Monday, January 27, 2014

Nobody Home!

I think I was raised on a too-steady diet of Disney entertainment.

It has affected my worldview.

In short, I think I anthropomorphize too much. I ascribe human attributes to things that don't necessarily deserve or require them.

Parker for example. I worry about him being bored during the day. Despite knowing that he probably slumbers the hours away in a state of snoring bliss.

Abandoned houses also resonate with me.

I'm fascinated by them, actually. 

How does that happen? I know that fortunes can change overnight, often for the worse, and families have been known to creep out of their residences just ahead of creditors.

But still.

It's a house. You lived there. You loved there.

And what stays behind? I see structures left to the elements and wonder. What happened to all the happy Christmases there? The babies that were brought across the threshold. The family parties. I think about the cutting of the lawn, the repairs to a leaky faucet, the repainting of the dining room walls.

How does someone walk away from all that?

And what's left in the wake? Dilapidation. Ruin. Weeds in the floorboards. Shingles askew. Windows that have been shattered by too many teenagers with too many rocks and too much time on their hands.

It depresses me. So I tend not to dwell on it. 

But when I see a hulking edifice that sits alone on a property, being gradually erased by the passage of time, I sigh a deep sigh.

I suppose some of my reaction is that my own roots go so deep. When my parents moved out of the house we three boys were raised in, it was harder on us than them! Dad saw liberation from shoveling snow and hammering down loose shingles on the roof.

I saw a goodbye to the staircase in the basement, where, if you were on the kitchen phone with a girl, was the only place for some privacy, thanks to an extra-long stretchy cord. Which I think we over-stretched until it eventually snapped and needed replacement.

I saw a farewell to the windows that used to hold fans in the brutal summers, providing some (but not much) relief from the stifling stillness of a July night.

I saw a kitchen that would no longer smell of Mom's pies. Or contain the sound of Dad humming while he dried the dishes.

Confession here:

I still drive by the old house. I'd love to stop and ring the bell and ask to look around, but that would be creepy. So it's enough for me to just drive by slowly.

And remember.

Be happy, house. As happy as you made us.

No comments:

Post a Comment