The House That Wandered

Our house was built in 1928. At some point in the 1930s, it went for a stroll and never came back. It also took a few other houses with it.

They originally were beside a whitewater river but they got tired of floodwaters seeping under their foundations and inside their walls. So off they went, on the hunt for a drier location.

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They ended up on the other side of the highway, where they still sit to this day.

I like to cross the highway and wander down to the river, where the forest is slowly reclaiming those places. In some areas, it’s obvious, but in other areas you have to know what you’re looking for, to find the spots where the houses used to be.

For instance, a row of young trees that is just a little too straight for nature.

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That reminds me of when we had a parking area installed. Our friend wouldn’t put in a square area, saying all landscaping should be about moving people away from the straight lines we live in. That nature doesn’t like squares.

But anyway, some areas over there in the woods are more subtle. There is a plant blooming right now. More of a twig, actually. It only catches the eye because of the cluster of little purple flowers. The plant is non-native and is left over from the days when someone planted the shrub in their yard. The yard is long gone. The house is long gone. But children of that shrub have spread and occasionally a tiny one pops up where it shouldn’t be, and happily blooms.

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There are old railroad tracks, half-buried in moss and forest floor. Glimpses can be caught of the rails as they peter out in the woods. It gives a sense of mystery. Where did they go? Where did they come from? What was it like when they were in use? They weren’t used by full-size trains, but for smaller units carrying supplies. But it stirs the curiosity when you stumble across a section of rails seemingly not connected to anything, out in the woods.

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It’s interesting to me how your eye can be drawn to those straight lines, even if you don’t know that a community used to thrive there. Those lines don’t belong along the river, between the trees, among the rocks, under the moss. And so you see them, almost like a haunting, or a shadow of what once was.

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Maple tree, moss, and a nice crop of licorice root

I wonder sometimes what memories get absorbed into the walls of an old home. What voices the wood might remember, what stories, or what dramas. Do they remember the feel of roots reaching down and branches reaching up, when the boards were trees?

And I wonder sometimes if the house remembers the rush of water, the sounds of it, the feel of cold snow-melt flowing around its frame.

Or if it just sits on its foundation, quietly hibernating, maybe dreaming of the next walk it will take, and where it might go.

Who knows where I might wake up one morning.

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6 thoughts on “The House That Wandered

  1. “I wonder sometimes what memories get absorbed into the walls of an old home. What voices the wood might remember, what stories…”

    Wonderful. thanks. I Like & I share.

  2. LOVE this one Lisa! Oh your pictures; even your TWIGS are so perfectly composed!! And, our earth around here especially, is So fluid! Walkabout homes; Love this concept! Pat Larson

    silversheen1@gmail.com PHONE: 425-298-9431 (please leave a voice message)

    On Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 7:42 PM Lisa Stowe – The Story River Blog wrote:

    > Lisa posted: “Our house was built in 1928. At some point in the 1930s, it > went for a stroll and never came back. It also took a few other houses with > it. They originally were beside a whitewater river but they got tired of > floodwaters seeping under their foundations a” >

  3. I may have mentioned I’m into paranormal stuff, but in the paranormal field many of us believe in what’s called “residual energy”. That would be exactly what you’re talking about with the walls and wood remembering. Almost like a record that plays over and over, so does the past energies of ones who have passed. I’ve heard of many so called hauntings that are in fact residual. Think of a door that opens on its own and footsteps are heard going to a corner where an easy chair may have been. This repetitive action may be caused by the residual energy of what that person did every day out of habit. Walking to retrieve the newspaper and then going to sit down to read it. Residual hauntings are different in that they are not intelligent hauntings. Intelligent hauntings would be where you you’re able to communicate. Either one, to me, are all very fascinating. I can just imagine the energy of that forest with the past lives that were lead there as well as the energy of the river close by. I’ll bet it’s a very active area. How so interesting, thanks for sharing. I love the photo of the railroad tracks .

    • I don’t believe I’ve heard that from you before, but I’m fascinated and this was very interesting. It reminds me of what a sister once told me about why cellars are always considered such scary places. She said negative energy settles into low places and those are places people don’t go often so the energy doesn’t get ‘stirred’ up to dissipate. Kind of like sludge settling to the bottom of a pond.

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