Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
It’s the mantra of procrastinators around the world.
Wait … let’s get one thing straight. When it comes to work and writing, I don’t miss a deadline. I stare that stone-cold bitch in the eyes and I turn her into a whimpering pile of tears.
But for the last couple of years, I’ve been saying to myself , ‘self, you gotta get back to Lomond and shoot that beautiful yellow farmhouse again.’
I spied the abandoned farmstead from the 531 on a February trip through Vulcan County in 2010. The faded yellow paint was still bright enough to stand out on the prairie hill but the dark holes of smashed-out windows gave away its abandoned state.
I didn’t get a great shot of the house, instead silhouetting it against the brilliant winter sun.
I explored the inside of the house, finding little artifacts left behind.
I promised to return during the summer, hoping for easier access than the knee-high snow Shep and I trudged through.
I didn’t go.
I thought of the yellow farmhouse often, mentally penciling in a visit every time I added a better piece of equipment to my photographic arsenal.
I didn’t go.
Life gets in the way. Other abandoned areas beckon. Trips back and forth to Spokane took up my travel time.
And then I learned I was too late.
My shooting friend Dan drove through the area last weekend on his way to Retlaw. I advised him to watch for the farmhouse the next time he drove through.
It sparked in me a need to hit the road. I started planning my trip last night, starting with the ‘cute little church’ Dan said he found in Gladys and running through Milo, Lomond and Blackie.
My heart fell when I landed on a post on Ghost Towns Canada.
The farmhouse was gone … a smouldering pile of ashes.
OK, don’t give up, I thought. The foundation may still be there, giving the property yet another level of eerie abandonment.
I passed by Lomond and I mentally kept my fingers crossed, hoping something would be there.
A new house.
Aye. The old barn still stands.
And the old GMC truck still sits rusting in the hay field.
If it’s possible for ‘new’ and ‘progress’ to tarnish, though, it happened today.
There’s a little less mystique about the property, with the spot where the old farmhouse stood fully bulldozed and covered in fresh gravel.
There’s a little less intrigue as the ghosts of the past seemed to have been whisked away by the future.
And there’s a lesson to be had.
Ghost towns and abandoned buildings have a deadline.
They just don’t tell us what it is.