Fading Fast

By: Anne Corke

May 01 2012

Tags: , , , ,

Category: Life stories, Ontario, Rural Landscapes

1 Comment

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Last week while driving through southwestern Ontario, we came across this neglected old farmhouse. Abandoned houses always make me sad. They remind me that life is fleeting, that nothing can stop the inexorable passage of time. For many years, the rooms of this house echoed with the voices of families and now it stands decaying, forgotten, a relic of the past. I know it’s only an old building but I can’t help but think that some of the spirits of it’s inhabitants have seeped into it’s very boards, imprinting memories on it’s walls and floors. Some would say that it looks like a haunted house, and yes, I believe it probably is haunted, but in the nicest way, by the mothers and fathers, the brothers and sisters, the aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers who called it home. I wondered if there was any information about this house on the internet. Surprisingly I found it mentioned on a number of websites. There was even a video posted by an urban exploration enthusiast who had investigated the interior, and a number of pictures, too. In one of these pictures, from 2003, the house, though already abandoned, is clothed in red brick and sports a wonderful sitting porch sweeping around the front and the east side. In another, you can make out the faded green trim, decorated with cutout shapes of hearts, circles and diamonds, around the large front windows. It was an elegant house in it’s day but now the brick has been removed, the paint is almost gone, the broken chimneys balance precariously on the roof where rotten shingles slide towards the eaves. The exposed boards, greyed by the elements, remind me of the totem poles of the Haida Gwai which are left to decay, to return to the forest from which they came. The back west wall is already falling and I fear that the next time I drive by, the house will have collapsed completely and the final chapter in it’s life will have begun; nature will have taken over, covering it’s remains with vegetation, as plants and beetles and bacteria devour it’s bones. Eventually there will be no trace of the house at all. The towering wind turbines, so common in this part of Ontario, will look across a vacant field where once parents rocked on the porch and children chased each other about the yard in endless games of tag. And somewhere, someone will linger over old family photos and treasure their memories of this place which was once their home.

Copyright 2012 Anne Corke

One comment on “Fading Fast”

  1. A bittersweet post. Such a well-told story. Thank you.

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