Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wednesday Wit and Wisdom - Going Home

Thanks to all who stopped by to join in last Wednesday!

Here's hoping some of you might join me in posting a story with a picture for Wednesday Wit and Wisdom.  The challenge is to post a picture, then write a short story or a poem about the picture.  When you have your story written, you can link up for others to read.  Feel free to also add this picture to another link of your choice. The link up is on my WWW page here.

Hope you enjoy this week's picture and story:

Judy had earned some vacation time at work. She decided to take a little road trip to return to her hometown, if nothing more than to see how things had changed. She was a single lady and her kids had all grown and left the house. Her high school friend, Vera, still lived in the town, and they had made plans to get together for lunch at the local cafe. 

Judy drove down the familiar street, just one block off Main. Some of the houses had been restored to even better than their original appearance. Just ahead she could see the stone archway that would lead into her front yard, but she was shocked to see the condition when she arrived. Even the trees hung in tired branches. The grass was overgrown, burying the stones in the ground. The sidewalk was severely cracked and an old abandoned car sat off to the left of the house. Judy walked slowly up to the front door. The kitchen window was off to her right as she approached and stepped carefully up onto the porch. The torn screen door creaked a pitiful cry as she pulled it open, it's hinges rusted and broken. The door to the inside was not locked.

The house was littered with debris, papers and discarded items from former residents and a mouse skittered across the floor in the kitchen. The cabinet doors were standing open, several too warped to ever close. She walked down the hallway to her room. But as she walked her memory took her back to the aromas from the kitchen. The hallway was always decorated with family portraits on brightly colored walls. She felt at home despite the obvious decay of the house. She took out her IPhone and searched for the address in the public tax records to see if she could find out who now owned the property, as her parents had been gone from here for many years.

At her luncheon Vera revealed to her that the owner was now in a nursing home, and there was no one in the family to tend to the property. She also told Judy that a banker in town had been taking care of the owner's affairs. After lunch Judy went to see the banker.

"I'd like to buy the old property on Creek Street where I used to live." Judy was straightforward with the banker, who knew her. 

"That old piece of junk? You should really tear it down and build something on the lot. We had the house listed, but never found a buyer. If you will take over the property, we can quit claim it to you for the estimated price of the lot.  Would that be agreeable?"

Over the course of the week, Judy took possession. Vera had given her the name of a contractor in town who could do most of the work that needed to be done to restore the house. With Joe and his crew and many dedicated hours from Judy, they began to turn the old property into a lovely little home for her. The trees were trimmed, the sidewalk repaired, the grass was cut, and the old car was removed. Judy had gotten permission from her employer to work remotely for the time being, and it might be a permanent situation for her if she could keep up with her work by computer.

Working from the local coffee shop where she could get a Wi-Fi link, Judy worked long hours to make sure her work was completed on time. Then in the evenings and on weekends, she would clean, paint, and bring in new appliances from trips back to her apartment.  Joe reworked the foundation and the floors in the house to make them safe and sturdy. When her apartment was empty, Judy negotiated the move to her new home with her employer. Walking through the front doors of the house made her feel alive and in touch with happy times as she was growing up in the small town.

On her way out to her mailbox one morning, she looked up to see a car at the gate, and a handsome man emerged from the vehicle. She noticed his graying hair and neatly tailored suit. He smiled as he walked toward her.

"Judy, you probably don't remember me. I'm Jack Lawrence. You were a couple of years ahead of me in school, and I heard you had moved back to town." He extended his hand. "Any chance you might have a coffee pot on, as I'd love to catch up and find out why you have gone to all this trouble to move back to town."

I always like to leave you with an unresolved issue, but I think many of you can see what is going on here with Jack. What do you think?  Is this just the beginning of a romance? Was this fate that brought Judy back to her hometown? Can you imagine how the house and the gate looked when it was all restored?

Linda Kay

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