Last weekend, I hit the dirt roads with a friend. This has been a favorite passtime of mine since I was a kid. As a kid I would sit in the back of the truck (can't do that anymore) or the backseat (plastic seat covers come to mind) and my parents or my sister would be behind the wheel. We would drive the old dirt roads and two tracks out in the woods. It seemed like the farther into the country and woods you would go, the trees would get bigger. Things seemed more "untouched". We would pass old houses that had been abandoned for decades and I would wonder who had lived there....were they farmers....did they have a large family....why did they leave....
This weekend I was behind the wheel and my friend and I found one of those old farmhouses. We stopped and took pictures. There are not very many of these old houses left around here. The winters are hard and the weight of the snow takes its toll. The ceiling was falling in but the main bones of the old house were straight as an arrow. I would love to see someone renovate it. Again I found myself wondering who had built the house, and how long they have been gone.
The peeling paint on the wall was a robin's egg blue. I tried to picture a wife talking her husband into painting the walls that color. There were also remnants of white beadboard on the bottom half of the wall.
What is it about these old houses that I love so much? I live in a modular home that was built in a warehouse and traveled via semi in two pieces. I try to picture someone standing in my front yard 70 years from now in awe of the skeleton of this box house. But it's just not the same. Maybe the lure is the essence of the folks who worked so hard to build their own homes with their own hands or the simple way they lived. I don't know, but I'm looking forward to taking more dirt road trips this summer with my friend, camera in hand.