Back in the day (activate nostalgic reminiscence mode). Many moons before an infinite plethora of streaming services allowed you to watch any and everything. Any and everywhere all at once.

Before wireless networks. Backwards past when anything was “on demand”. Even beyond when “basic cable” was just a bunch of metal fibers braided together.

When having a “remote control” meant having a kid that’d sit too close to the screen and manually changed the channel. When channel surfing meant how fast they could turn a dial. All 12 channels in seconds…13 if you could wiggle the ‘tenna just right.

Then, on slow Saturday afternoons. When bowls of sugar-bombed cereal had been consumed and the Saturday morning cartoon line-up was done. Many drifted over to watch Bob Ross paint or Bob Villa restore. They are not related even though they are both named Bob.

Oft “happy little clouds” gave way to belt sander and jigsaws. As always smiling Bob Villa worked on “This Old House” from 1979 to 1989. Bob and his crew renovated old homes and instructed on basic home improvements. This Old House was interesting and educational. And has jack squat to do with…THAT old house.

“Are you okay?” Lil Red (my petite sweet) asks, a worried look in her eyes. As her little fingers massage my lower back. Regrettably I’ll live. My love do not grieve, for I believe in Aleve (triple rhyme word score). That’s a cute rhyme but only that one time. Because there’s nothing poetic in my soul at the moment. Staring vindictively across at my newest nemesis.                    

When the now known and renowned (at least by myself) Farm o’Saw was acquired, it came with several structures on the property. Aside from the modest 3-bedroom, brick, ranch-style called home, there were two prominent buildings. Prominent in the sense that they were there and there was nothing to be done about it.

The first and larger of the two, is a chicken house/barn. Even before taking possession the procession of something akin to renovation has been in process. Painstakingly done using recycled and found materials- hey budget. But it has promise to be useful when complete.

The other… is THAT old house. An all wood, depression era structure that, one can be assured, is rich in history. A history which most have forgotten and those who haven’t don’t care.

At first glance, one might assume the house has potential. At a closer glance, one realizes their first glance was stupid. What’s left of the original paint remains baked into graying board by weather and time. The windows, save one, are busted out and boarded up. The back porch is a rotting potholed death trap. And the roof, as well as the house itself, has begun to sag in the middle.

Initially the plan was to bulldoze it and pretend like it never happened. This was thwarted by life, which so oft gets in the way. And a stupid idea…mine, that the fireplace and chimney were still sound and could be salvaged to use as a little outdoor cooking area thingie. This would mean taking the place apart piece…by piece. And before tackling the outside the inside would have to be conquered.

The inside (shudder). With its sinking floors and falling ceiling. Peeled paneling and disintegrating drywall. To add to the effect, a tree limb has plunged missile like through the roof. The hole on the outside- not so bad, on the inside it looks like the backside of a gunshot wound.

Tread carefully, so as not to alert the current residents of our intentions and their impending eviction. A family of rabbits, nest of yellow jackets, variety of spiders, brood of skunks, a crotchy ground hog and what looks to be an opossum… he never made it out.

How bad can it be though? Me thinks whilst wandering within the rotting walls. And it is with that distracted thought that a foot goes through the rotted floor and a back muscle suffers.

Now, if time allowed, we could prattle on about safety and why you shouldn’t wander about abandoned unstable structures. But it doesn’t and we won’t. Instead we close with a message to THAT house- “You’re going down!” When this prints, I shall post a copy to the old house’s address as fair warning.

I welcome almost all questions, comments via through the Focus, or E-mail me at [email protected]. Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused! See ya.