From the road, the house appears abandoned. Parasitic vines run rampant over the once manicured lawn. Shrubbery has gone feral, their wandering branches attacking the crumbling siding, worming their way under the slats and prying them away from the cinder block walls.
The front door stands open, as if the old woman is still home, waiting for visitors to come to the stoop asking to borrow a cup of sugar.
County commissioners voted last month to raze the house. It was a community eyesore, they said. What with the new Box Store coming in, we couldn’t have visitors thinking we’re back woods hillbillies.
My bid to buy the place wasn’t taken seriously, but when the old cooters got my court papers, they couldn’t ignore the injunction. I stopped the demolition. There’s history in that homestead, power those skeptics will never understand.
A wheelbarrow of yard tools waits beside me as I ponder where to attack first. I want to leave as much of the natural foliage as possible, while still carving out a wide path to the house.
The air is electric. My hair crackles, and my skin tingles. She is watching. I can feel her eyes on me. I hope she’s pleased with the work. It will make my job that much easier.
That I started this project on the anniversary of the old woman’s death is not happenstance. I felt it was appropriate. I can’t help but think back to that day. Cleaning inside the house will be left for last. The first thing is to rip out the carpets. I hope the stains didn’t ruin the wood floors.