Foreclosure Age

  I have this weird part reserved in my heart for abandoned buildings. I'm so drawn to them. They call to me- and that seems kind of depressing, right? I can remember being a little kid and seeing this abandoned "mansion" that must have been empty for quite some time. The windows were boarded up, the landscape had diminished to rampant weeds and dust. I just ached to love that house so much as a little kid because no one else seemed to give it the kind of love it deserved. One day I noticed it was being auctioned off. My little-kid-heart was crushed. I begged my Mom to go to the auction and buy that house. Of course, everyone should take real estate advice from a grade schooler. The land was probably worth much more than the dilapidated old house. The place was probably condemned or something. Little kids don't understand that. In that day, (I know, I make myself sound like a fossil)  foreclosures were not that common.
This was a booming metropolis! It was the only empty house I can recall noticing. I can still see that sad, forgotten house. So neglected and abused. It was apparently purchased- the house was demolished. I silently wept in the car when I saw the house was gone. I think it is still a vacant lot. That hurt even more. They didn't even build something new! They just took down my perfect house. I would have given my entire allowance to have seen the inside. (of course, the mystery of what it was like inside was probably part of the fantasy)

In college, I did a photographic series of abandoned structures. (I wonder if I could find some of those pictures now- my organization is, to say the least, not-so-great) It was hard to find these abandoned places. I had to actively search them out. But when I did, they were like little gems. An old burned out church, that the earth was actively reclaiming, a foundation slab with a single brick and mortar chimney stretching to the sky, these were all places I cataloged with my camera. They were special. They were forgotten... by everyone but me.

But now these sights are commonplace. There are at least three foreclosed homes in my tiny subdivision. Now these houses tug at my heart for different reasons- I can feel the pain of the families who made these houses homes. I cannot imagine losing my home. I have memories of every little house, apartment, rental, and home I've ever lived in. I left all those places sadly, but voluntarily. (a girl's gotta have more closet space!)

On my frequent walks with the girls, I usually pass by this foreclosed project. It barely got off the ground before the bubble burst. They built their models, and now they just sit there, waiting to be devoured by the tumbleweeds. This is a time I wish I had my nice camera instead of my trusty little point and shoot. I wish I had a nice digital camera. (me and my principles- I was one of those holdouts. I learned all the darkroom trickery, only to be outdone by Photoshop in one fell swoop. I still love my old school camera... but I don't want to buy film- like ever again) 

Buildings are more than things to me. And I don't know why. This seems to be written into my persona. Anyway- sorry about this post. It's way out of character for this blog- but I had these images burning a hole in my hard drive. Can anyone else see the sadness and the beauty?


  1. It's not just you. There was this old house by my mom's house that must have stood empty for 20 years. I kept hoping someone would "revive" it and return it to it's former beauty, but it got knocked down a few years ago. It reminds me of older people left in nursing homes that no one comes to visit.

  2. That was beautiful! I love that post. I have thought many times while I read what you write you have a gift in expressing yourself through writing. I love that gift and admire it in others. English 201 was the lowest grade I recieved in college because of my lack of ingenuity though the pen. Rock on!