The double wooden doors take some pulling but they do come open on complaining hinges. Inside is a rotting old couch, a 1950s wooden high chair, modern plastic Disney toys, and a 12-candle platter like an altar in the middle. Several pages of scribbles from a little girl named Helen, who wrote the word MUSIC several times in large childish lettering.
Then in a tiny controlled handwriting corner of the back of the page, “And now I know.”
Underneath the cottage, entered from the back side built into a steep hill is a deep, cold root cellar. The ceiling is so high it’s possible tractors could be stored inside. But the door is tiny and the room not quite large enough. I have trouble imagining crates of root vegetables stored 15 feet up, or anything for that matter that would be small enough to fit through the door. But it’s cool down there even in August, and with the sun starting to set, I can imagine what it would feel like in the dark.
It’s going to be torn down, along with the other structures on the site and most of the trees, all in the way of the townhouses that will sit on these 13 acres in a few years. And I’ll never know what she knew.