The story of a house
There is little I know about the history of this house. I don’t know when it was built, or who lived there, whether they were happy, or what happened that caused it to be abandoned with the curtains still hanging in the windows.
I can see from the remains that it wasn’t a particularly beautiful house. It wasn’t built from the finest materials and it wasn’t a grand house. It was a rather ordinary house out in the country on what was probably a farm. From the structure that remains, I can tell that it was built in the earlier half of the 20th century, from what would have been ordinary materials. The fake white brick siding was probably added later, although it might have been original.
It was an ordinary Florida cracker house, long and narrow, with a metal roof and a porch to catch the breezes. As a building in Alachua, it was nothing special. And now it is dying a slow death, being reclaimed by nature with little sign of struggle. The roof is collapsing over the porch, showing its structure and its age. The porch is crumbling into odd angles that its builder never intended. Overall, it isn’t much of a house.
But this was a house that someone lived in and cared about. They cared enough to paint the door white with blue panels and to put pretty hardware on the door.
They cared enough about it to hang curtains in the windows. An ordinary Priscilla curtain in the front room, but a lace curtain in the door. Did they enjoy the patterns the lace made on the floor when the sun shone in just right?
It is the curtain in the open window that I keep returning to as it billows out into the breeze. There is something poignant about that curtain, something that makes me wonder why the house was left clothed in its abandonment.