Thursday, March 18, 2010
I saw this house today while running errends. I call houses like this sad houses. My husband laughs at me. This particular sad house, has obviuosly seen better days. Any hint of paint it had s long gone. The wood gray with age and weather. It once had a big wrap around porch, but now it's collapsed. In fact one whole corner of the house has collapsed and it's only a matter of time before the rest comes down too. The roof has holes so I am sure the weather has damaged the inside too.
The thing is when I look at that house, I don't see the weatherbeaten, collapsing house that sits in that spot now. I see it as it once was.
You see, my imagination is active. It provides me with pictures and sometimes even little videos in my head. (Yes, this probably means I am crazy!)
In front of this house, I saw a couple standing with thier arms around each other looking at the house when it was brand new, pride and excitement beaming in thier faces.
I see the man painting the house and making repairs and the woman sweeping the porch and keeping the house clean.
Then I saw a family gathering, the porch filled with people sitting and drinking lemonade while children chased each other around the house.
I saw the front door bang open and a young boy come running out, fishing pole in hand. The boy in such a hurry that his feet never even touched the steps, he just flew over them on his way to seek adventure.
I saw an old pick up truck pull up, and a young man in an army uniform climb out of the back, carrying a duffle bag. He gives a wave to the old man in the truck and begins to walk towards the house. Once again I see the door bang open and a figure come flying off the porch, but this time it's a middle age woman. Only the dishtowel dropped un-noticed from her hands touches the steps as she runs to her son and wraps him in her arms.
I wonder things about this house. Surely it was once some families pride and joy. Where are they? Who were they? Somewhere I imagine is a woman who learned to bake cookies at her grandmothers side in that house. Does she know it's falling down? Does she care?
I think about my own house. I love my house. We have put a new roof on it and recently put new siding on it. However, someday it will still probably fall apart. Will my children care? It occured to me that the house is temporary. It's not going to last. That woman may not know or care what has happened to her grandmothers house, but that's because the house was not what was important. I am sure she does remember the smell of cookies, the feel of her grandmothers arms around her, the love she felt. I imagine that the love she got from her grandmother in that house, she passed on to her own children and grandchildren and they will pass it on to thiers. I beleive that she will see her grandmother again one day. She won't be living in that wood house though, but a mansion. I doubt she will remember or care about the house her grandmother spent polishing the floors. All that time spent dusting seems a waste now that house is turning to dust. However, those minutes spent rocking a child, loving on a child. . . those are still paying dividends.
I pray that someday when this house of mine is dust, the legacy I leave behind is more than just a falling down house that was once beautiful, but a love that was beautiful. The people who come in this house, family and guests alike are much more important than the house itself. If they are not then this house is no better than the house I saw today. I wish the pictures were better, they were taking from my car with my phone. One day I will have to find my way back there to take a better picture for you guys.