Sunday, January 30, 2011

Seeing With New Eyes

My brother lives in a convalescent hospital  right in the heart of Downtown LA. It's a poor neighborhood ,with a lot of graffiti & boarded up windows. The bus stops are packed with mother's & their children, the elderly with their shopping bags & random people just trying to get back & forth.

Everytime I go to visit Johnny, at some point my eyes are drawn to two abandoned houses that have been moved to a lot directly across the street from his hospital. I sit in my car & stare as my mind begins to wander...

where were these houses originally located,
who moved them to this awkward corner of LA,

why were they moved there & what plans do they have for them,
what did they look like when they were first built in all their glory,

were there grand family's living in them, all dressed in white,
on a hot summer day did children run in & out of the front door playing,
while their parents sat in wicker chairs on the front porch, 

does anyone else see the magic & beauty that I do,
or do they simply see old & crumbling houses?

I am reminded of a famous quote by Marcel Proust...
‘The real voyage of discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but in seeing with new eyes.’
Johnny's out of the hospital & back to where he's called home for the past seven years. He is in hospice care now & I will visit tomorrow & the next day & I will think about the two old houses sitting across the street, all boarded up & covered with graffiti & I will believe in my heart...
there is a reason for everything under heaven.



Suz said...

I will hang onto that thought with you. I know the area. It is hard but I do imagine it was once beautiful. Will be thinking of you and Johnny.
"Make Me An Angel"...great song!

Mrs. Cherry Heart said...

I am right with you...everyone else may see a decaying house that should be torn down but I see a beautiful home under all that neglect!
It just needs love!

Hugs, Dolly

Unknown said...

I immediately saw jewels underneath all that neglect. They could be so beautiful!

Blessed Serendipity said...

Even in their present state, I can still see their beauty.


Vintagesouthernlife said...

I imagine they were real beauties in their hay day.
Hugs and prayers for your brother,

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

These ARE beautiful homes, just long neglected...sending loving thoughts and prayers for you and your brother...XO

FairfieldHouse said...

My prayers are with you and your brother.

I own an old home so see potential in most of them and feel sad when one is left to decay and fade away quietly in a busy city.


Alice said...

It's so sad to see these once proud houses now in such disrepair. I always wonder what stories they could tell if they could talk. I guess in a way they do tell a story, one of life, living, and untimately of death.

I'm keeing you and your brother in my thoughts and prayers.

OmaLindasOldeBaggsandStuftShirts said...

Not only am I with you in seeing what they might have been, but what they could be. Each has a story to tell and even if I don't know the real story, I can certainly conjure one up in my mind. I find plates and bowls and the same thing happens...someone ate pot roast or rice pudding out of these. I am a dreamer and a conjurer. Takes one to know one.
For you and Johnny, you will be in my thoughts daily. with much love, The Olde Bagg, Linda

Tammy said...

The houses are beautiful. I, too always wonder about houses that someone loved and now await someone to love them again.
I am thinking of you and Johnny and hoping you are well.

The Boston Lady said...

What beauties they are. Since someone took the trouble to move them, hopefully they will be restored. Kind thoughts and prayers to you and your brother. Ann

Unknown said...

Just wanted to stop by and say hi! I always have similar thoughts whenever I see old houses that used to be beautiful and seem to have been forgotten...I imagine who used to live there and love them. Hope you and Johnny are enjoying your time together!

Hope Ava

Cameron said...

Orange groves and movie stars.....and before that...farms and homesteads, small town charm with big dreams.... So it goes in my head...

Take care, Dear Susie!

Mary @ Framed and Tagged said...

I dreamed of living in a place like that when I was growing up....I think I was born in the wrong era.

she dreams big! said...

Why is it that only special people can see the beauty that hides behind neglect? You, Susie, are one of those people. Be it a rundown house or a brother whose body is running down, you see the happy that once was.

Thinking of you and wishing you peace.

Charlene said...

You can see by looking that those were two Grand Dame's in their day! They are huge! I can't imagine the cost to move them. WHY spend the money yet let them decay any further...???? Keep us informed with any changes. Inside their hearts they are beautiful girls in old skin. Geeeeeeeeez I can relate! HUGS! Charlene

Riki Schumacher said...

Hi Susie, they are beautiful houses, I see what you mean. Everything has a season, doesn't it? Take care my friend, sending hugs, Riki

Melissa said...

Love the pictures that you took. If only I could get my hands on those houses and turn them back into homes.

Cindy said...

What a mystery, indeed! It is fascinating that the run-down houses were moved and not just abandoned. Maybe something grand is planned! I sure hope they will be fixed up and restored to their glory. Oh my they must have been the prettiest houses on the block. I especially love the brick one with the twin peaks. I kind of have an obsession really with old abandoned homes. I have been known to stop the car and peak around to see what I can find... yes, I often wonder too who lived there and what the house looked like when it was brand new. I'm glad you shared these pictures today. I would have never imagined them in a busy section of LA.

Curtains In My Tree said...

Those houses are fabulous I would love to live in one, you know they were fabulous when kept up

They remind me of elderly people in nursing homes, you go visit them and see a picture of them when they were young and beautiful on their dressers of when they were kept up.

aimee said...

i too like to look at houses and imagine what the families did oduring the seasons and the way the home must have looked in it's better days. the stories those houses could tell.