She stood abandoned, along the shore and across the lake from where we vacationed every summer. She had been sitting there, alone, for a very long time. No one seemed to know much about her but there were rumors of a murder and of ghosts. Urban legends spring easily from places such as this so I didn’t put much stock in any of those stories. Over the years we tried to find a road leading to the house but it seemed to have vanished just like everything else in her life. I had to settle for simply seeing her across the lake. Years passed and we fell into an easy friendship. She was the first thing I said hello to when arriving each summer and the last goodbye before heading out of town. “See you next year” I’d shout in her direction. More than anything I wanted her to know that she wasn’t alone. That she was loved. Three years ago things started to change on that side of the lake. First, the land was cleared and then came the obnoxious mini mansions but, with those horrible blemishes came a road. And with that road access to my sad and lonely lake house. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, but the time I had I will never forget. The following year she was torn down to make way for a boat ramp for the mansions on the hill.
Paula Smith is a photographer who resides in Washington State. Over the past few years, Paula has taken great joy in exposing the subtle beauty of abandoned structures and bringing to light the true worth of places that are often overlooked. Paula believes that every picture tells a story, and hopes that her photographs inspire others to see the value in that which has been discarded and forgotten.
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