Monday, March 19, 2007
Getting on like a house afire
As seen from our front lawn
Saturday night as we were driving up the country road to our house I saw what I thought was steam coming off the nuclear power plant's processors (it's another 7-8 miles up the lake from us) and I thought: how would we know if something went wrong at that plant? Such is my life: the battery in the car had been recharged and the electronic code to restart the radio was in the glovebox, which was locked and jammed shut. A detail.
Driving closer I realized it was a fire. It was the fire of an abandoned farmhouse: a HUGE abandoned farmhouse of a defunct asparagus farm. We have (of course) explored the house in detail. We found mail, postmarked 1979, so it's been vacant since then. There was still furniture in the house; many windows were missing, and raccoons were the only residents that we knew. I've been the diligent gardener and retrieved iris, sedum and columbine that had naturalized away from its old gardens. The barn had been burned to the ground a long time ago, but the well house and the outhouse and the tractor shed (complete with tractor) were still there.
When we first looked into the house, I had asked my husband what he thought were unusual about the walls and ceilings. It took him a couple of minutes, but he saw there were no outlets, switches or lights. There was wainscoting over most of the downstairs rooms. It was a 6x6 (six rooms up and down) and there was a larger kitchen attached to the back. The house was probably built around 1890.
I feel very sad about this loss. Yes, I would feel a lot sadder if the house had been inhabited. But I liked looking at its stately self up on its hill. I liked exploring its 100 acres, retrieving its asparagus, exploring its old rooms. Arson (for that is only what it could have been) is such a stupid crime.
I woke up our daughter to see it. "Honey, I hope you never see another one in your lifetime."