The Cross House
…and she said: “Flowers?”
I did not understand, and said: “Sorry?”
She looked up/down the huge facade of the house, and repeated: “Flowers?”
I still did not understand, and simply looked at her, clearly not understanding.
She repeated, again: “Flowers?”
It seemed that she was, somehow, upset about the two pots of flowers to each side of the front steps. And she seemed unhappy about them. But why? So I asked: “Yes, flowers. Don’t you like them?”
She shook her head. “Flowers??????”
Then she left.
This made NO sense to me. Until today. For, today, I came across this image. And the image scared me. Did my house REALLY look this bad once? So pulled apart? So devastated? Because, it has not looked like this for several years and the human mind has an amazing ability to…forget.
Today, when I looked at the image, I belatedly understood what the strange woman was trying to convey.
With a house so obviously a near ruin, why bother with…flowers? This is akin to being in a terrible car accident…and rushing to clean the car windows. Or, fluffing pillows on…Titanic.
Today, I looked at the above image…and smiled. Flowers. Yea, crazy.
But but but, maybe not so crazy.
In 2014, the Cross House had looked SO bad and for SO long that a huge concern of mine was to let people know, STAT, that things would now be, well, different. I could not wave a magic wand and have the house instantly transform into FULLY RESTORED but I could do some things:
- Keep the lawn meticulously mowed. And edged! This simple effort, vigorously maintained to this day at the Cross House, can convey to people that, while an old wreck might be, well, an old wreck, somebody cares.
- Flowers. A few pots of flowers can do wonders in letting people know that, again, somebody cares.
- Clean windows. Dirty windows profoundly blight a house. A house with dirty windows looks unloved and abandoned. Clean windows will transform a near-ruin.
Today, I would do nothing differently. In buying a wreck of a house I strongly urge three things:
- A crisp lawn.
- A couple of flower-filled pots.
- Gleaming windows.
Such efforts will not only make you a better neighbor, but will convey to every passerby that love is in the air.