This house has fascinated me for years. Whenever I’m stuck at the turn signal on Haskell I contemplate the desperation required to live there, and wonder what phraseology realtors used to sell it: Close to transportation. Your own private cul-de-sac. No need to worry about the neighbors. Priced to move. Just don’t open the windows. Here’s what’s really amazing. Unlike other homes tragically located next to a freeway, this one arrived in 1966, post construction. Some enterprising person saw this postage stamp of dirt with cars blowing past at 80 mph, and said to himself, the price is right, and dropped a pre-fabricated Lake Tahoe ski chalet down from a crane and declared himself a homesteader. Who knows? Maybe it was a swinging bachelor pad/place of assignation for the hearing impaired back in the 1970’s. There’s even an upstairs balcony in the back if one wants an unobstructed view of all ten lanes and the tactile thrill of 18-wheeler backdraft whipping your pantleg as you grill carne asada.
Woody moved in the day we closed on the house. Just jumped the fence and walked through the front door and hopped on the bed and made himself a member of the family. He’s been with us ever since. He’s fifteen now, and naps more than he used to, but never says no to kibble or rides in the car. He likes sunbaths in the backyard and sleeping spine to spine on the big bed. I like to pretend the unspeakable will never come to pass, but it will. Life is about coming to terms with loss. I’m grateful for the 12 years we’ve had with him.