Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Abandoned Houses

Am I the only one who passes abandoned houses on country roads and wonders what became of the families who once built a life there? Virginia creeper vines insistently twist themselves into any crevice or crack, filling the vacuum that nature abhors. Neatly trimmed yards fill with weeds and trees self seed in a haphazard way. An occasional faithful perennial planted long ago by a young wife in a feed sack dress lifts its face to the sun or twines along a sagging fence.

How did the ties to the community grow loose and finally disappear? Did elderly parents pass away and educated children move to greener pastures? Doors stand open and windows gape blankly. The house remains silent.

Abandoned houses are best captured in black and white or sepia tones. They have their own stark and sad beauty. Does the house still contain the echoes of little feet and the growth marks in pencil on the pantry door? Did Grandma rock gently on that porch? Did a mother peer down the road waiting for a son to come home from war? Did the rain beat a tattoo on the tin roof as a young couple made love underneath? Did a middle-aged farmer sit on those sagging steps, wearily pushing his sweat stained hat back on his head as he read a foreclosure notice?

We will never know, because the abandoned house along a country road keeps its own counsel and shelters its own secrets.