The weather here in central Indiana today is ridiculous - about 57o at a time of year that we usually see about 82o and rain just weeping down, like, ALL DAY. It was a good day to be in bed with the blankets all snuggled up around one's head, whacked out on different medications for what Aisling referred to yesterday as my "ammonia."
When I woke up at 3:00 p.m., I could hear rain just hurtling onto the house, so I opened the blind on the south side of my bedroom window, the one that faces our street. Not only did I see the unwelcome rain I'd been expecting, I also saw something else even less pleasant: a large For Sale sign in our neighbor's front yard, taking the place of their tasteful business sign advertising their photography studio.
This affected me like a karate chop to the solar plexus. Those neighbors have been the friendly and reliable type, always willing to allow our company to park in their large parking area. They've always been so proud of their house, too; it's a magnificent example of a Craftsman style bungalow, super-sized - I estimate it at about 4,000 square feet. The house was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright's in the late nineteen-teens (one of two in our city) and it is one of the newer gems of our historic neighborhood.
They raised their daughter in that house; I believe she's probably about twenty-eight years old now, and they home schooled her at a time when hardly anyone had ever heard of home schooling. The studio took up most of the downstairs in the house and husband, wife and daughter lived in the spacious upstairs.
They talked to me lovingly once about all their gorgeous built-ins, so popular in that Arts & Crafts style, and all their carefully tended floors, and their windows. The windows in that house are all hand-blown glass, and since our neighborhood is an historic preservation, if a window gets broken, it can't be replaced by regular glass that you can get from one of the several glaziers in the city: it can only be replaced by another piece of hand-blown glass. Spendy!
"It's a terrible pain," the husband told me once, looking fondly at the house the same way I look at Hershey and Wimzie. "But it's worth it because we love it."
And now, that For Sale sign, sitting there tauntingly in their yard, all red and white. Their business sign, gone. Their house, disconsolate with its dripping eaves and lightless windows.
I closed the window blind and turned away. I hope they decided to sell their house and close their business because they're ready to move on to a new stage of life -- maybe to move closer to their daughter and be hands-on grandparents -- and not because they had to.
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