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26-DEC-2009 Jim Stiles


Withrow, Washington

This was the kitchen of this old abandoned farm house. Peering in through what was once a window at the now decaying kitchen on the back side made me think about the lives that once lived in this house, the meals that were prepared in this very room. This locale gets blistering hot in the summer and unspeakably cold in the winter with harsh winds blowing drifting snow and dark clouds of dust in the summer. Life here would have been quite difficult without the modern conveniences we now tend to take for granted as if they always have existed. Back then, air conditioning was opened windows and if lucky, the shade of a large tree. Insulation in the walls and ceilings would have been hanging something to block the drafts. Heating was restricted to the main living areas and bedrooms were heated with the warmth of your own body or other family members. Water was pumped from the well you dug near your house, and you hoped the well didn't run dry or the pump freeze up.

The kitchen looks like the last meal was served and no one thought to close the oven door when it was done. A tumble weed now sits in the doorway as if marking the place where dishes were hand washed and put away. Bird, bat, and rat droppings now cover every square inch of the floors and surfaces. The house will eventually collapse on itself, but the vestiges of family life continue to be apparent and life goes on.

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