Waste

Every time I walk out my front door, I see this…

Two cute, little houses across the street.

Two cute, little, abandoned houses across the street.

And it makes my heart sad.

Nick and I just bought our first home. We were extremely lucky to find a nice rental when we moved back to WV a couple of years ago… even luckier when the owner decided to offer us a land contract and the chance to make this house our own.

But we are certainly no strangers to the desperation that comes with being homeless. Not living-in-a-cardboard-box homeless, but squeezing-our-new-family-into-one-room-at-my-mom’s-house or taking-over-my-father-in-law’s-basement homeless. We’ve been there, done that… a few times.

I can remember, during many of those “homeless” times, driving around town, seeing people in their cute, little houses and feeling insanely jealous. No matter how little or how falling-down the house was, it was a house… and the people who lived in it were lucky to have it, in my opinion!

I can also remember coming upon old, abandoned houses… you know, the ones with trees growing out of the middle of them, that clearly no one had lived in in decades. The houses that looked like they’d fall over if the wind blew too hard. And I would think how incredibly sad… that someone let that happen to a HOUSE. I would look at these heaps of rubbish and imagine what they looked like in their heyday… imagine the people who were proud to live there, the family gatherings that took place, the decorating that was done, the kids playing in trees in the yard, etc. You get the point. These houses didn’t start out abandoned, surely. At one time, they were HOMES to someone.

And when you are desperately homeless, seeing an old, abandoned farmhouse that someone just let go is maddening.

This house across the street…

has been abandoned since long before we moved in here two years ago. I don’t know the story behind it… who lived there, what happened to them, and why the house was left all alone. I do know that, over the last two years, I’ve looked at this house so many times and thought that it’s such a cute place… and probably had so much potential before someone just left it there, to disintegrate. The house is still full of “stuff.” There are stuffed animals sitting in the windowsill of that upstairs window on the side. The neighborhood juvenile delinquents have been in trouble more than once for “exploring” this old house.

A few weeks ago, when I was out scouring the neighborhood in search of my evil runaway dog, I met a crew of men there who were busy cleaning out the house… carrying old couches out, digging stuff out from under the house, God knows what else. And they told me that the house was going to be demolished that week. I’m not sure what happened with that plan… because the house still stands today. But I’m sure its days are numbered.

The fact that someone abandoned the house and now it’s going to be torn down? I think that’s absolutely heartbreaking.

This is the cute, little house next door to it… almost directly across the street from our house…

When we moved in here, a grumpy old man and his dog lived there. Last year, the grumpy old man passed away… shortly thereafter, his daughter and her teenage son moved in. But now, they’re gone, too. (And I have no idea what happened to the poor, old dog… I shudder to think!)

She comes by every few weeks, but there’s no sign that they’re going to be living there again anytime soon. The pink slip hanging on the garage door is a disconnect notice of some type… water or gas… they’ve both been shut off recently.

And I can’t help but look at that house and think that, sadly, it’s going to end up just like its neighbor one day.

We live on a nice street, in a nice neighborhood. And I think it’s rather bizarre that the two houses across the street from us have both been abandoned.

There’s a lot of talk in our society about waste… eliminating and reducing waste is an obsession for many people. I can’t think of a bigger waste than an abandoned house. Especially when I know there are plenty of people out there, like Nick and me… young families just getting started who would give their eye teeth for a home of their own, no matter its condition.

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7 Responses to Waste

  1. monica says:

    You’re so right. Very sad that about your neighbor houses. 😦

  2. Kari Ann Sweeney says:

    Couldn’t agree more!

  3. Kate says:

    Houses with character to boot! I love little, charming houses and am always in awe (not in a good way) of the sprawl that occurs in our towns where these charming houses are put by the wayside, left abandoned, in order for “bigger & better” homes.
    The sad thing, is that it isn’t only the houses that are left abandoned, it is business, too. Remember when downtowns were a fun place to window shop on a Saturday morning? Those are gone by the wayside, too.

  4. Sara says:

    oh that is sad! I loved reading about it

    Sara (SF)

  5. Grampy (aka "Papa") says:

    Poignant…Perhaps you should send this to the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as an unsolicited testimony of your passion for homes and housing the “homeless” — Homey

  6. Erin says:

    I took/posted these pictures just in time, apparently. I huge piece of equipment just pulled up out front… the house is coming down! 😦

  7. Pingback: A different view « Crazy Comma Momma

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