The Star-Herald

A bit of exploration

I am fascinated with old structures such as houses, barns, and potato houses that stand weathered and perhaps beaten by time and vacancy.  

There are thousands of untold stories buried deep within the dark, empty corners.  The worn, gray clapboards and shingles that cling to the weakened beams have names and events etched into every crevice as well as beneath paper-thin paint chips that refuse to flutter away in the wind.  

The uncut grass and bushes surrounding these relics harbor untold treasures — a shriveled pair of work boots, a ceramic butter urn, a broken fishing pole, fabric from a faded rose colored apron, several chipped milk bottles, and the remains of an old rocking horse with painted eyes that remain undefeated as they sparkle in the sun.  

I would love to step inside one of these buildings, but the danger of weakened floors and sagging ceilings prevents exploration.  Through the doorless entryway, I can see shards of glass from broken windows that remind me of tears.  

I imagine another time when the house was filled with laughter and the warm aroma of cinnamon and early morning coffee.  Were children born behind these crooked, weakened walls?  Did paintings adorn the parlor area, and was there perhaps a piano with snow white keys that yellowed with time?  Were there weddings, holiday celebrations, and quiet Sunday afternoons that resulted in soft naps, gentle whispers, and the muffled footsteps of restless children?  

The house is the testimonial of a much less complicated time and I am forever in awe of all old buildings that refuse to surrender entirely to the elements.  

In my next submission, I will share with each of you a lesson I learned many years ago about old structures and their unsung praises.  

Please be kind to yourself and to others.  Stay safe, my friends.  

Belinda Hersey lives in Caribou with her husband, Kent, and their two dogs, Barney and Morgan.  You may email her at belindaouellette9@gmail.com.

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