Saturday, August 22, 2015

August 22, 2015 - Old Things

I’m not sure, but it looks like the ruins of an outdoor oven.  If found it along the Androscoggin River.  I love finding things like this and wondering about the people who built it.  If I’m right, and I don’t know if I am, I wonder what they cooked in it?  How well did it work?  How long were they able to use it before winter set in for good?  Or was it used for some kind of heat or something else?  It is right along the river.  Perhaps it had something to do with processing fish.  Or maybe a blacksmith used it.

Another old thing.

It looks like several repairs were made to it, so someone obviously wanted it and used it.  There’s a lot of old fieldstone but some modern-looking bricks as well.  If you look to the far right, you’ll see two cast iron doors, one on top of the other, still sealed.  But now it’s abandoned and plants are growing out of it.  Whatever it was, it takes its history with it silently.

I don’t know why I feel bad when old things drop out of circulation and are no longer used.  I don’t feel that way about modern things.  Losing a modern appliance is a nuisance, of course, but I don’t feel bad or nostalgic about it.  I don’t stare at it wistfully.  I don’t wonder about the people who used it.  But with old things, there’s always an air of romance about them.  Maybe it’s because I create that air, but whatever the cause, I feel it.  I actually feel the people who used this.  I picture conversations and hopes and dreams.  I picture their lives; I wonder about their clothing.  When it was first built, did everyone “ooh” and “ahh” over it?

I guess I’m a hopeless romantic, and I’m living in the perfect place to be one.  There’s so much history here in Maine.  We haven’t fully arrived in the modern age, something our politicians try desperately hard to hide and something that I seek out and try desperately hard to preserve.

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