other night, we were remembering the things we found in the house over the years. “Wouldn’t it be fun if we made a time capsule and left it behind a basement wall?” one of us suggested. Yes! With the walls being sealed up the next day, we knew we didn’t have much time. So we brainstormed some ideas. Here is what we decided on:

  • a note from us, explaining who we are (including kids birth years and what school they go to), what year it is, and a few questions about the house (Is the house still tan with black shutters? Is the pine tree still right outside the front door?). We also wrote some current events and facts, like the current president, NJ governor, Madison mayor, Madison’s population, the news that the YMCA is about to start an addition of a new pool, and the fact that the 2019 World Series is about to start.

  • a family photo

  • a few Star Wars and baseball cards, plus a baseball trivia sheet (because who doesn’t dream of finding an old baseball card in the walls? Could you imagine finding a time capsule from when the house was built in 1954 that had a mint-condition baseball card in it?)

  • a 2019 penny

  • the front page of the New York Times

  • this week’s Madison Eagle newspaper

  • an advertisement map of Madison (we picked it up from Nautilus Diner)

  • a few photos of what the basement looked like before we spruced it up (think mid-80s décor — it was definitely time for a change!)

We placed all these things in a Ziploc bag, and taped it on the inside of one of the staircase walls, just before the workers arrived to finish sealing it up. I wonder who will find our little package. When they do, I hope that they enjoy looking back on life in the house in 2019!