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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The House With Nobody In It

 ~ someone's beautiful homeplace ~

Whenever I walk to Suffern along the Erie track
I go by a poor old farmhouse with its shingles broken and black.
I suppose I've passed it a hundred times, but I always stop for a minute
And look at the house, the tragic house, the house with nobody in it.

I never have seen a haunted house, but I hear there are such things;
That they hold the talk of spirits, their mirth and sorrowings.
I know this house isn't haunted, and I wish it were, I do;
For it wouldn't be so lonely if it had a ghost or two.

This house on the road to Suffern needs a dozen panes of glass,
And somebody ought to weed the walk and take a scythe to the grass.
It needs new paint and shingles, and the vines should be trimmed and tied;
But what it needs the most of all is some people living inside.

If I had a lot of money and all my debts were paid
I'd put a gang of men to work with brush and saw and spade.
I'd buy that place and fix it up the way it used to be
And I'd find some people who wanted a home and give it to them free.

Now, a new house standing empty, with staring window and door,
Looks idle, perhaps, and foolish, like a hat on its block in the store.
But there's nothing mournful about it; it cannot be sad and lone
For the lack of something within it that it has never known.

But a house that has done what a house should do,
a house that has sheltered life,
That has put its loving wooden arms around a man and his wife,
A house that has echoed a baby's laugh and held up his stumbling feet,
Is the saddest sight, when it's left alone, that ever your eyes could meet.

So whenever I go to Suffern along the Erie track
I never go by the empty house without stopping and looking back,
Yet it hurts me to look at the crumbling roof and the shutters fallen apart,
For I can't help thinking the poor old house is a house with a broken heart. 

 Blessings ~ a sturdy roof over my head ~ home ~ laughter ~ love ~

Grace and Peace,


  1. Thanks for dropping bye.
    and for saying thank you.

  2. Anonymous2:30 PM EDT

    Good Afternoon Sandra, Whenever I see a home like this, especially in the Spring, when jonquils still line the pathway to the door, I always wonder how in the world the home remains empty. I often wish the walls could talk.

    Thinking of you today and keeping you close in my heart and prayers.

  3. I always wonder when looking at houses like this one you described what they were like when people were living in them. Makes you think about their lives and what could have happened to let the house end up like that.

    And yes, a sturdy roof over my head will with love and laughter is what I desire!

  4. The house reminds me of that old song "This Ole House" with the chorus: Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer
    Ain't a-gonna need this house no more
    Ain't got time to fix the shingles
    Ain't got time to fix the floor
    Ain't got time to oil the hinges
    Nor to mend the window-pane
    Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer
    He's a-gettin' ready to meet the saints!
    We sang that at my sister's funeral! Great song for a believer,eh?

  5. Poor old house. It does look dilapidated doesn't it.

    I like the poem.

    Blessings, Star

  6. I would gladly move my family into that house if it needed inhabitants! It's beautiful!

  7. What a beautiful.....a perfect example of an Appalachian "3-bay house"!! Love it and love the poem...I hadn't heard that one before. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. I love this.... and that house!...

  9. ah what a bittersweet poem - I feel the same about gardens we see in the country around here - house evidently long gone and still a bed of iris or gladiolas coming up each year -someone's sweet garden dreams or homes - no longer sheltering the makers but I hope they are in their eternal home and enjoying their rewards.
    Empty houses and abandoned gardens -

  10. Someone's dream has died. Oh but for new dreams and new life.

  11. I would love to make that house a Home!
    Beautiful words...

    Keeping you both close in prayer and spirit.
    xo, misha & J

  12. You are right: it is so sad to see a house like that...

  13. I love old abandoned homes....they invoke such thoughts of why, and who lived there and on and on. Thanks for sharing that poem, I love it. The only Joyce Kilmer poem I am familiar with is Trees - which I had to memorize in grade school! (A long long time ago)!

  14. What a beautiful poem. I often wonder what the old house would say if only we could stop and listen.

  15. G'day sweet Sandra ~ What a beautiful picture of this wonderful home. If you stand there long enough in ones mind she will become dressed in grace & beauty once again ... I love Joyce Kilmer.

    Ever in my heart & on my mind sweet friend. Will call you later today.

    Hugs of love, Marydon

  16. The picture of the old homestead fits the poem well!

  17. Such a touching poem.. makes you truly feel for the house. I look at the house in the picture and I can't help but think of all of the things I could do with it. I hope someone one finds this place home soon.

  18. Lovely poem; I've never read that one. I, too, have passed many a house like that one and wondered how or why anyone would waste a good house! Our home is 120 years old, so I know they can last if taken care of. That is surely the key. Someone didn't need it or just couldn't care for it the way it needed. I can't resist an old house!

  19. Wish I could live there!! I love this poem and photo. I have a soft spot for old abandoned farm houses. From the day I started kindergarten and my schoolbus drove past an old, gray, abandoned farmhouse on the way into town I fell in love. I use to dream about that farmhouse everyday when we passed by. I wonder if it's still all alone and waiting for a family? I'll have to revisit it the next time we visit my family in Missouri. Thanks for the reminder of those childhood dreams.

    By the way, did you get the package I sent to you? We mailed it while in Ohio visiting my husbands family and also sent other packages to friends. Those arrived but I hadn't heard if yours did.

    Oh, and if I hadn't mentioned it already I LOVE the look of your blog!

  20. Love the picture of the beautiful house, and the beautiful words that go with it. Thanks for posting this!


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