Thursday, February 21

The Grow House



I live on a quiet little suburban street in Vancouver, Washington. It’s a nice street lined with ranch style homes circa 1970. We live a block away from a baseball park, softball fields, and running trails lined by woods.  Most of the homes on our street our retired couples and young families. We’re somewhere in the middle.

There was once a house for sale five houses away from us. It’s another nice little ranch home. It was for sale for quite a while—I think it was a bank foreclosure. Then one day, the sign went down and people appeared. A couple actually, probably in their late forties or early fifties.

I think they may have moved some furniture in, but not much. The woman planted some annuals around the mailbox.

And then they disappeared. The people, not the flowers. We never saw them. Never saw any signs of them. No lights. No cars. No garbage.

But, just when we thought the house was going to be repossessed another time, one of the couple would show up. A blue car in the driveway. The recycling bin at the street.

But then weeks would go by and nothing. Kristen was the first one to speculate. “Mom,” she said quite seriously. “I think that house might be a grow house.” Me, being me, answered, “What's a grow house?”

See, Kristen watched Weeds. I did not. So, she knew all the signs of a grow house. The dark curtains in the window, the blinds always down. The boarded-up patio—yes, they have board barriers surrounding their patio.Look closely in the picture to your left.

Each time I pass the house—several times a day sometimes as it is on the way to the main road—I look for signs of life. At Thanksgiving someone hung a wreath on the door. In early December they put up Christmas lights but only turned them on once or twice. “Why go to all that trouble and not put them on a timer?” Kristen wanted to know. Why put them up at all, I wanted to know.

I personally think it might be a “tryst” house. That the couple is stuck in loveless marriages and can only get away at random times to place “home” with each other.

Or maybe that they have children who can’t go out in the sunlight.

Or maybe, Kristen’s right, it’s a grow house. Whatever it is, it’s sure provided us with ample speculation and isn’t that where all good stories begin?




13 comments:

  1. Great post!
    About a year ago, B's little cat went missing. We got a tip he'd shown up in an empty house a couple miles away. We went to check it out. That house gave me the willies to no end. Something bad happened there...I know it. It was torn down last summer, and I'm glad.

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    1. I grew up next to a house like that. After a while it was abandoned and we'd go inside or down into the basement looking for well, whatever we could find. There was strength in numbers plus we were pretty much fearless and stupid at that age.

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  2. It is a great post. Now I'm worried about if it really is a grow house, what's it going to do to your neighborhood. I've never had a place give me the willies, though I've seen houses I thought were sad places.

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    1. The neighborhood seems to be fine so far. And since Washington legalized pot last year, you could be talking about our entire state :)

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  3. Oh, that would be a great story beginning. I like the Tryst House idea, myself...

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    1. LOL. I kind of picture something like, "Same Time, Next Year" when I think about that angle.

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  4. Hmm. Could this be the beginning of another story? I'm with Kristi. I like the trust idea.

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  5. I hate auto-correct. That was supposed to be tryst

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  6. Although by writing this blog today, I may have ventured into stalker territory. I stopped on my way home from B&N to take the two pictures of the house. I hope nobody was watching...

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  7. My vote is with tryst, too, and I didn't know pot was legal there --ya learn something new every day! :-)

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    1. Yeah--I'm not really sure what exactly the legalization rules are. I think it's like you can have an ounce on you. I'm not sure about growing, selling, etc. I don't know if the state has figured out all the kinks yet. It's also legal in Colorado.

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  8. I'd like it to be a tryst house, but as a former prosecutor, I'd call the police.

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