I have seen many changes to the neighborhood over these past 10 years. Mainly in the form of houses being bought and sold. Younger families moving in and older couples moving out, needing a smaller place with less yard.
There have also been the cases where the moving truck comes but only half of the house's possessions leave. A sad reminder that vows pledged to spend a lifetime together didn't go as planned.
There are also two houses that I know of where only one spouse remains but for a different reason, a reason of great sadness. The lifetime that they envisioned together cut short by a ravaging disease.
The two houses that I thought about most this morning on our walk have experienced the ultimate loss, the loss of it's sole surviving occupant.
The first house was owned by an elderly lady, who was easily in her 80's when we moved here. She only lived in the house in the summer. I am assuming spending the colder months in a warmer climate.
|Buick, a photo by cdine on Flickr|
I remember she would come roaring out of her driveway in her monstrous Buick, making me extremely cautious as I approached her house. In the Winter when I walked past I could see through the thin sheer curtains the mannequin she had sitting on the couch. As the Winter wore on the mannequin's head would tilt closer and closer to her shoulder. Anyone just causally passing by would think the dear lady had passed on and was slowly deteriorating.
One Spring there was no roaring Buick but instead a For Sale sign in the front yard, and all her possessions were lined up in the driveway as part of an Estate Sale. Quite quickly the house was sold to the people next door, who tore it down and made the former site of the house a green space and garden. I miss the old gal and her Buick, but most of all, I miss seeing that mannequin in the window every Winter.
It is the second house that got me writing this post in my head as the dogs and I continued our Journey towards home. As we rounded the corner at our half way point in the walk, there they were...his lovingly cared for roses lit beautifully by the early morning sun. In glorious full bloom along his split rail fence. Each Spring he would be out there on his wheeled garden stool, tenderly weeding around each rose bush.
|Saskia II (KC-19) a photo by handforged on Flickr|
I never exchanged many words with him other than the occasional "hello", "Good Morning" or "it's a beautiful day", so I don't know much about his life other than what I observed. I know that he loved to sail at one point in his life, since there was a beauty of a wooden sailboat that sat in his side yard. I never saw it leave that spot though, so I think he was past his sailing days, but once in a while I would see him on a ladder next to it tinkering away, so I know he still loved his boat, possibly as much as he loved those roses.
I knew things changed the year the ceramic Christmas tree stayed on the table in the front window through all four seasons. Then the sad things happened, a For Sale sign went up on the sailboat, and a For Sale sign went in the front yard. I saw the cars with the out of state license plates emptying the house into a U-Haul truck.
It took a while for the house to sell, and I am not sure the new owners live there other than in the summer. Thankfully though they have left his roses and have even weeded around them. They still bloom gloriously every summer, an ongoing testimony to the love he put into them.
Someday we will sell this house and downsize, moving closer to wherever Mallory finally settles. This made me wonder what people will remember about me and our house. I am hoping they will remember the lady who dutifully walked her two golden retrievers through the heat of Summer, the rain of Spring and the cold of Winter. They will remember the house that always had it's garage door open when we were home. They will remember the lady who did still life photography on her front porch, and the year she finally did something with her hideous side garden and made it beautiful.