Sunday, October 18, 2015

Only the keepers

There were no new homes in the neighborhood when I was growing up. All of the homes had a history. Most began long before each family came to reside. The barns were wood. Some built even before the houses were raised.

The house my Uncle Keith and Aunt Katerine Loxley lived in was fascinating. A big cement porch sat to the side of the house. We imagined everything from carriages dropping people off guests at the platform to children playing on the slab at recess. The old brick house had many bedrooms upstairs and small rooms downstairs. So what was this house at one time? Was it just a quirky farm house or something no one can now recall?  It was a strange house. One that inspired imagination.

Our house was a log house. Long ago it had been sided and painted white, but those of us who lived in it had seen the massive logs in the walls. The axe marks revealing the work it took to fell the trees. Horses must have dragged the huge logs to the spot where a two-story house would stand. The only current signs of those old logs were those of wide window sills the width of the logs and the wide beams that spanned the basement. A house that had seen many seasons. A house that held the scents of food cooked over a fire then later a range. Trees that give up their leaves and lives to secure a home for a family long before the Loxley's came to reside.

Many of the old wood barns are gone. New metal sheds pepper the landscape. Old houses have gone away, leaving space for a new one. Some have been remodeled just as ours had been by my parents and now by the new family who lives there. Old home; old history. I personally think that a journal should be kept with each house. A log of the journey of an old house.

A house has a life of its own. It changes with every new owner. We see it in the layers of wallpaper and the bits of old paint that hides in the corners. Sometimes we see it in last remnants of a house frame or maybe even in a deserted house. Each has a story. We are only the keepers for short time. We are allowed live within its walls and capture its moments on film.

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