I wish Virginia Lee Burton could see this

Our new home was not the first home built on this property.  Ours was built around 1960 by a man who grew up in this little yellow house that still stands (just barely) in the woods behind us.

Anyone who knows me would realize that if I think an old house is too far gone to save, it must be in truly terrible condition.  And this one is.  The roof has collapsed in the back, and some of the floors have too.  Vagrants have definitely sheltered in it.  It’s dangerous, and it has to come down.  So yesterday the preparation for its demolition began.  Heavy machinery arrived.  Parts of the house have already been knocked down.

The plan is to haul some of it away and then bulldoze the rest right into its grave, a big hole dug for the occasion.  So now we have an awesome big hole, which one of my children could not resist going down into, thereby tracking red clay all over the house.

The hole and the bulldozer (IS it a bulldozer?  Or a backhoe? I don’t know the difference.) put me in mind of Virginia Lee Burton‘s classic, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel.  And then I realized that our yellow house is something like the one in The Little House, her Caldecott Medal winner that my kids used to love me to read to them.  It didn’t fall prey to urban development, however, but to suburban.  Its original owners left the land to their kids, one of whom sold her portion, while the other built our split-level.  All around where we live, more little houses and their acreage are being taken over by developers as their original owners die.  Here’s the view from the little house’s yard:
See the roof of the Villas at Forest Brook through the trees?  Walking to the edge of the property, you see this:
They say you can’t stop progress, right?  Anyway, some time this weekend, The Little House and Mike Mulligan’s Steam Shovel are going to have a confrontation.  And the house is going to lose.

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