PUBLISHED: 1:55 PM on Wednesday, November 29, 2006
If your walls could talk, what would they say?
We've all heard it: "If only these walls could talk."

But have you ever wondered what your walls might say if they could tell you everything they hear?

Mine have done a whole lot of talking lately, so I thought I'd give you a room-by-room play of what they hear in the Halone household.

The Kitchen: About once a week, a "certain someone" will throw something in the trash can, then mumble.

"Why does everybody let the garbage get this full? Why do you always wait for me to come home to take it out?"

Then there's the dishwasher: this incident - and I swear it really happened - occurred just last week when I phoned one of my teen daughters at home.

"Mom, are the dishes in the dishwasher clean or dirty?"

Excuse me?

"Can you open it up and find out?" I ask.

The key rack: "Has anyone seen my keys?"

Inevitably, a well-meaning family member will reply, "Where do you remember seeing them last?"

"If I knew where I saw them last, they wouldn't be lost, would they?" They sound a little miffed.

The cell phone: "Has anyone seen my cell phone?"

"Have you tried calling it?"

"I can't. It's turned off." Bet you've never said that one.

The living room: "Has anyone seen the remote?"

My walls usually hear a few choice replies with this one, ranging anywhere from, "Which one?" to, once again, "Where did you see it last?" and finally, "If we all just put it back where it belongs, it won't get lost."

That works - in theory.

The laundry room: "I can't understand how the laundry piles up."

On this issue, our walls generally hear two explanations. One: "We have teens; thus, we have piles of laundry. Two, "We have laundry; thus, we have teens."

And finally, the garage: "If we all just get out here together sometime, we can clean out the garage."

Like that's going to happen.

I don't think my walls are alone in what they've heard.

But there's something else they hear that I'd like to share with you; something that speaks louder than over-stuffed garbage cans and lost remotes: "You're loved. You're safe. There will always be a place for you here."

Because someday, the laundry piles will dwindle. My cell phone will remain on the counter. My dishwasher won't be so full.

I wonder what my walls will say then.

Judy Halone is a member of the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association and the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.