Weird, still weird in Maine: not enough houses where people want them (intown Portland, pretty much, or a second home on water); and too many, faaaaaar too many, in much of the remaining acreage of this post-industrial landscape.
I often wish it were easier to slide houses around, or helivac them to where they’re wanted. Whenever we visit my inlaws in Glens Falls, NY, I get misty about the fabulous old Victorians, Greek Revivals, Brick Behemoths, and Umpteen-Gabled Bungalows. Many of them are empty, crumbling, bed sheets across the windows. If they were in Portland, they’d be inhabited, and adored.
People used to move houses a lot more than they do now, by ice or water, or ox-team. Now that houses are quicker to build and expensiver to move, we’ve kind of quit.
Since humans left home, our species has faced this problem. We’re restless by necessity. We must follow food, whether it’s in the form of wildlife or jobs. If our shelters can’t be rolled up and dragged along, they must be left behind.
The abandoned and unloved houses haunt me. They were built to solve an urgent human problem, and often the artistic ideals of the builders were recorded in the process–as were the additions and subtractions of future inhabitants. And then they’re left, these rooted, semi-living things, to die.
Pretty philosophical, for a sheet of number, perhaps. I plead extenuating circumstances.