Yesterday, we drove past the house I grew up in. It pissed me off.
From my toddler years to right before I entered the horrors of puberty, we lived on a horse farm in a small town that boasted of more cows than people. The delightful cow smell wafted into my fabulous minivan and while my family objected, I rejoiced in the idea of future cheeseburgers and ice cream. This is the smell of all things that were good in my childhood, the methane that is farmers perfume.
I showed my kids my elementary school, the park I used to ride my bike to, the corner where the one store in town once stood with the promise of penny candy, the irrigation ditches we played in, the big pot leaf the hippies painted on the mountain side by the abandoned quarry, and the house, where mom got all her funny stories about horses and piles of horse poop.
I think I've written before on how the town I grew up in has changed. Not necessarily the smell but the mcmansions built by owners who had to resolve themselves that cows or farm life isn't a novelty. It's one thing to dream of living out in the sticks but the reality of it smells far different. Cows do not care if you lay Brady Bunch style grass inside your barn, they are going to poop on it the same way they poop on everything else.
No, it isn't the mcmansions around my old house that made me angry, but what they had done to the house itself.
Just steps out the back door stands a tall garage three times the size of the house, where the barn and the stalls and the paddock once stood.
They painted the front door and the shutters black.
The yard and the orchard and the gardens needed tending.
The driveway was wrecked with rubble and weeds.
The brickwork was covered with the wires of modern living, without any concern to how it would look but with the idea that the shortest distance between point A and point B is a straight line.
The flower beds were gone.
It wasn't that it wasn't the same, but that it was so different and generally neglected that they ruined it.
They might as well have painted the whole property puce and called it good enough for government work. It would have shown they cared.
Speaking of paint, that mountain side pot leaf looked like it needed some refurbishing too. Its been there over 40 years. It's history!