I’ve wanted to show you this abandoned boxcar for months now.
It sits all by itself on the side of a Louisiana highway. Abandoned. Alone. Lonely? Probably not.
I have never stopped to photograph it, though, not until now. I always drove past it on my way to town, and I imagined all sorts of gruesome scenarios that I won’t detail here.
Suffice it to say, I didn’t survive in any of the scenarios.
But Norm was with me on this trip to town. After he stopped at the dump to discard our weekly household detritus, I asked him to pass by (i.e., “stop at” in New Orleans vernacular) the boxcar. He knew exactly to which boxcar I was referring. I mean, there aren’t too many abandoned boxcars on Highway 34. Not that I’ve noticed anyway.
Norm smiled, rolled his eyes, and shook his head when I told him why I had never stopped before when he was not with me.
He gave me a knowing look – the one that says, “I do not in the least understand your thought process, wayward wife of mine. But I will indulge you yet again.”
His indulgence has led me down many roads I would not have had the courage to face alone…..
……like the path that led me to photograph this boxcar. He turned the nightmarish scenarios into a walk-in-the-park daydream. As I peeked into the doors and windows, I imagined who might have turned this place into a home, then left it there to be taken by nature. A family? A hobo of another era refusing to let go of the wandering life? A woman with a knack for carving space into a home?
I will never know the answers to those questions. But this I do know – I would never have imagined those questions if Norm had not been by my side to allow me to see the possibilities of this place rather than the horror.
But Norm has always done this for me. Happy Father’s Day to the man who gifts me with possibility, and who gave me that which I most wanted in life – a child.
This is a nice series of photos —- I like that you paid that old boxcar some attention. 🙂
I think that the boxcar liked the attention, too, Jo. 😉
I love how brave you are when you have your hero, Norm along for the ride! A nice Father’s Day tribute to your beloved, Stacy! I am with you, I would not have stopped at that place on my own, either. It’s just plain common sense, I think! But, having said that, I could imagine this little place all fixed up as a getaway cottage. It does look as if someone tried to give it some love, judging by the paint and all those sweet flowers growing around it. It sure does have a little story to tell….. xoxo
Yes, it does, indeed, have a story. I suppose it’s up to us to determine that! ❤
Love your story, Stacy! As soon as I saw the first photo, I just wanted to move right in and make it into a home; then as you went along, I realized someone had done that, just some time ago. I’ve always liked unusual spaces and imagined living in them. I think it would be so sweet, furnished as a simple pre-WWI cottage or as an A&C cottage. What fun I’d have, just fixing it up; and planting rambling roses to grow over it, too . . .
I’ve had those sorts of imaginings, too, so I know what you mean. But these days I do my best to turn them into delightful stories. I like Joanne’s story of the young Mum and her girls living there . . . Thanks for sharing (and happy Father’s Day to Norm!) ~ Linne
I’m learning (albeit slowly) how to think delightful stories instead of nightmares! ❤
What a lovely story leading up to a Father’s Day tribute to your dear Norm! For sure I would not have entered this boxcar on my own! But it made for some very interesting photos though and a great love letter!
Thank you for your kind words, Mariette! ❤
When I saw all the pink shades of paint around the boxcar, my senario was that a mother with young daughters lived there (then I read Kathy’s comment, saying it was the Boxcar Children!) That was the feeling I had too, that children had lived there.
I don’t imagine scary stories Stacy. Aren’t I lucky? My imagination had a lovely young mother there, who was down on her luck and who lived happily in the boxcar with her girls, reading them stories and brushing their hair, whilst singing songs together and making the most of what life was dishing out to them.
Happy Father’s Day to your Norm, Stacy, I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂
Thanks, Joanne! (Yes, you ARE lucky not to imagine such dark happenings in that charming place.) ❤
El Guapo said:
Looks like with a little love, it could be a beautiful home.
Glad Norm was there to come along and share it with you, and to give you the oomph to actually go!
I think it would be a cute little house. My mom would love it. ❤
It was the Boxcar children! They lived there. I know it! I can feel it in my bones. Have been reading through blogs today and thinking about the stories we tell ourselves, the scary ones and the happy ones and the bad ones and the painful ones. One scary story that keeps reappearing in my mind (since childhood) is the next car coming down the road contains kidnappers. Have learned to smile gently at this old-time story (most times) and wave at the neighbor who it often turns out to be. Lovely post, Stacy.
I’m glad Norm indulged me on this one – I love railroads because my grandmother’s house was next to the tracks and I have so many happy memories of trains. I just had to see this boxcar up close, but was too scared to do so by myself! ❤
Kathryn Wildgen said:
We have amazingly similar reactions to such. Loved this piece. Kate
I think railroads hold memories for more people than you’d ever know. I think Bay St. Louis has a lot to do with that for both of us. ❤
Janice Beal George said:
Stacy this story brought back wonderful memories for me. As you may or may not remember my father retired from the railroad. When I was a little girl we lived in one of these known as a Camp Car. This made us able to be with my father when his work took him away from home. The railroad converted box cars to camp cars for the workers to live in. In my Dad’s case he had he own Camp Car and could bring his family whenever possible until I started school. They even converted one as a kitchen to feed the “gang” members. Through this experience I got to make friends all along the MS/AL/FL line. Thank you for bringing back such wonderful memories of my father on this Father’s Day weekend!
That’s amazing, Janice – thanks for sharing that story. I had no idea about “camp cars.” What a fortunate girl you were – and I remember “Sweet Marion” fondly, too. ❤