Friday, June 17, 2016

Country Lanes and a Hidden Home

The weekend was relatively relaxed for me, the way I wanted it after the previous weekend spent in drug induced oblivion. I canceled plans to trundle around Maryland with thousands of others to photograph barns. I didn't want to be wrestling for the best vantage points with hoards of people so I decided to stay closer to home and explore some of the unpaved roads in my area. It was lovely, just pottering along the silent roads, smelling the sweet air and feeling the hot sun on my arms,
I found myself down near Front Royal so decided to check out the low lying bridge that would soon be replaced by a more boring, conventional and of course, safer version. The road had been closed with the heavy machinery in place, ready to start its task of destruction. There was a 'no trespassing' sign but I walked just past it so I could snap my last photo of the one vehicle wide stretch that was inches above the river.  I'm very glad that I took this video of my last drive over it in March, it seems so long ago now and part of another era.
Driving through the town, I chuckled when I spotted this wonderfully quirky house. I had been so fixated on the statue of liberty standing proudly and the canopies over the windows that it wasn't until I was editing the photo later that I spotted the clever fountain under the tree on the left.
Back into the countryside again I suddenly remembered an old abandoned house I'd spotted on a freezing cold winter's day. Not wanting to leave the warm car then I had made a mental note to revisit it when the temperatures were a little warmer. Today as I approached it, I hoped that the interior would be cool, the heat was stifling outside. But as I pushed the door open I forgot about hot or cold, my eyes not knowing where to look first as I gazed around a home that had been left and not likely walked in for a few decades.
Although there had been some vandalism,it seemed that this had been done some time ago as the house had obviously not been visited for some time. Paint was peeling from the walls and dust had collected on every surface. Belongings were strewn across the floor but some places had been left intact, and not touched, for a good 25 years or more.
A beautiful wooden cabinet stood, somehow having been dragged away from the wall yet with its contents unbroken. A few ornaments lay shattered on the ground but a glorious cruet set stood on a dresser, dusty and cloudy, likely untouched since the last time it was used.
In one of the lounge areas, beautiful rockers were still next to a fireplace, a small wooden dresser in the corner had a drawer pulled open, filled with old cards and Christmas tags, Christmas ornaments, some of which were still wrapped up.  Old books, VHS tapes and 8 speed cassettes had sat for years on shelves alongside old photos of the folks who had once laughed and enjoyed life within these walls.
I couldn't believe that nobody had wanted to collect up these sentimental items, and it was apparent that nobody would now. I stood looking around feeling sad that a home which appeared to have been so vibrant and bursting with life now stood so silent and still.
With the knicknacks, old toys, photos, slides, games, tapes and so many books, this had obviously housed an active family yet now this had all been abandoned, sitting with its contents, stories and memories, just slowly disintegrating because nobody had claimed it. Upstairs surprised me. Two of the bedrooms were practically impenetrable because they were completely stuffed with clothes and linens. Folded in piles, stacked up on the bed and filling every open space, the floor could barely be seen. I could only assume that towards the end of the house's life, an elderly person or couple lived here who became hoarders, and possibly after their demise, the home had just been left behind, existing relatives not bothered about the contents left within its walls.
In the kitchen, I found these two old gadgets by the sink. I recognized the can opener but had to look up the one in front, discovering that it was an old Dazey ice crusher, likely from the 40's or 50's.
I spent quite a while walking about taking photos, and trying not to disturb the contents. As I later stepped back out into the hot, bright day, it felt like I was leaving another world, and with one last look back over my shoulder I gently tugged the old door shut.

No comments: