My hands smell of white vinegar and Fabuloso tonight because I finally got around to mopping the kitchen floor. The floor was in desperate need of a good cleaning, not only because of the usual reasons but also because of all the deer meat that was inadvertently dropped on that floor last weekend. You'd think that my cats would jump on those little bits of ground venison and eat them with great enthusiasm but you'd be wrong. Every other animal I've ever owned has loved venison above all other meats and we had a cat named Bob who looked to be dying and the vet said that he either had a brain tumor or some other terminal illness but then he ate about a pound of deer liver and lived for another five or six years. The chickens even flock around when deer is being cut up. They love it.
But Jack and Maurice, as I have often said, have the strangest appetites of any cats I've ever encountered. Maurice refuses most cheese, roasted organic chicken, eggs, and even ground beef, cooked or raw. However, she loves flavored yogurts, processed lunch meat and box macaroni and cheese. Jack is not very interested in what I would call quality foods either, but he eats so much Publix brand cat food that he frequently barfs it up and goes back for more.
Anyway, I had no intention of writing about cats and what they eat this evening. I'm just floating along on the stream of consciousness that seems to be the way my mind operates lately. I had a good walk this morning and went by the fally-down house with the intent to take pictures and I did. Last Sunday when Jessie and I walked past it, I noticed that it was tilting and leaning far more precariously than before. I walked all around it, fighting spider webs and thorn vines to get pictures and just as I wrote nine years ago about the place, it draws me in and yet, is somehow forbidding although as more and more light is let into it by falling boards and open places in the roof, the ghosts seem to be less active, more distant and disinterested.
The north end of the old place is naught but a higgle and piggle of planks, a janky snarl of timber.
Still, the place fascinates me and I wonder what life was like for those who lived in it when it was fresh built, smelling of the perfume of fresh-cut pine, and I have respect not only for the people who built it, inhabited it and made it their home but for the wood itself, some of which is still straight and true, still strong and in its way as beautiful as the face of an old person who has lived a life and still wakes up every morning to live more of it.
The peeling and tattered wallpaper, giving tribute to the woman who hung it.
They had stapled cardboard to the rafters to keep out the cold and the heat, too, most likely.
I showed these pictures to my husband and he said, "I'd love to get in there and salvage some of that wood."
I wish we could.
But for now, the old house is just slowly falling in on itself and someday it will be nothing but a pile of boards and window frames, stovepipe tin and silent history.
I don't know if it will continue to stand for six months or six years. It looks to have been sturdily built and is taking its time to let nature have its way with it.
Again, not unlike a person. We all know our eventual fate but never the time or the day or the hour, as the Bible says.
Meanwhile, I have clean floors in my own old house, which still stands tall and strong, even as small things about it fall into disrepair. It shelters and holds us and delights me to no end. I am not new myself and every day I notice something previously unseen or unnoticed about me which indicates, if not rot exactly, then a tilting, a shifting, a sign of wear and tear or simply older age.
This is the way of everything, eventually.
And there is a modicum of comfort in knowing and accepting this, just as the earth will accept me back into itself, even as I try to stave it off as best I can.
Time to make supper again. I wonder how many meals have been made and eaten in this house? An uncountable number, I would think.
I am about to go add one more.
And am proud to do so.
Olive won't touch elk meat. She came from really nice people, i'm pretty sure, but podunk. She doesn't seem to have a single other trigger, she's so trusting in every other instance, but she practically cowers when presented with elk meat. (Poor thing.)ReplyDelete
The fally-down house is bigger than i realized.
You know what? It's bigger than I thought it was too. Lots more rooms.Delete
What's up with these domesticated animals who don't like game meat? Maurice acts like it's not even there. Beneath her notice. But she'll hear me tear the lid off a yogurt from an acre away and come running.
I too am fascinated by derelict old structures and am drawn to them. What a Story that old structure could probably tell... but for now, let us just Imagine what it would be...ReplyDelete
I know! And I wonder if the things I imagine are nearly as interesting as the reality of what really happened in that house.Delete
Do you have any idea how old that house is? Maybe from the pattern on the wallpaper? Though that could have been hung years later.ReplyDelete
Norbert’s penchant is Chicken McNuggets (Don’t judge me, readers. I like them.) If I bring them into the house he moves like greased (ha! See that joke) lightening before I can even sit down and open the bag. And skip milk. Not 2% or whole or cream. Skim. He’s a Weight Watchers cat. Eat the unhealthiest food imaginable then pretend to be healthy and fit by drinking skim milk.
I have wondered about the age myself. Back when my oldest neighbor was still alive (she had lived in this house as a child and a young mother and was living across the street at the time I spoke to her about this) I asked her what she knew about the old cabin. She airily told me that she didn't really know much about it but that people had lived there and they usedDelete
lanterns. As to Norbert- you are exactly right! A Weight Watcher cat! Not that I recognize myself in that behavior. No. Not at all. (Pass the Cuban sandwich. No thank you on the whole milk.)
I treasure my bookmark made from that wallpaper.ReplyDelete
That Steve Reed is a jewel.Delete
There's something almost holy about coming upon places like this. The silence around them thick with ghosts.ReplyDelete
So very true. It is palpable, isn't it?Delete
I'm glad you visited the fally-down house and showed us its current state. I think of it every time I use my bookmarks!ReplyDelete
Woah! I was totally into it. Old houses reflects the memory of our old relatives.ReplyDelete
What else does gravity do?ReplyDelete