Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I was driving down a country road in East Texas and the sight of this abandoned house made me pull my car over and get out my camera.

Surrounded by barbed wire, it sits in a corner of a neatly kept pasture. When I saw it there were no cows in the field, but the fence was in good repair and the grass was cropped short. Ancient oaks and pines dotted the pasture, which stretched away flat to the horizon.

The house sits, its roof-beam slowly collapsing into the center, the porch deck gradually sinking, dropping the gracious door with its two sidelights into the red soil beneath its posts. Behind the windows winks the daylight, filtering through the remains of the roof from the open sky above.

There was no traffic on the two-lane road, and in the quiet after I stepped out of the car, you could hear the breeze in the branches of the tree. The wind blew my hair across my face.

I walked down the road to a gate, wondering if I could find a way in and get closer. From this side, the house was tilted crazily, like cards holding one another upright.

The gate was firm, its bars sturdy. No way in, except...

Temptation. Should I try to wriggle through? Trespassing? I hesitated.

I'm not as young as I was. What if I got stuck? What if I came upon a cow? It would be trespassing. And I had a plane to catch in four hours, anyway. I walked back to the car.

Seeing the picture, it's easy to imagine this house desolate and eerily still, alone in its field and silent.

Yet it wasn't silent at all. It was alive with sound, as the wind urged it further toward destruction.

A tinny creaking, rhythmic tink-tink-tink-tink. The skritching swipe of dead branches against the siding. A clattering deep within. A hollow thunk as wooden slats flapped against one another. A groaning cry as the metal roofing flexed like a sail.

This house isn't dying quietly. It's writhing, moaning, clocking its life away.


KBeau said...

Beautiful pictures. Glad you had your camera handy.

mo.stoneskin said...

Such incredible pictures.

Was it at all occupied, part of a farm, or completely abandoned?!

Briget said...

Oh, beautifully written. Poor old house...

Gary's third pottery blog said...

wonder if there is a ghost around there?

Woman in a Window said...

Now I'm moaning. Do you know how badly I want you to go in. For me, go in for me!!!!

CaShThoMa said...

Love that brilliant blue Texas sky, so sharp "you could pick your teeth with it". Neat story about the house and the sounds...oh my. I would have liked to be on that road trip.

Meg McCormick said...

Fantastic photos. Such scenes make me feel all melancholy and wistful, because they remind me of the rural area in PA where I grew up.

You should visit Chesapeake Bay Woman's blog (find the link on my blogroll) as she takes similar photographs as well.

Thanks for your comment over at Soup!

cactus petunia said...

Can I join you on your next trip? I would've wriggled right under that fence. (and probably gotten into trouble) Great photos!

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

Oh yes, I would have trespassed. Yeppers!

These sites intrigue me and sadden me. I want to know why, I search for clues. What happened here? It was loved at some time, what happened to make it so unloved and forgotten?

Thanks for the pictures and the story.

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