Sunday, February 28, 2010

Chalk is Cheap

I know my title is corny, but hey it's Sunday, my brain is fried from finishing up two writing assignments and so it's the best I could come up with.  My other choice was "Chalkin' it up to Experience" and if you prefer that one then just pretend that's what I used! ;-)

On Saturday I gave Mr. Tide a nudge to head out and do something I've been wanting to do for the last 2 years.  That's how we roll around here, sometimes a little like a square block on a mild slope, but we eventually get to whatever it is that we want to get done.

I've been wanting to get the old chalkboard from my parent's house and put it in the hallway in our house.  We really needed to wait until the remodel was finished before doing this, so it really hasn't been 2 years in the making, but it feels like it has been just the same.

This chalkboard has been in my family since I can remember.  My father, who worked for the Navy as an engineer, brought it home when the place where he worked was getting ready to throw it away.  My father had a love for lost and unwanted items, something I think I inherited.  So he was known for bringing home unusual items from time to time which thrilled my mother to no end.  He even once brought home an old Navy chow hall potato peeler.  The thing was roughly the size of a 50 gallon drum and was lined with sand paper.  When you turned it on it whirled around and wore the peels off of the potato.  Great if you were feeding the whole Navy, for a family of 6, not so much!

The chalkboard on the other hand was a stroke of genius on his part.  Over the years it served as the perfect place to teach math, play school, and to write notes to each other (some less than sweet among siblings!).  And when grandchildren came into the picture, it found a new life all over again.  My mother took long term substitute teaching jobs as a way to earn extra money, sometimes filling in for 6 months at a time, so she loved to use it to teach her own children and then her grandchildren different subjects including math and French.  Our daughter who went on to get her undergraduate degree in French would often leave notes for my mother in this romantic language.

So when my mother passed, my father asked the 4 kids to go through the house and put stickers with our birth order number (I'm number 4 of 4!) on the pieces we really wanted to inherit.  I knew right away which pieces I wanted, the chalkboard being at the top of the list.  No one else seemed interested.  My sister "M" already had a chalkboard for her children and my other two siblings had other items that meant more to them, or maybe they sensed how much I really wanted that chalkboard.

When we bought this house it had a hallway which leads back to all of the bedrooms, it's almost identical to my parent's house so I knew just where the chalkboard would one day hang.  I wanted to pass by it everyday on the way to our bedroom, just as I had done all those years that I lived with my parents.  And the same way that our children and nieces and nephews had done whenever they had sleepovers at Nana and Opa's house.

"Before" No Chalkboard!

Today was the big day, and Mr. Tide grudgingly agreed to hang it for me and aside from a massive hunt to find his drill bits, it all went fairly smoothly.

 My Stud, looking for studs!

So now, after a good cleaning, one of my favorite childhood mementos is hanging right where it was meant to be.


I am lovin' how it looks in our hallway and check out the little box I found at Micheal's yesterday to hold the chalk and erasers.  I know, there's a lovely little ledge on the chalkboard for that, but nosey puppy dogs would make a meal of that chalk I'm afraid and who knows what clever Mr. Quinn would do to the erasers!

 It's the perfect size for holding the old erasers we used as kids and the colored chalk I got for 99 cents at

 I love this old eraser that came from Sears!  Wonder when my parents bought it?!

And maybe one day when we have grandchildren I can teach them something by writing on it's lined green surface.  It won't be math, I'm horrible at math!  And it won't be french, unless they want to learn Ou Est La Plage which means "where's the beach" and is one of the only french phrases I remember.  It is an important one to know though! 

I think I'll leave the art lessons up to someone else too!

I'm linking up for Metamorphosis Monday with Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch.

And for more great ideas and inspiration head on over to The Inspired Room.


  1. What a wonderful story about the memories behind your family chalkboard! I love it.
    I'm so glad that you decided to keep it and start making memories for your family.

    Thanks for such a nice post.


  2. This is the sweetest post- the chalkboard would have been at the top of my list, too- thanks for sharing!

  3. What a great treasure from your past to hang in your home. I love it. I really like the bucket hanging with the chalk and old erasers. Yes, I don't think chalk is good for dogs.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post - what a great story to pass on to your own grandchildren! It looks perfect there too :D

  5. Congratulations on your new hallway addition. Great memories, too.

  6. I LOVE chalk - - - I'm one of those old fashioned teachers who still use it EVERY DAY at school.

  7. Lovely! And it comes with great memories - even better!

  8. That is SO cool! I love this. I don't think I've seen a green chalkboard with lines on it like that since I was a kid.

