When I was very young, we visited my grandmother's house in the hills of Tennessee. She had previously passed away in her sleep, and the family gathered to see what was left in the house. The stairs to the second floor were blocked from entrance – my grandmother lived alone on the first floor. My curiosity unrestrained, a skeleton key in my pocket, I found a way to get to the second floor. The rooms of the second floor were filled with furniture, with only the dust indicating the lack of human traffic. Antique dressers, and feather beds and a baby crib were scattered about.
Being in detective mode, I noticed that the wall in one room was closer than the edge of the roof. On further inspection, I discovered a small wooden latch integrated with the wood slats. After I turned the latch, a small door above the floor opened to a crawl space. An adventure into the darkness was inevitable! The first thing I found in the crawl space was an old chest, filled with papers, a military uniform, and a WWI style helmet. I later learned these items belonged to a relative killed in the war.
Crawling around in a crouched position, I put my hand out to steady myself. Strangely, the wall felt soft. It was colored grey, but when I pushed it, it revealed the old newspapers used for wallpaper. I was curious as to the age of the newspapers, so I pulled on them – but that suddenly revealed an unexpected splash of color! Removing more newspaper showed that the wall was actually made of quilts, stacked one on top of another! The color explosion was like a fireworks show, with new splashes every six inches up the wall.
Not knowing if I was somewhere I should not be, I went down stairs and notified the family. The group followed me up stairs and made a circle in the room in front of the the crawl space door. I began to toss quilts out of the door – while everyone cheered. I had discovered grandmother's secret treasure of quilts, quilts that were her gifts throughout the years to visitors who came from afar. The quilts were divided among all the family members, for protection and preservation.
Shortly after our visit to grandmother's old house, the entire place burned to the ground. My mother went back to visit, but could only find a single brick from the fireplace as a remembrance to take home. The dressers, feather beds, wood-burning stoves, dishes, rocking chairs, clothing, lamps, and clocks had all vanished forever.