I was home for Thanksgiving last week and while I was taking my dog for her daily sniff around our yard’s perimeter (she likes to circle the house slowly at least five times like she’s casing the joint) I realized that my house, to borrow a phrase from my radiant friend Grace, is Creepsville, USA. I mean, it’s not like, nightmarish, but it’s definitely a bit eerie. I live in a suburban New England town so everything already looks like it’s a set for a movie about how a haunted doll ripped a family apart. In the winter, though, with all the lifeless and leafless trees encircling every dwelling, the landscape gets severe in its level of Spook.
(“It’s so creepy, here. There are just so many trees. All the houses are so far apart. How do you live?” My California-born friend Lily said on her first visit to my town.)
I thought I’d do a little MTV Cribs-style tour of some of the creepy parts of my yard.
Look at this beautiful decrepit throne!!! My dad carved it out of a tree stump a few years back with a chainsaw (actually, it might be like 8 years ago? Is that still a few? We’re all dying, time isn’t real). At one time it was new and pristine (as new and pristine as a dead hunk of tree can be) but now it’s rotting and decaying and has weeds and mushrooms growing from it.
I love it. It’s a seat fit for the ghost of a 1950s housewife who just wants to SIT for a moment and get away from the kids and her nagging husband and the prying eyes of Barbara and Theresa. Her fondest memories are of the camping trips she took as a young lass in the New Hampshire forests.
But then she married Robert and they moved to the suburbs and the only greenery around was the carefully pruned shrubs in their yard and the one dollar a week Robert gave her to “treat herself to something nice.” She always spent it on treats for the children because she felt too guilty to spend a whole dollar on herself. Robert refused to go to the wilderness with her. Not even for a hike! Now, in the quiet afterlife, she finally gets a moment’s rest on the decaying tree stump throne. She deserves it.
(Ok I couldn’t get a good picture of this one so I’ll have to use the ancient art of words to try to convey the Creep.) My parents planted some beautiful flora in these planter boxes this summer. (The boxes are the only thing my mom has ever bought from QVC despite it making up 90% of what she watches. The other 10% is made up of Dancing with the Stars and true crime stories.)
As you can see, one of the flowers lasted, the other did not. This bony claw of a dead plant has been sitting in this box for months, looming over the lively pink flowers. I like how precariously the leaf carcasses are holding on– they look like ornaments on a Christmas tree decorated by a bitter gnome. He still participates in the holiday festivities in his own grotesque way.
My dad acquired the white porcelain cat, seen on the bottom lefthand corner, in the mysterious way dads acquire things (or maybe that’s just my dad) about 13+ years ago. He was going to give it away but I begged him to keep it. (Who knows why. Maybe a spirit trapped inside the cat compelled me to? More likely: I liked it because it looked like Duchess from The Aristocats.) He did keep it and it’s been in our yard, staring dead-eyed into our house, ever since.
My dad also made this tree stump table, surrounded by tree stump stools. We have a lot of left over tree stumps, apparently? Adorn your life with dead tree parts, ladies!!!!!!!!!! It won’t help you get over the fact that Steven left you but it sure will look swell :^)
It’s kind of messed up we put this decorative tree stump table on the edge of a living forest. Look at what you will become, trees. Look and see. The bell tolls for thee. And when it does, you too shall become strictly ornamental.
(I was going to say I hope the trees take revenge and use me as a lawn ornament when I’m dead but they’re going to do one better and use my rotting body as FOOD for their hungry roots!!!!!!! The ultimate scheme.)
Look at this creepy pile of rusty metal, broken glass and other assorted threatening things my dad has found in our yard over the years. He’s also found a bunch of old-timey glass medicine bottles. Intrigue.
Why is all of this just sitting there? Why haven’t we disposed of it yet? What…. is…..it?
This creepy little alcove is my dog’s favorite part of our yard. She always drags me to the top of it and I hate it!!!!! She traipses around in the leaves and every time I’m just hoping she doesn’t stumble across a corpse. So far, so good. That wooden thing at the top of the dirt path is our old sandbox that’s now decaying. We truly love rotting matter in our family.
This is on the side of the mossy alcove. I only noticed that cement platform a few months ago when my dog was sniffing it. Why is it there!!!!! And directly in front of it is a tree that was hit by lightning. A perfect sacrificial spot, if you were looking for one. Maybe I should I list it on Airbnb?
I will end with this bird house that has never housed a bird in its life. It’s a bit too old and weathered for that now. It should live out its final years in peaceful solitude. I like that the opening looks like a grandma’s gums without dentures. How quaint.
I hope you enjoyed (?) this overview of some of the eerie spots in my yard! I will leave you with this baby shiba inu who loves to high five. What an angel.