Somewhere in our county, surrounded by miles of forest, stands an abandoned house.
Windows broken, doors unhinged, it resembles other old farmhouses that are no longer inhabited by humans.
An old bedframe and mattress spring define this small room as a former bedroom. The ceiling is disintegrating but still serves as temporary protection for swallows who build their nest there.
An ancient cook stove remains in the room that must have been the kitchen. These old wood-fired stoves served many functions: keeping the house warm, cooking and baking, and heating water for bathing and washing laundry.
A few remnants of faded linoleum tiles on the stairs suggest that someone long ago attempted to make this home attractive and inviting.
The last occupant lived here by himself, according to local legend. The tools he left behind hint at his abilities as a craftsman. A rusty paint can on the window sill invokes a sense of forlornness. One can well imagine someone sitting at this window decades ago looking at the trees blooming and listening to the birds twittering away. What was it like, then, to live so far away from others? Did loneliness call in the evening after the work was done?
Another room upstairs contained a work bench with remnants of tools and a strange homemade contraption that defies definition:
They say that the man who lived here last was an inventor. He built a motorized bicycle that served as his mode of transportation. He did not have much use for other people and tended to avoid them. His final project, nearing completion, filled up the largest room on the ground floor, extending from one corner diagonally across to the other corner:
The man built a boat in his living room!
The mast was still neatly laid out in two pieces on the front porch:
The first question that comes to mind: “How was he going to get the boat OUTSIDE of the house once it was completed?”
It would have required tearing down at least one entire outside wall of the living room.
Maybe he was planning on leaving the woods behind and living a new life in the Gulf of Mexico, hunting gators in the bayous of Louisiana, or cruising the turquoise waters of the Caribbean?
Before he was able to complete his boat and follow his dreams, he was shot by police; somewhere in Tennessee, while travelling on his home-made bike. The circumstances surrounding his death are murky.
Was his name “Levi?” Who remembers him?
What will we leave behind that will become a relic and puzzle others?
For more posts on the theme “relic”, see The Daily Post’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic.