Introductions…

spring 2011

  So, perhaps I should share how I “met Bertha”?

Okay, but…trust me, it isn’t pretty.

I was waiting for my dog to poop!

I know,  right?  Seriously. I’m sure someone up there thought this was ridiculously funny! But that’s how it happened.  I wish I could say I was in some deep trance state.  Sitting in meditation, or that I saw light, went thru a tunnel and all that.  But the truth is, I took my first “Bertha inspired” photo holding my son’s Nikon in one hand, and a pooping dog’s leash in the other.

Trust me, that’s not a story I frequently share.

I guess it’s also not fair to imply that the craziness started there.  It had actually started about a year before that.  I was working as a college professor with my youngest son still living at home.  I had a beautiful (and very normal) suburban house.

But driving home from Kroger’s on a bright sunny afternoon, I’d decided to take a meandering route. And there it was: A house – a beautiful, magnificent, artistic, marvelous, falling down, house.

Like a mouth to a flame, it drew me in.

I mean seriously, IT DREW ME IN!

Attempting to drive anywhere else was was pointless.  Again and again, I found myself drawn to it.  Frequently sitting in meditation the driveway.  I know it sounds insane, but could FEEL this house.  I could feel the squirrels eating her walls.  The mice, the snakes, the water cascading through her open roof.  Plants grew entwined with her windows and walls.  I felt her grief: her longing for a lost magnificence.

So… yep… you guest it: I set out to save her.

On the verge of being condemned (oh yeah- it was really that bad!), her elderly owners, both unable to care for themselves had been forcibly removed.  It took me nearly a year of paperwork, inspections, estimates, and communication with a distant relative, to finally obtain the key.

But alas, she was mine.

I was thrilled!  My children were terrified!

As my youngest and I stood inside, surveying the endless mess.  I commented on how wonderful the energy felt.  Full of fresh air (funny how having no roof will do that :),  and light, I told my son:  “I feel like I can dance and sing here!”  He looked at me like I’d sprouted two heads.

And perhaps his reaction was fortuities.  I never did dance or sing while living in that house.  But, I did start channeling a photographer.

front beforegarage before

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