Just A House

Building your own home, is like buying a purebred puppy. You may be willing to pay more to get exactly what you want, but you feel a little guilty doing so.

After all, there are a lot of perfectly good used houses for sale, as well as mixed breed puppies, up for adoption.

Strange analogy I know, but oddly enough, we've recently done both - bought a puppy, and started a construction project - and while I have no regrets, I feel a tad guilty.

Irrational?  Yes!  Lord knows, we've rescued more than our share of homeless horses, kittens and puppies, and pumped enough money into the housing market, buying dwellings built to somebody else's taste and standards.  Still, I feel almost as sorry for all those sad, empty houses, as I do for the shelter puppies.

Maybe it's a girl-thing, my tendency to view inanimate objects as though they were human, and I'll admit to having been a gullible child.  I loved all those old-world fables, fairy tales and Saturday-morning cartoons that antropomorphised everything from rabbits and roosters, to roadsters and rickshaws.

I can avoid the sad eyes of unloved puppies by steering clear of animal shelters, but the old houses haunt me.

Our countryside is littered with the remains of what once were family farms and homesteads.  I drive by them everyday, and would like to save them all.

While other passersby see an eyesore, I see a monument to somebody else's dream.  I imagine them young and proud.  Windows polished, clapboards freshly painted or white-washed.

From my perspective, behind the lens of my camera, I see children playing in the front yard, Mom and Pop watching idly from the front porch swing.  I see Grandma serving Sunday dinner in her farmhouse kitchen, and Grandpa sitting in the parlor, thumbing through the Farmer's Almanac.

In rural America, houses were built to last a lifetime.  And, most did!

Living on a construction site as we do, I awake each morning to the hammering of nails and the buzz of an electric saw.  I momentarily picture my dream house complete - windows polished, clapboards painted, and rise with a smile on my face at what will be.

Later at dusk, I walk the plywood floors, and see beyond the bare studs, my dining table -family gathered for Sunday dinner.

I imagine someday, passersby will glance at what was once my house, proud and new, and see nothing more than a sagging facade of weathered timbers and loosened shingles.

But, it doesn't make me sad to think of it.  For I know, that long after the its builders are laid to rest, my house will stand.  And eventually, some curious soul will stop and wonder about the folks that lived there, when it was young . . .

The photos above, with the exception of those of the new construction, are all different angles of the same house, one I found along the roadside, in northwestern Pennsylvania.  It's weathered grandeur continues to fascinate me.

Mrs. Green Jeans @ Farm Fresh Photography, 2011

1 comment:

  1. I wonder about old houses too. I would love to save them all! They are like people we are only here for a moment, so make that moment count...

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