I went past this house on my way home from the library this morning. While I’m sure I couldn’t keep up a house like this, I would love to own it or rent it. That isn’t to say I don’t love our house, but there is something about the slightly run down appearance to the yard and walk. I can imagine seeing the house from this angle at night with a furious lightning storm going on.
There was wood smoke in the air when I stopped to take the photo. I’m sure the was coming from another house; the wind was from my back. Still, it made me think of other times and places. The first place I thought of was Rolling Prairie, IN, my home town.
There were no hills like this in Rolling Prairie, but there were a few houses similar to this one. We lived in town until I was in second grade. One house I remember did not look like this one, but it was spooky. I can’t recall it ever being painted. There was an old woman who lived in it, I don’t remember her name, and she had the reputation, among young children like me, of being a witch. I’m sure we thought she was a witch because our older brothers and sisters told us that to scare us. I can’t recall ever seeing her when she wasn’t dressed in black. Of course she might only have been wearing a black coat. Who knows. My memory isn’t all that wonderful. Besides, we tend to remember things the way we think they should have been. I do remember that when she died her house was condemned. Signs were posted to keep people from entering the house. One day some of us younger kids went up on the porch of that house and looked in the grimy windows. The house was in such poor shape that the living room floor sagged in the middle. Until the house was torn down it was said to be haunted. A bank was built on that spot. As far as I know, it is still there.
For some reason, I’m not sure why, this house also made me think of Clinton, IN. My grandmother, my mom’s mother, lived in Clinton. Again, this house looks nothing like the one she lived in, but still… I guess I connect houses of a certain age with the surroundings I remember from my earliest years. Memories are tricky.