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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Silent Sentinel

It stands alone, silent, forlorn, forgotten. The porch sags, the paint that was white, is no more. When the house across the street burned down, the house lost part of itself from wind blown sparks. Now there is a blackened hole where green shingles used to be. The weeds are waist high, and someone erected a barbed wire fence to close them in. The only glory untouched are two giant maple trees that stand on either side of the porch. Silent Sentinels guarding all that is left of the past. At the foot of the steps, Lily of the Valley valiantly continue to bloom and fill the air with their sweet scent.

The times remembered are from another era. A time of families, together through the good times, and the cry times. An era that is long gone, and family who are no more. A place where the time stands still. The house remembers the family seated together for meal times. On the table the platter of meat is piled high, while great mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes fill a bowl. Butter runs from the middle of the potatoes, and rich brown gravy is waiting it's turn. Fresh corn, shelled from ears picked early in the morning, beans picked from the garden, and ripe tomatoes are in abundance. Jams, jellies, and pickles, all made by loving hands, and stored away for just a time as this. Then fresh baked bread, pies, cakes, and cookies parade across our vision, and entice our taste buds.

 Dinner was a time of fellowship, and reliving the day's events. Families were important, and if visitors came to call at dinner time, they were invited to the feast. Evenings were spent in simpler pleasures. The family gathered around the radio, while children studied, Moms knitted, or sewed, Dads read the paper. The family listened to the radio,together, and no one ran off to do something else. After dinner, dish washing was a ritual in itself. Whoever was there pitched in to help. There were no dishwashers except those of human kind. One to wash, several to dry, and one to put away. This too was a time to visit, and interact.  Left over food was covered, and put away, ready to be added to for the next meal. The house was the center of that activity, but no more.

The people who own the house now do nothing to preserve it. They do not live  there, they do not care. It was not their family home, and we don't know why they bought it. They encourage it's decay by doing nothing. The house is doomed to absolute, undeniable ruin. Does the family whose lives were a part of the house feel it's rejection?  The house seems sad, alone, neglected, and forgotten. We, the fourth generation cares, little house. We would claim you, rebuild you, restore, and love you. We would preserve you for future generations, but we do not have the resources. We will not forget you, little house. We can cherish the memories of what you once were. The memories will remain inside your crumbling walls. The memories of grandparents, great grandparents, and parents will always be a part of coming to this point in our lives. We will take a piece of your front steps, and dig up a few Lily of the Valley, to take with us. No, little house, we will not forget,
for you too, are a Silent Sentinel of the past!