It’s not often one gets to see a house moved. The first time I encountered it was in a story Mom used to read to us, “The Little House” by Virginia Lee Burton. I grew up in a city apartment while mom grew up in farm fields, much like the scenes from the book. Mom was an expressive reader, and it’s one of my favorite memories of her. The story stuck with me over the years because it spoke to comfort, fear, generations and change, and of course a happy ending which, if you know me close enough, I need. “The Little House” and her generations lives on. The End.
Years pass, a life comes and goes, and I recall a house being moved from beside a highway in Poughkeepsie. Do you know what it takes to uproot a house and move it, for the sake of history or family? I hadn’t a clue until I looked into it a bit. Fascinating.
There’s not much that goes on this little spit of land that I don’t notice, so when a flatbed shows up next to a house with a lot of construction stuff, I am curious and wonder where that house is going. (I assumed it was being prepped for a long ride to a new home since its foundation was dug out.) I drive by that house every time I need groceries or just get out of town for a while and wonder. One day I see the house is up on stacks of cinder blocks, the long flatbed still out on the street, and I think okay, here it comes, that little cottage by the sea is being jacked up from its foundation to be loaded onto the flatbed to be taken away to its new home. But I am a fool for assuming. They jacked up the little cottage house, the flatbed steadied it while they worked quickly and tirelessly to make a new foundation. More cinderblocks, then windows, and it became clear that little one-story cottage old as the Spit wasn’t going anywhere. The flatbed pulled away empty. Someone chose to lift up their little one-story and make it two. What was so special about that house, this place, that the owners chose not to leave? I wish I could ask the owner but doubt I ever will. I mean, that would take effort, geez. So what makes someone stay instead of go, choose to morph instead of stay the same?
It’s a dangerous prospect for a woman like me to go outside and watch, think, and wonder. It means I will feel and god only knows where that kind of thing will lead. Someone thought so much of their little house they jacked it up and added on instead of leaving it behind–or condemning it. A new story on a good foundation.
It’s going to be a long night.