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 Family Portraits
by Richard Stanford
One day, or night, someone in each of these farmhouses sealed the windows, closed the curtains, looked around the empty rooms, stepped out the front door and locked it shut.   They turned and walked away, leaving behind the laughter of ghosts and the memories of birthdays, funerals, Easters and Christmases.

Their reasons for leaving may have been dramatic or mundane – maybe nothing more than moving down the road to a more modern farmhouse.  It may also have been bankruptcy or death.  Whatever their reasons were, the home they left behind is a frozen moment in the life of that family – a portrait of the moment of departure.

Unlike abandoned homes in the city that quickly become victims of the wrecking-ball, farmhouses are left as a testament to the endurance, labours, and memories of the families who worked the land.  Not only have the homes been left to stand but in some cases someone returns regularly to mow the lawn.  This seems to be not only an attempt to ward off Nature’s advances but also as a sign of respect.  They thus become both an abandoned farmhouse and a monument.

Whether they are out in the middle of a field or aside a highway that was not meant to be or at the end of a dirt road or surrounded by woodlot, silent and alone, they are now and forever human constructions abandoned to the indifference of Nature.

 Makrinitsa, Pilion Greece 03 by Richard Stanford

By Smaro Moschidou Chrissafi

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