There’s no place like home, and we get so settled in to our houses, and they feel so personal to us, that it’s hard to imagine anyone else living in them. However, most of us live in spaces that once belonged to generations of families before us—and we don’t know anything about them.
But as one couple looked towards their home’s future, they inadvertently got a hilarious, heartwarming glimpse into the past.
In July, couple Alex and Jessica Monney, from San Jose, California, embarked on a new home renovation project: remodeling their bathroom. It’s a summer of big changes for the family: Jessica is also expecting a child soon, and they wanted to get the project completed before the arrival.
If you know me, you know I love house projects. However, even I think I might be a little crazy for kicking off a bathroom remodel 4 weeks before I’m due. Bye bye bathroom! 👋🏻 And sorry in advance for the bathroom remodel updates to come. pic.twitter.com/yCJJN0A0KL
— Jess Monney (@Jess_Monney) July 3, 2018
As they tore apart the bathroom to make way for the renovations, they found an unexpected surprise within the walls.
It turned out the previous homeowners had left a message in the walls when they renovated the home—23 years ago—knowing that some future residents would find it during their own makeover.
Messages from the past
“Hi! We’re the Shinsekis!” the writing on the wall said, complete with a photo of the couple. “We remodeled this bathroom Summer 1995.”
Not that they were too happy about someone undoing their 1990s bathroom style:
“If you are reading this, that means you’re remodeling the bathroom again. What’s wrong with the way we did it?!?!?‘”
They weren’t the only ones to leave a funny message: there was also one from their bunny, who had big dreams—and was, impressively, housetrained.
“Hi! I’m Cassie the Bunny Rabbit. I lived here too! (I’m potty trained!). I’m going to be the next Cadbury Bunny.”
Anyone who’s ever renovated a room on their own knows it can be a tiring process, so the note from the past was a welcome laugh.
“It kind of brought a little bit of wholesome joy,” Alex Monney told KPIX. “It was just very unexpected but really funny. We thought they had a great sense of humor.”
Monney shared the photos on Twitter. They’ve since been taken down, but not before going viral. As the photos spread, people had all kinds of reactions, from praising the bunny:
This is so good. SO GOOD.
A bunny lived in your house that was house trained?! that is so good.
— Craig Kaufman (@craigums) July 3, 2018
To sharing their own uncovered home secrets, from the wholesome:
We found this while doing our bathroom! Totally forgot to add to it before the guys finished the new wall though 😒 pic.twitter.com/rAaupz6clj
— Alex Ross (@alex__ross) July 4, 2018
To the … less wholesome:
My wife and I bought our first home last summer. Had to cut a hole in the bathroom wall to install a vent. Here’s what we found behind behind that wall 😳 pic.twitter.com/AU2Y4OhKEB
— TJ Harris (@TJPOWERuloveit) July 3, 2018
While the story has been spread online, so far it doesn’t seem like Monney has been able to track down the Sinsekis. But he does want them to know that their joke was appreciated:
“Thank you for the note. It gave us a lot of smiles,” he told NBC Bay Area. “It brought a lot of laughter to our life. Your bathroom was great. Sorry, for messing with it.”
Though for Monney, it was more than just a laugh—it was a way of connecting with their home and learning about the past.
“We didn’t really understand who had been here before,” Monney told KPIX. “As we opened up this wall, and as we saw these stories, we kind of uncovered the house’s family tree.”
As their own family tree is set to grow soon, Monney plans to add a “branch” to their home’s story, writing their own message under the wall before completing the renovation, including the couple’s pets and new baby.
“[We’ll] try to build up this family tree a little bit more, and … hopefully leave a surprise and a smile for someone down the road.”