🎋The Vacancy🎋… by JoAnn

A door with a sign that says " closed ".

Driving home this evening, I went my normal way through a scenic back road. As usual, I noticed several vacant houses. Houses that used to be homes. In the 30 years I have been in and out of this small town, I have seen many homes become empty houses. It always saddens me.

This being a farming community, new homes are not built very often. Most are older, humble homes built anywhere from the early 1900s to the 70s. It’s rare to find a home newer than that in this town. Much to my dislike, many of the older homes seem to die when their elderly owners pass on. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing an empty house slowly caving in because no life is left inside. The family that built it and lived there was the heartbeat that kept it going. Today I passed three houses on one road that are quickly becoming unlivable because they are vacant and not being cared for.

I remember a time when it would have been a dream come true to have my own home. A house that I could love and care for. I know hundreds of people in my town alone have the same dream. What a shame they cannot save one of these houses instead of it slowly rotting away from neglect. Call me crazy, but if I had an empty house and no one to live there, I would rather give it away for FREE than hang on to it as it dies. If I had no use for the property, it would be given to a young couple that needed a break. Or an older retired couple that had never owned their own home before. I would freely give it in good faith and love every minute of doing so!

SO many people in the United States are homeless or home insecure. They worry from month to month if they will have a roof over their heads. I know of at least three parents with young children who cannot find reasonably priced rentals. What a shame the houses I saw today could not have been offered to those families. Instead, they remain vacant and slowly rot.

I have known the blessing of having a home of my own. I am blessed in my senior years with a place where I enjoy and feel safe. Almost everyone deserves that. Other than standing on my soap box for a few minutes online, I don’t know what else to do to make a difference. I don’t have the money to buy up these vacant houses and give them away. But what a vision that would be. Maybe if more people notice it the way I have, something will get done about it. I’ll keep hoping. Until then, I’ll continue to count the vacancy signs.