Thursday, October 17, 2013

old houses, have memories

House, abandoned, the weeds and shrubs and even trees grown up around them.  Forgotten, may-be haunted, or just needing some paint.  some with curtains at the window and some with shreds of curtains hanging through the broken panes.   Some windows where the rim of  stain glass squares remain, even when the main clear pane is just shards scattered over the rotting veranda, a veranda that  has become a trellis for a camphor vine.
The hydrangea next to the  walkway is  now taller that the house and  obscures any holes is the roof and bits of gingerbread that might still hang  from the gable.  How long this house has been empty is anyone's guess, who lived here, I don't know, why they left is a mystery, but one thing of which I feel sure is that houses have a memory, and some even whisper, if you  care and listen .

A house is made of bricks and beams.
A home is made of love and dreams.

Wood, was once a living thing, and sometimes  I wonder, could it hold memories, and could the foundations stones hold memories in the the silica that they are composed of.
Are what we call haunted houses merely the memories the house has?

Why do some houses seem inviting and warm,  and others  neutral and uninteresting, some even creepy, when there is  no apparent reason, like neglect or a tragic history?   Could it be that houses themselves have a life? 
A  young couple, who I got to know well over the years, bought a old house, a rickety, crooked house, that would have  been torn down and replaced by  a new one.  That was their plan. They were short on cash, and a few years passed.   Instead they began to fix up their old house, after all they  felt safe and happy from the very day they moved in.  The young family had what seemed to be more than their share of hardships out side of that house, but inside, life was always good.   Even visitors to the house have commented on how  good they felt when they were in that little house.   

I have always wondered about things like that, there are so many possible explanations, which invites me to choose my own explanation, that because houses are made by people of natural materials, houses just might have a life and memory of their own.
Kinda makes you think do they also have emotions of their own?   Well who knows. I surely don't know.  when I see an old house,school, store, or whatever standing empty  it makes me wonder, what story it might have to tell, what bit of history is being lost, and will someone ever come along and rescue it if , provided it is even possible to do so.

I have often wondered how it feels to live in one of those old Victorian mansions, yes even the part where I spend most of a winters days just keeping a fire going in the heating plant.   Keeping it dusted and swept up would take the rest of my time.  so you see it is more curiosity than the romance.   
We live in a really old cottage, it spoke to us, so we bought it.  No, it didn't really speak , not in our case anyway.  

The seasonal tours  houses decorated for Christmas are something I enjoy, even though they are usually not very authentic, I admire the creativity of the people who open their homes to gawking fools like me.   One particular house, a huge Victorian gingerbread castle that had been empty for some time,and I fervently hoped I could one day buy,  was rescued, several times by people who ran out of money or ambition,was then bough by a couple from the city.  They  hosted a charity event, a  "Victorian Tea", recently, and of course I went.  Glad to see the old "painted Lady" finally restored.   The last time I saw her was more than 10 years ago when I helped turn her into a "haunted house", a fundraiser to help restore the house.  I can clearly recall people answering voices I never heard....which I thought was a joke considering the season.   During the tour I noticed several people abruptly start looking around, like they heard something out of place.  Eventually one man spoke up and asked the tour guide if the house was haunted; he tour guide took a noticeably deep breath then asked him why he thought that,  and he replied something like  "I must be hearing things."           .
Then there are those houses who stand forgotten until the earth reclaims them , until they are recycled back into the wood they were built from, peaceful they wait.

~~photos by  Abandoned, Old & Interesting Places - North Carolina

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