25 January 2011

House Heartbreak

Darling Rebecca of the blog The Clothes Horse posted a link to the Flickr group Looking into the Past where users overlay contemporary photos with historic views of the same site so that the viewer is jolted by the juxtaposition of the two images. I had seen this group before, but hadn't looked at any of the newer photos.  As each image crept by on the slideshow, I paid little attention until I came to this one:

And immediately recognized it.  Ten years, hundreds of miles, thousands of houses passed by in my car and still I knew this house.  It's in the little town of Potsdam, New York.  Tucked away up in northern New York on the street heading out of town.  I drove by it on my way home to see my parents.

This dear heartbreaking house has been torn down now. How I love houses, old houses filled with laughter and voices.  Think of how many frat guys clattered around this place. The years it saw.  Only to be torn down.

But on another level, it's reassuring now, how strong and easy memories can be to access.  Dear house, I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I remember passing by you on those full sunlit days of college.  The kind that are brisk with cold, my radio scratching away from my one working speaker, and the drive in front of me.  Just an hour and a half more and I'm home to my dad chastising me for driving too quickly and carrying my laundry and bags into the house.

*photo by Russ Nelson

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