The people who first lived in this house were aristocrats. Even their women were college educated and this in a day when girls around here got married and that was it. I remember hearing my uncle talk about them. He had had money himself and bought this house in 1962 and lived here six years. He knew stories. The Scotts were one of the first families in town to have a car. This house had what was then a two-car garage. Unheard of luxury in that day. All of the entries to the downstairs rooms are archways and the tile on the fireplace was imported from Italy. He knew that.
But there were other stories. He said that the Scott family once went out for a short drive. Had left half-full cups of coffee sitting on the table in the living room. Lights left on. They never came back, he said, and the house sat empty for years until all the legal work was done to clear the title for sale. The cups of coffee still there when the new buyers came in.
I don’t know what happened to them. I don’t know if I forgot or if my uncle never told me. I was not inquisitive when it came to that. But I still see signs that the Scott’s had a different view of life and that there are more stories to be told.
There are hedge lines that I have done all I could to erase. They may have been fashionable in the nineteen-thirties, but they block the view of drivers these days. I have mowed and plowed and poisoned them and they will not relent. It is as if the time of past glory will not completely let go; as if something has been left undone here. And every summer a single rose stem rises in one far corner of the back yard. One pink rose blooms. That’s it. Every summer. That single bloom, in the few days of its living, stares at me as if it had something to tell me. As if it had something to say.