Once upon a time, we took the train to Los Angeles, and the tickets were arranged by a man named George, who operated as a travel agent out of one of the businesses in town. We paid him to drive us to Jefferson City, where we caught an Amtrak train to Kansas City, where at about 2:30 a.m. we caught another train coming from Chicago, and so began our great train adventure traveling across the Plains and through a corner of Colorado, where the aspens in the river bottoms were golden and glorious.
George’s house is not too far from our house, perhaps a 10-minute walk, and I usually walk by it with Molly Wog at least once a day. He built on to the corner of his house a really nice, round, sun room, and bundles of shingles were delivered to the roof so a new roof could be put on… and then… George vanished.
He abandoned the house… he never finished the sun room, and he never had the house reroofed. We heard he had moved to Springfield, and we never saw him again.
So for the past 20 years or so the house has set empty, slowly deteriorating under the relentless onslaught of nature and periodic vandalism.
I found a name matching his, for a man who would have been about his age, who died in Springfield in 2003. I don’t think George will ever return to his house.
George had built what once must have been a very nice flower bed lined with rocks (which we have plenty of here) for an assortment of daffodils. The normal, garden-variety “wild” daffodils have already passed their peak and are fading away, but other varieties are just how at their peak, including the ones in George’s back yard that have been on their own now for many years.
If one knows where to look, it is possible to just barely see a bit of the rock bed with its mass of daffodils as one strolls by. The rock bed has gradually fallen apart, but the daffodils are thriving and have spread over the yard, and are quite beautiful.
If one has already ignored the “No Trespassing” sign that was once hanging on a tree and is now on the ground on what was once the driveway, one could likely also bring clippers along on the next walk and return home with a beautiful bouquet. Couldn’t one?