  9. Love it! Great story also. I am 4 of 4 too!
    I am glad you got the belongs with someone who loves it.
    I read in your bio you got to GW. I started there in 1999, first place I ever posted. I still frequent Holidays and Cooking..once in awhile Home Dec.
    What part of the US are you?..I see you are still wearing must not be too far south..but if you were here in NY you would have snow suits on, LOL!
    Nice to meet you...I taught school for 33 yrs..very familiar with green boards..:)

  10. Oh I love that you wanted to hang it there so you could again pass by it every day on the way to your bedroom. And your daughter leaving messages in French on it for her Grandmother is a beautiful memory! ~Lili

  11. I love that your chalkboard has a very emotional story. You will love having it in your hallway, so much you can write on it. My super calkboard hangs in our kitchen and I decorate it for holidays. Is yours magnetic too?

  12. that's a great piece of history to hold on to. The box for the chalk and erasers looks good too!

  13. Oh that is just soo perfect and the sentimental value can never be beat!

  14. Very cute! I love the bucket hanging from the side too. Gorgeous!

  15. Thank you for sharing your wonderful, heartfelt story. I'm so glad YOU and your family ended up with the chalkboard.


  16. Isn't it strange that sometimes things with little monetary value mean the most? This couldn't be any more valuable than a piece of fine art! I am glad it ended up where it will be loved, cherished, and making new memories!

  17. I just went and bought a chalkboard for my kids too! How lucky you were to have this! It's such a great find. And the bucket is too cute.
    you have such a lovely blog :)
    Angela Harris

  18. What an awesome chalkboard! I love it there on the wall in your Hall...brings back some chalkboard memories I have too! Enjoy!

  19. Love it!

    I wanted to let you know I have 2 more issues of Flea Market Style that I am giving away on my blog:

    Lara :)

  20. Chalkboards do bring back such special memories, and your new chalkboard looks just wonderful.

  21. such a sweet story.
    Hope it brings you joy for many years to come!

  22. I'm sorry about your mama....the chalk board looks just wonderful. I grew up with an unlined version at home.

    : )

    Julie M.

  23. Kat I LOVE this story and I love this chalk board. I can imagine the feeling you must have inside, now that it is hanging so beautifully in your home. Hold tight and enjoy those memories and enjoy making new ones now it is part of your home too:) Just a beautiful post Kat!! ~ Tina xx

  24. Love this!... you've given me an idea.. now I need to find a vintage chalkboard.

    Lovely story

  25. This brings back great memories for me. We had a schoolhouse chalkboard in our hall when our daughters were younger. We mounted it about a foot from the floor, and they would sit and draw masterpieces for hours at a time. It was also a great place for the Easter Bunny and Santa and the Toothfairy to leave notes for the children.

    When we moved from that house, we brought the chalkboard with us ... but we didn't have a place for it. Open floor plan house, ya know. We gave it to friends for their daughter to enjoy, and it hangs in their playroom now.

    There was an ad for chalkboards in the 'paper the other evening. I may give them a call.

  26. I LOVE that chalkboard...all the better because of the great family history. You found a perfect spot for it, too!

  27. Aahhh this is so lovely.
    So wonderful that you found a place for it in your home & it looks great.

  28. My parents have a huge black chalkboard, that I think my dad got from a school when it was closing down, in our kitchen right next to the phone. It always had messages and numbers on it and when we were little there were always little marks on it as high up as we could reach. I'd love to have one in our new house.

  29. Wonderful idea; I did the same when my kids were young and they loved it!

    PS - You realize that you can say goodbye to ever having a clean wall and floor again, right? The sacrifices we make!

  30. My gosh what a huge dose of charm that chalkboard adds - and even better that it comes with lots of stories! Thanks so much for checking out my guest room and leaving such a nice note :)

  31. Oh how special to have something that you loved as a child in your home now. Plus, it would just be fun to have!

  32. That is so great! I love the story behind it and that you have something that really holds memories for you hanging in your home.

  33. What a fun idea, just now there will be lots of sweet messages in that space.

  34. What a sweet story, it made my heart smile reading about your memories with this chalk board. Just love stories like this!

  35. I am completely in love with this! First of all, I love chalkboards, school items, and unique pieces. This fits all of those categories! I also love things with a history and sentimental value. This piece is extra special. What a great piece in the perfect location!

  36. How Fun! You will make many new memories with this!


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