Once Upon A Time

One may make their house a palace of sham, or they can make it a home, a refuge.

Mark Twain

This photo is one of my favorite autumn shots that I captured in Hannibal, Missouri. A Mississippi river town, Hannibal is built on the bluffs. As I passed through Hannibal from the St. Louis Airport on October 23, 2009, I spotted this fabulous historic house. I was on my way back to attend Uncle Glen’s funeral and welcomed a momentary distraction. I pulled into a KFC parking lot, got out of the car and studied the view. An incredible house in its day was discreetly hidden behind nature’s fiery handiwork. The boarded-up windows concealed memories. The portico appeared unstable. A single black bird perched on an antenna was the only visible sign of activity. I wanted to see  the front of the house, the driveway, the front door and more. I wished I could explore room by room. Who built this magnificent structure? Who lived here?  Who passed away here? What was their story?

When I see abandoned property like this one, I am sad that the signs and sounds of life have burned out. However, I find beauty in the overgrown vegetation that embraces the house, in the portico that is hanging on and in the mysterious black bird keeping watch over someone perhaps!

As I continued my journey to the family farm, the awe-inspiring autumn colors reminded me that in the midst of grief and loss,  beauty still exists.



Photo Credit:  Linda A. Mohr

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