Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Furniture and piles of boxes drift around the house like ice floes. The larger chunks--couches and tables and comfy chairs--have found their spots in corners, along walls, in the center of rooms. The smaller bits, us included, float about bobbing among them, unanchored.

I love the house. I hate moving.

Here's a cool story about the house I heard from the previous owner. Apparently it was the home of a railroad tycoon, and when he died at the railyard, the railroad took over the house and permitted the widow to live there, as long as she offered the second floor up to boarders associated with the railroad. She went along with the arrangement. I imagine she had no choice. I like to look down the length of the second floor hallway and picture what it might have looked like. Almost makes a person wish for ghosts.


Another story: the guy who told us that one, the previous owner, lovingly restored the place with his wife. They lived here eight years. Then they divorced. Clearly he loves the place. You can tell by the way he talks about it. He has mentioned several times now the parties they held in the backyard, the Christmas lights, the goldfish pond, the patio. How it all looked. Or how they found the fireplace at an estate sale and the hassle involved in getting it shipped here. Most of these wistful anecdotes end abruptly, as he moves on to another subject, embarrassed, distracted. Houses are a pretty potent metaphor for marriages, for families, for lives. Gotta be tough to fix one up, only to turn around and sell it.

He's kind of a ghost here too. Along with the railroad widow.

We'll add our own histories to the house, eventually, and become like ghosts ourselves, our stories passed along by word of mouth. Or blog, in this case.

There are no stories yet. We're still unpacking.


Hilary said...

It's kind of you to share your home with the past that way. You may not have much choice in some ways, but it feels like you're accommodating them quite willingly. That's sounds good for your family and your home.

meno said...

I know what you mean. The house we live in came with 50 years of stories, all of which were told to us by the former owners, neighbors and the crazy mail lady.

Clowncar said...

Actually, Hil, we are literally acommadating some of those ghosts in our home. The previous owner moved 4 doors down, and we've already had him over. Not sure he approves of our less than period approach to the house (we're not exactly purists), but he is quite gracious.

Meno, tell some, please! Or at least talk about the crazy mail lady! Or do you not take requests....

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Time will bring the stories, and you will write them, and pass them along to others.

Can't wait to read them. You're a very good writer.

Get unpacked.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore