I took these photos last summer. I used to know a woman who lived a couple doors down. She built her dream home there, specifically designed for "single woman with dogs and occasionally visiting mom."
That house has wide stairs with deep treads, a plunge tub, passive solar heating, and a kitchen cupboard that is really a tunnel with a dog door at the end. And bowling balls for decorations on the garden wall.
This is not a photo of that house. This is a house down the block.
I asked her about this place, which looked much the same back then. "What's up with that?" I asked. An old guy lives there, she said. He's harmless.
I should say that was 10 years ago.
Fast forward to last summer, when I've moved closer to this street, and I see the guy sometimes. He walks to the store, or he works in his yard. He looks like he's in his 80s, with a long white beard. He's tall and stooped. He looks like he should live on a Swiss mountain and have goats.
But he doesn't have goats. He has ideas.
Like goats, his ideas are unruly and a bit scattered. They don't follow the rules. Not the usual rules, anyway.
When I pass him out walking, or go by his yard, he says hello. He asks how I am. He remarks on the weather and my nice dog. He's very pleasant. He doesn't try to tell me anything out of the ordinary.
His house says it for him.
Fast forward again, to a couple of months ago. I walk by the house. There's a dumpster in the yard. A man is there, not the old man, throwing stuff in it.
"What happened to the old man?" "He died." Oh.
This guy doesn't know anything else. He's just doing a job.