The Abandoned House

–About Life, Love And Living

The fall air brings a chill to the old house, autumn leaves cover the unkept yard and rustle in the wind.  It is empty, lonely and sad.  The furniture is dusty, and cobwebs adorn the corners of each wall.  There is an empty nail where once a beautiful painting hung and the walk captured complements and quiet moments absorbing the powerful imagery.

The house sits alone just past the iron gate waiting for a family to come and make it a home.  It whispers of a past where life filled the rooms with laughter and conversations.  Shhh … listen to the children playing on the porch or the joys in the kitchen as they celebrated another birthday with cake and candles.  You can hear the dogs barking and the sound of paws clicking on the tile patio as it runs after a thrown ball. You can close your eyes and feel the house breathe; yet, the breath is shallow as if winding down and soon to stop.

It seems in a way the old house lives, feels and cares that it no longer has a purpose.  Perhaps it is even sad and lonely.  Having no purpose means it exists without meaning.

It no longer shelters a family, a time when the house felt pride.  It spent a lifetime feeling better, growing, a new coat of paint or replacing the roof.  Once a new sunroom was added and birdfeeders were just outside the windows.  It was a time of joy, a home filled with love, life, and living.  People came to visit and always said it was a beautiful home, a good place to live.

The rain overflows the gutters now, filled with leaves and broken branches, the spout clogged and pulling away from the roof.  In the old kitchen that once was the heart of the house, the paint is peeling off the wall and stains cover the ceiling where the water leaked in or maybe even tears from the house itself.  The house wonders why you left and abandoned it not understanding that people pass away and children grow up and move on.

It is late in the day and the winds blow even harder and nightfall fills the house with darkness.  In the distance car light comes toward the house slowly with their windows down looking at the house, even saying it could be fixed up, fresh paint, the yards mowed, and the gutters fixed.  The house takes a deep breath and lets it flow throughout the rooms and then hears a key turning in the lock.

Point Of View

I have always felt that houses are sad when we leave, slowly giving up and the spirit and soul of the house fade away.  They turn grey and faded and in time become a vacant lot with only whispers of the past left to remind us of the footprints we left behind.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
Awaken the possibilities … then unleash them. After 55 years of successful retail management, I have returned to my passion of writing. I write Poetry, Storytelling, and Short Stories. As a child, I grew up on front porch storytelling. I would sit and listen to my Dad and his brothers tell these great stories that were captivating, and I always wanted to hear more. I wanted to experience the things they talked about. I started writing at a young age and reading everything I could get my hands on. At twelve years old I started a storytelling group and several of my friends became writers or poets. At 16 I hopped box cars and worked the tobacco fields, orange groves, picked cotton, and spent many nights around a campfire listing to life stories. Someone once asked me why I wrote. It consumes an amazing amount of time and I assure you it is not going to make me rich. I write so that my children can touch and feel my words telling of the ones that came before us and the stories they told me. These are the chronicles of our family and even though they come from my childhood memories and are deeply rooted in a child’s remembrance at least they may feel what it was like in the time before them and cherish the things the elders left behind. I am a Columnist & Featured Contributor, BIZCATALYST360 and I have The Writers Café, a group on LinkedIn that features Poets, Writers, Artists, Photographers, and Musicians . On Facebook I have two groups and one page; Dirt Road Storytelling, From Abandoned To Rescue Dogs And Cats, and About Life, Love And Living. As writers, it is true that we honestly do not know what we hold within us until we unleash it. When our words inspire others only then will inspiration return to the writer. I will spend my twilight years in search of the next story, the next poem, and the next image. I will take the time to enjoy my Wife, our Dogs, and Cats, and our amazing new home and I will always find the time to walk down a dirt road I truly hope is that I never have to read another book on Leadership, be on a conference call or see another plan o gram as these were the tool for what I did in life and not about who I am.

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  1. Larry, this is so poignant because the ongoing imagery of decay and abandonment further emphasised by the unstoppable ravages of time describe much more than a house that is no longer a home. You have crystallised the horror of loneliness, feeling useless and old age with deep sensitivity.

    • Thank you Noemi. It was inspired by this one country Road that I ride down often. There are many abandoned places on that road but I can remember when families lived there and they were full of happiness and laughter

  2. The house is not a place but a state of mind and the people you love do, what you have experienced, not the walls.
    But the fact is that life goes. Stop. And even real estate is not real property. Those are not forever either. And perhaps it makes no sense to continue pretending that everything is the same. And perhaps to grow means to accept that things change.

  3. Beautiful and sad simultaneously, Larry. The optimist in me sees this house as the one in “It’s a Wonderful Life,”-where Mary throws a rock, breaks a window of the abandoned house, makes a wish to live there with George. Her wish comes true in the movie. Because of my work as a feng shui consultant-houses imbued with life energy of the humans that care for them emit beauty into the world. Abandoned houses definitely represent the contrasting energy presence of sad, lonely, and isolated, much like the homeless people holding signs asking for food on the roadside. My hope/vision is that find ways to belong to one another, to connect in those sacred places, and experience that feeling of knowing there is no place like home. How important to care for these human exoskeletons…the abandoned houses. (or recycle/repurpose….) Thank you for this poignant essay, my friend.

    • Larry – We project sadness on the house because we understand that change is inevitable – the life we knew in the “old home” will be relegated to memories – the warmth we felt in the familiarity of those walls will no longer comfort us – the joys will be silenced – the tears that stained the floor will vanish – new memories will cause the old to fade until little is left of the life we once cherished. And if no one ever calls this once important abode “home” in the future, sadness comes from knowing this “old friend” had reached it’s end. Alas, I have experienced this in so many moves in the course of my life so I truly appreciate your story.