The Suitcase Lady

Abandoned

September 17, 2007, 8:25 pm

I am fascinated by old, abandoned farmhouses. They dot the American countryside from east to west. If they are haunted, it is only with memories.

Deserted homesteads, crumbling into the ground, are poignancy made visible. Who can pass one without wondering what dreams, loves and heartbreaks occurred within the walls?

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Adobe buildings are particularly metaphorical. The adobe bricks are made from earth and water, dried by the sun. Generations can live within the earthen walls, but when the home loses its people, it soon recycles itself back into the ground.

Our Midwestern, clapboard farmhouses are a heartier breed of dwelling. The sun’s energy is still stored in those boards, and decay takes its time. Only broken windows, sagging porches, peeling paint and collapsing roofs tell the world that no one is left to care.

Click for larger imageA few miles from our house is a humble and intriguing little cottage. It stands alone and decrepit in a field. Yet someone carefully plants and harvests the alfalfa around it. It’s an island in a sea of grass.

I’ve asked around the local grapevine about the house’s history to no avail. The house is in a different township from mine, and local history here seems to end at the town line, or in this case, the range line.

The house exerts a magnetic pull on me. Even though my photography skills are few, I take the home’s picture at different times and seasons. I get a surge of happiness every time I drive over to visit the little house and find it still braving the elements.

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