Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 6, 2015 - A Secret House

One of the things I love about this time of year is that there are no leaves or greenery to hide things.  So you either have to be extra careful (if you’re trying to hide something) or once-hidden things become temporarily revealed.  When the spring comes and the trees leaf out again and the grasses grow, that which was revealed becomes hidden once more.

No matter how often I travel in an area, there are always “new” things being revealed to me at this time of year--new to me, at least.  How many times have I been in this wooded area?  I can’t even count, but today I saw a “revealed” house that I have never seen before.  I took the photo on the highest zoom lens, so this is as good as I could get it.

A hidden and secret house.

The first thing you’ll notice is that this is a very old house, which means it has been here much longer than me but for some reason I never saw it before.  The windows are the old kind with several individual panes.  The main part of the house has a chimney on either side, although one side is just about hidden by the trees.  A nice woodstove and a couple of fireplaces kept it warm in the winter way back when (and most likely still do).

To the left, you’ll see that an addition with two gabled windows was built on sometime later after the original house.  That portion of the house seems almost sunken in when you look at the photo, but the house was up on a hill and I was below, craning my neck to see what I could see.

If you look all along the length of the house, you will see a tremendous amount of split and stacked firewood.  The rows are quite high and almost cover the first floor of the house.  Someone has planned on being very warm over this winter and obviously heats exclusively with wood.  I lived that way myself for many years, and it’s a fine way to live and stay warm in the winter.

I wonder how many people know about this place.  My guess is not many.  I’m not sure how I could have missed it all these years, but I did.  In fact, I almost missed it this time around, but a reflection glinting off the windows caught my eyes.  Hiding in plain sight is this marvelous house, and no one knows about it.

Of course, the writer in me instantly creates a story . . . about the owner of the house.  It’s the original owner, the one who built it a couple of hundred years ago.  He’s still living there.  You see, he has everything he needs in the woods, and so he never has a need to come out.  He doesn’t realize that the world has moved on.  Just as the world cannot see him, he cannot see the world.  And I expect he lost his calendar long ago and he doesn’t know what year it is and he doesn’t care . . .  There’s plenty of wood to keep warm and lots of animals for hunting and trapping.  We mustn’t tell him otherwise.  Not that he would believe us.

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