This Old House – Saying Goodbye

Ann H Gabhart Ann's Posts, One Writer's Journal

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” ~Harold Wilson

Things change. That’s the one thing in life you can be sure will happen. Maybe not every day, but then again maybe every day. Sometimes we want to hold time in a bottle and keep the world from changing for a little while, but we can’t. The sun comes up and goes down. The seasons change. Children become adults. New babies are born. To everything there is a season and throughout it all the one everlasting constant is that things change. 
The top picture is the homeplace being torn down – its logs showing for the first time in well over a hundred years. I don’t know how old the original house is. The second picture is the way the house looked in I’m guessing the 1930’s or 40’s, with some of my great aunts in the yard. You can see the front porch behind them where many afternoons were spent visiting, perhaps breaking beans or shelling peas. My grandfather sat on this porch during his last years, a flyswatter in his hand to kill the pesky flies. My children swung on the porch swing “high as the moon” and sometimes off to dreamland. Inside are even more memories. Overnight visits almost every Friday with my beloved aunt. Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners with little salt cellars at every plate. It’s where I first touched the keys of a typewriter. It’s where my children came later to spend the nights with their beloved granny and granddad after my aunt passed on. A memory not only in every room, but in every board of every wall, every wooden step. And now the house has been sold. The new owners had it inspected. The house was condemned and is being torn down. Change can make a person’s heart hurt.  
I stopped the other night to ask the new owners if I could take some pictures. So even though seeing the house meeting its end is sad for me, I also found the log structure that had been revealed fascinating. Look at the rows of rocks carefully placed between the logs like a miniature rock fence before the builders added the chinking. I can imagine the men building this, sawing down the trees that surely were growing so majestically in this place before the settlers came and began clearing them away to grow crops and build houses like this one. This house was bigger than many I have seen in history books, and it would have taken several men to get the logs in place. It was built with care and skill and has lasted maybe two centuries or near to it. But all things change. 

“Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change – this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.” ~Bruce Barton

Progress can’t be stopped. The new owners deserve a nice house on their property. The house being gone won’t make the memories disappear. It’ll just make the family, at least those of us left, who lived there and made those memories a little sad. 

Does change sometimes make you sad?