Wind wedges its way between the boards, slowly deconstructing at a pace that could only be observed via time lapse imagery. A place where the roof was repaired with scrap tin lifts up, levitates for a few moments, and slams down in the breeze like a bad combover. Shards of glass and porcelain and square head nails and the remnants of a kettle litter the yard.
Was it a family that lived here? Did children grow up and fertilize their foundational memories in this eastern Idaho soil, sweating through hot, dry summers, shouldering the bitter winters with tough, rural stoicism? Did the children continue to think about the imprint of this place as they got on with their lives elsewhere?
Was it all harsh, toil and drudgery, or were there days when you could take in that view and feel the heart lift a bit from what was no doubt not an easy life?
Did they sometimes take an evening to stroll these fields in search of a few grouse for dinner, as I’m doing now? Did they venture into the high country not far from here in hopes of an elk to fill the winter larder?
These thoughts swirl around as my attention from the task at hand wanders and I explore the old house, testament to the existence of ghosts. But then I hear barking far in the distance, and a young GSP, who likely held a point as long as a revved-up two-year old pointer possibly can, is trying to leap in the air at three flushed sharpies, and he’s barking at me as much as he is at them, and rightly so.