Elbow Grease   13 comments

Elbow Grease


Sometimes, you just get lucky.

We were driving through a rural area and passed by an interesting place, so we wanted to turn around to check it out. Just before our turn out, we saw a man and woman approaching an old, abandoned house through a yard full of weeds and grasses. As we passed the house again, we noticed the woman standing on the porch.

The place we wanted to see was closed, so we turned back to our original route. As we approached the abandoned house once again, we saw the couple waving us down. Perhaps there was some sort of trouble.

The couple had seen us passing by for the third time and thought that we were ‘locals’ who were checking them out. As they told us later, “Everyone around here is related, so we thought it would be a good idea to let you know that this house belongs to our family.” Good information to have on both counts, I thought.

We heard their interesting story about how the man and his sister had been adopted by different families, and had only found each other recently after a 17 year search. The old house had belonged to the sister’s father, who passed away some time ago, leaving the house unoccupied.

Being the curious sort – and, of course, armed with a camera and tripod – I asked if I could poke around a bit. What had once been a beautiful old farm house was now collapsing in on itself. Along the front and sides, all of the doors and windows were blocked with plywood. Rats! (Um, not real rats. I just couldn’t see inside.) Around back, though, there was an old mud room door with no glass in the windows, just some loose cardboard that had seen better days.

“Would you mind if I just stuck my camera through this window?”, I asked. I find it never hurts to ask. “No problem.”

It was so dimly lit inside that I didn’t even know what was in there, and given the musty, moldy smell coming through, I wasn’t about to go inside. Apparently, it had been quite some time since the detergents and mops were used there.

The “skylight” is courtesy of last year’s Hurricane Irene, which had peeled back a significant portion of the tin roof. It’s a look.

It’s just a simple Rurex (Rural Exploration) composition – one not particularly noteworthy, at that – but it gave us the chance to stop along our route, do a little exploration, meet some interesting people, and then check for ticks.

Pete and Kelly, if you see this on the blog, please drop me a line at my email address. Thanks for letting us peek into the old place. It was a pleasure to meet you.

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13 responses to “Elbow Grease

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  1. Nice find! Superb processing.

  2. I like this!

  3. Nice shot, Rob. Enjoyed your story. Living in the “Irene” area, I can somewhat relate. I’m always looking for places to do rurex while driving from town to town in eastern NC. Any suggestions, let me know!

  4. What a find and the processing is outstanding Rob. Love it.

  5. Nicely done Rob!

  6. What a great story and super image Rob. Sometimes a little luck is all it takes but then you have to take advantage of it which you did.

  7. Fascinating back story. This shot is a real teaser. I feel as if I’m just peeping round the door. Stunning light.

  8. serindipity man. That’s awesome.

  9. What a great story man and an exceptional shot. I like the light coming through and your processing, it goes with the scene perfectly!

  10. Love the light and detail in this! Awesome shot and great story!

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