The spindly shrub is making its stand — long after people gave up on this old home. It is not the only sign of life. Evidence shows that critters favor the location as a condo. The evidence was in the form of a fat snake I saw in the kitchen. He appeared to be sleeping off a good meal and I let him be. He returned the favor.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
From the road, the old home place looked intriguing, warranting further investigation. Complete with a huge pecan tree, the old place is the archetypical abandoned southern home place.
And, following standard practice, the old place has an addition. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that out. The original structure was built with rough-hewn cypress boards running vertically on the exterior. The later addition was put together with horizontally joined, smooth-milled pine.
The pecan tree is huge, as in the biggest one I have ever seen, and I've seen plenty. A tree that big probably has graced more than a hundred summers since it was a mere nut. If the walls are of the house are eight-feet tall, my rough calculations are that the tree is in the neighborhood of 106-feet tall, or roughly a ten-story building, give or take a few standard deviations.
Around most of these abandoned country homes, you find lingering pieces of an electrical service meter loop or a utility pole. Neither of these were present. This is not a function of location, since neighboring occupied residences spin their electric meters with reckless abandon. It is probably a function of age and the pole falling down. You can be assured, however, that when the house was built, electricity was not available. In this place, back in the day, one would have needed the illumination of a "coal-oil" lantern to read the Sears or Monkey-Ward catalog after dark.
This image was shot today. The window and house pictures were shot in March of 2009. Not much has changed. The window has one less pane and the topmost branches of the shrub now reach above the window frame, but that's about all that is noticeably different. While deterioration is a slow process, that which is deteriorating sooner or later reaches the point of no return. From the looks of things, this house is south of that point. So we should look while we can.
Mother Nature ignores our preferences and continues her work. What man hath wrought is succumbing to the elements. What God hath wrought is moving right along, thank you very much.
N O T E S:
Most of the time, there is more to the Photo of the Week story than can be told in an essay. And most of the time there are more pictures to be seen. Presuming that some folk will enjoy being privy to this trove of information, I have created a blog, “Weekly Grist for the Eyes and Mind,” where I am showing and telling “the rest of the story." There are also some blatantly commercial mentions of some of the things we do to earn our beans and taters. Click on the Weekly Grist logo and go to the blog. — J. D.