Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ghost Houses

Good Day Bloggers,

This past weekend I spent a couple of days on a nearby island at a friend's house. We wandered about, picking up sea glass from the windswept beach, admiring the emerging plants in Linda's gardens, watching the drama as two two osprey males courted one femals, and poking around ghost houses.

I have always enjoyed riding in the countryside and looking at abandoned houses. I want to know why someone left a perfectly good house to rot into the marsh. I want to know what happened. Did the owners die? Did they move away to find greener pastures? Did they have kids in the city who got to busy to go to the country and keep the house up.

One of the things Linda and I did over the rainy weekend was to watch movies. It was cozy in her living room with the stove going. Outside the wind moaned through the screens, and the bay was the color of pea soup gone bad - with occasional patches of agitated white froth - surely better to watch than to experience.

One of the flicks we watched was a movie called Grey Gardens, the story of a ghost house. Mother and daughter (Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore) sank deeper and deeper into disfunction over the years in this presentation of what turned out to be a true tale of the fate of two women who somehow allowed a beautiful 10 bedroom mansion to turn into a rubbish-strewn hulk shared with maurading raccoons and feral cats- and how they were rescued by the late Jackie Bouvier Kennedy .

There was just such a house on the island I visited this weekend. The lawn was overgrown and marshy from not being mowed regularly, and while the windows all were draped, one could just make out precious trinkets and a grand piano waiting for a mistress who will never return. The photo above shows one of the abandoned porches, chairs at ready for a hot afternoon drink with friends. (In this case, the owner is sick, and the house waits for her death - and perhaps a new owner.)

So, this time I learned what happened at the ghost house to cause it to fall into disrepair, although it is a stretch to say no one lives there. An osprey has built its nest on the chimney, so hope remains.

So. That is the story for today. I am going out to admire my own gardens and do my best to stay on the sunny side. Hope you can too. Terry

Terry L White -Author of the Chesapeake Heritage Series
"Travel Through Time With Terry"

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