Tuesday, January 15, 2008


This is a house in town that I was inside of a few years back...oh, it's been about 5 years ago I guess. At that time it looked the same except there was a huge oak tree that stood where the dirt is torn up in the picture, and the limb that fell across the porch was still there. I don't think anyone lives there anymore. I went there to have a VCR repaired. I had called the guy up after finding him in the yellow pages. The steps are very narrow and steep. The porch was piled high with clutter on each side and if you were too fat you couldn't fit through. It's still the same I see! Inside was the same way. The guy was very clean, neat, and nice. He lived there alone with his cats. He had a full time job and did the repairs on the side. There was a sofa in the living room but all you could see was the side of it. There was "stuff" wall to wall and about shoulder high. I only ever just stepped inside the front door. That was about as far as you could get. There was a little path that led through the room. I really longed to see the rest of the house because my jaw just dropped that it was like that. I did speak without thinking and said, "How in the world do you ever find anything in here?" He was very soft spoken and he just quietly said, "Well, it's just me here and I pretty much know where everything is." Then I felt so bad that I had said anything, because I sure would never hurt anyone's feelings intentionally. He fixed that VCR and later on I had him make some copies of a tape for me. The last time I was there it smelled pretty awful inside. I figured with that old house and him not keeping it up that the roof might be leaking and with all that stuff piled everywhere there was probably mold galore. Plus if he didn't provide a litter box for the cats and they managed to weave their way through and under some of that stuff and do their business, then there would be no way you could ever find it or clean it up.

They have a nuisance law in the city so I don't know what will happen to this house. I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't torn down soon. Part of the way down the concrete steps are milk jugs sitting on the left side. They are hard to see in this photo. Before when I'd drive by, there would be a big pile of empty plastic jugs laying in the yard. Gosh I don't know, he might even still live there! I just know that I was never in a home that looked like that one before!!
Tonight I made this Angel Harvest Vegetable and Potato Soup. The only thing I added to it that the recipe didn't call for was cabbage. It also said not to peel your potatoes, but I peeled mine. It turned out very well and even my husband liked it. Just perfect for this chilly evening!


Blogger Cliff said...

The soup looks good. It's kind of hard to think of eating after you discription of the house with the cats.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I just read Amber Lance. That right there was funny. I'll bet you smiled all night from that.
Man I'd like to be able to buy that coupe. A real beauty.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

For a moment there Rachel I thought you must have snuck into my house, but then I looked at the photo and realized I don't have any cats so I gigured I was mistaken... phew!!!

8:41 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

When I lived in Boston in an old 18th Century house we were fixing up. In half of the house (7 rooms) an elderly lady lived. All her rooms were filled with stuff floor to ceiling, most of it new. She had a dream of someday having a little white house in the country with a picket fence. the "stuff" was for her house. She could not go out because of swollen feet from diabetes so she ordered things, opened them up to look at them and then packed them away. In the end the owner of the house had her evicted and it took 7 moving vans to take her stuff. She went to a nursing home and thus ended her dream.

8:57 PM  
Blogger b13 said...

He's a typical "collector." Recently I read about a person with the same affliction that was found buried in a pile of junk in their house. They had so much stuff piled up that it collapsed on top of him and he perished... what a way to go :(

9:37 PM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Soup is always so good on wintry nights. That soup looks really tasty!!

That guy must have been a pack rat. I hear that some people can't help it. It is a compulsion, and they simply HAVE to keep collecting stuff and storing it. Poor guy. That kind of clutter would make me go insane.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Jo and JD said...

I have been in some houses like you discribed. I remember my father always saying that the outside of your home reflects the inside. I found this to be very true. When I drive past a house like the one you have pictured, my mind conjours up all sorts of images for the inside.

That soup looks and sounds pretty darn good. I would love it if you would post the recipe.

Now your Amber Lance story so reminded me of conversations with my hubby. The difference being is he is the one trying to understand what I am saying. He has a hearing problem and doesn't hear exactly what I am saying. Some of the distortions he hears are hillarious. You might as well laugh at these situations, otherwise you would be crying all of the time.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Sandy said...

I had a relative who was like that and you couldn't hardly walk in her house. She was a pack rat and finally died. I always thought she was just messy and not a good house cleaner, but I've now read of an illness or maybe I should call it a compulsion to save everything and they're called, 'pack rats' and they can't help it.

Hot soup is sure good on a wintry cold night. It hits the spot.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Karen H. said...

Good Afternoon Rachel,
Oh my goodness, you just made me remember something. The town I was born in and raised in just 11 miles up the road from where I was, had a man that lived out by the town's cemetary. He was a CAT LOVER. And I do mean CAT LOVER. He had over 100 cats some people said. He lived alone. Well, one day when I was working as a disptacher at the town's police department, they had got a call that the man hadn't been seen or heard from in SEVERAL days. Well, the Chief of Police went out there to investigate. Oh gosh, I hope I can finishe this without puking. LOL. Come to find out, the man had died inside the house and all those cats had done started eating him. I know that is gross, but it's the truth. All the police officers and ambulance EMT's said it was just gross. Of course, they had to take pictures. They tried to show me some, but I couldn't stand to look at them. I knew I would get sick. It is a shame that some people live like that tho, but for some, it's all they have ever known. Your soup looks very good, but I'm like Cliff, I don't think I could eat it right now. You will have to post the recipe for us so we can try it. I bet it did taste good on a cold Winter's night. Take care my friend and have a great afternoon. May God Bless You and Yours.

Love & Hugs,
Karen H.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Gattina said...

I am really not what you call a "housewife" but this would be too much for me, geez, unbelievable !

3:59 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Yeah! This soup looks GREAT!

That house and the guy sound very depressing...! In a way, I can understand how things can get like that....In A Way...lol....But it is interesting that HE was very neat....
The house from the outside looks so dilapidated...And all the stuff you say is laying around in the yard, too!
Did you that 2 part Oprah on the woman who was a Hoarder? It was fascinating and I know have the seeds of that in me, as do many people....Things just get away from you...In her case, it was a real 'sickness'...i don't remember the exact numbers but they threw out something like 17 tons of stuff...(Maybe it was more???) Anyway, it was a HUGE HUGE amount! And what was left filled a Double Wearhouse....! I hope she repeats that 2 parter because it was very helpful to me in getting rid of a LOT of stuff!

10:04 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Rachel, how kind of you to take business to this man. Not many would have crossed the threshold once confronted with the obstacles. You are truly an adventurer and a loving person.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Wow Rachel, that soup looks yummm...

9:51 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

EEEWWW! to Karen H.'s story!

I have extracted a vow from my children that if I die first, they are not to allow their dad to become the weird guy living on the edge of town with a house full of stuff and dozens of cats. He does like his cats.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Donna said...

I have neighbors down the road whose house is that bad. And they built the house new, about fifteen years ago. She had me take care of her dog a few years back, and there was just a path through the junk in her house. Her porch is piled high, too.

I think people like that exist so I can look at the mess and think, "Maybe I'm not such a bad housekeeper after all!"

2:23 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Web Counter