Welcome to the official website of best-selling author Linda Kupecek.

the house next door

Today, the house next door was demolished. It was a lovely, dark little house, built sometime around 1920, surrounded by tall fir trees. Now the trees, the boards, the walls, the floors are lying in a huge pile of rubble which I can see from my bedroom window.

I knew the story of the house well. One owner, a lawyer, started a basement renovation but ran out of steam. The next owners, who loved the house, produced too many children and had to find bigger digs. The next inhabitant loved the house, with its stained glass window, arts and crafts fireplace and hardwood floors. But then there was a break-in, and she no longer felt safe in the beautiful, beleaguered house. Darned drug addicts. I lost a wonderful neighbour.

It was sold, and sat empty and sad for months. Finally, some tenants moved in. Bad luck for the house (and for us) as it became a grow-op. The lovely house now had boarded windows, closed blinds, a pack of guard dogs, and a strong skunk odor. I liked the dogs. They had personality. But the poor house looked as if it had been in a bar fight. The interior was probably irreparably damaged by the moisture, but, then, the house was headed for demolition, anyway.

The grow-op group moved out, and the house sat sad and empty again, except for scavengers and squatters. Somebody took away the fireplaces, the beautiful windows, the glass doorknobs. One could say that it is better these things found a use, whether being flogged at a flea market or in a home renovation, than end up in a dump.

Today, as the cracking and roaring and thumping went on, under the jaws of the yellow monster used for such massive chores, I was sure I heard whimpering. I turned off the stereo and listened. Under the noise next door, I definitely heard sad moans.

Was it the house? Was it whimpering at its sad end? Or perhaps, I decided, it was whimpering with relief that its suffering, after a life of beauty and elegance, was over.

Comments (3)

3 Responses to “the house next door”

  1. I shall never look at the demolition of a house the same way again, Linda. It is happening everywhere in Oakville: unique 1950s homes selling for one million, and being torn down and replaced by cookie cutter two million dollar homes. Breaks my heart. You put it so well in this post.

  2. Thanks, Melanie. I value your opinion. We have both gone through such similar travails in our lives. Nice to hear some good comments on my writing.

    And sad, as you say in your message, that the philistines are out there, destroying beautiful things, whether it is small pieces of china broken up for mirror frames or beautiful homes wrecked for development.

  3. brenda lissel says:

    Hi Linda,
    Surprise – I actually got on the computer this morning! Kudos to you for your thoughts on the demise of a once elegant and charming house. I enjoyed reading your blog very much. Makes one wonder where we are headed with this “Out with the Old and in with the New” attitude.
    Thank you my friend.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress