June 2014

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32 BRAVA MAGAZINE | JUNE 2014 A HOME IMAGINED A STORY FOUND BY ANN GARVIN ILLUSTRATION BY ALISON MCDOLE I LISTEN FOR THE PEOPLE WHO COOKED AND CRIED AND UNWRAPPED GIFTS WITHIN ITS WALLS. THRIVE MUSE ON THE WINDING BACK ROADS not far from my town, an old stray dog-of- a-house slumbers in the center of the new spring bloom. As I drive up from a distance, I admire its stature and only see THEWORRIEDWEˬRWHEN*mMUPCLOSEŀ E yellow brick walls hold a roof, with a bit of a sway, and partially boarded windows that look, for all the world, like the hood- ed eyes of a sleeping hound. ŀ EGRˬVELGRINDSˬGˬINSTMYTIRESˬS* pull over to get a closer look. I imagine THEHOUSEINITSˬDOLESCENCE"LLǠVEBED ROOMS ǠLLED KIDS CLIMBING ITS BONES causing it to creak and shudder and hope for peace and quiet. Now, 30 years emp- ty, this house just looks homeless. No family, no home, it seems to sigh. I ache for this house like I do when I visit dog rescues or hear of families displaced. I think if I could just know this old hound's story, maybe it would stop haunting my thoughts, especially at night, when I lie in bed with rescue SCHEMESǠLLINGMYHEˬD Standing in the spring growth by the front door, I wish for a ghostly pres- ence, a peek into its past when the house wagged its metaphorical tail; happy, ǠLLEDˬNDWˬRMrˬTLEˬST*IMˬGINEITTHˬT way. But, maybe this old girl's history is LIKEITSPRESENTǠLLEDWITHNEGLECTˬND uncertainty. I listen for the people who cooked and cried and unwrapped gifts within its walls. I wait for a whine and when none comes I populate the house with my imagination—people, pets and problems, ˬNDǠNDˬHOMEFORTHEMINMYBOOKS I love old houses for the hope that nailed THEIR ǢOORBOˬRDS INTO PLˬCE SO MˬNY years ago, and still seems to live against all weather and rodent odds. But, I know that it's people that make a home and it's their stories that save them. Garvin's second novel, "The Dog Year," will be released this month by Berkeley—a Penguin imprint.

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