More questions than answers

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Somewhere off a rural highway down a rolling dirt road sits a long-forgotten home that has laid heavy on my mind since I laid eyes on it almost 4 years ago.

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As I stood outside back then, it looked so much like so many other homes that I photograph; leaning chimney, rusting roof, and weathered clapboarding. I took a few shots and planned to move along but a particularly interesting vintage television set on the porch drew my eye to other details I had almost overlooked.

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The more I saw, the more I needed to know and I suddenly found myself standing inside a quiet living room, surrounding by the things someone else left behind. Looking around, I remember feeling shocked, excited, appalled, confused, and overwhelmed at the amount of material possessions that surrounded me; I have since wondered if its last occupant ever felt the same.

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As questions spun through my head, I tried to figure out when someone lived here last. A dusty license plate, a calendar on the wall, an insurance bill, and a stack of newspapers pointed to the early 1980’s and I started to imagine what life might’ve been like out here back then.

Even then, this place had already housed families for more than 100 years. Now, at more than 130 years old, its doubtful that this empty vessel will be able to offer shelter for much longer in this state.

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The contents left in this house created more questions than answers and I have thought of this place and its family often. I wish I could do more to stabilize this place and ensure its future for a while longer, but all I can offer for now is to preserve it through photograph.

[Georgia]

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