During the two hours I drew, I was passed only two times. Both were by pick-up trucks, which is fitting for this back road in rural central New Hampshire. It was the second truck that stopped, rolled down the window, and asked if I was drawing the old empty house, and asked for a look.
They're lucky to have caught me outside. For the second hour of drawing (which was my second session that day) I spent a good deal of time in the car with the heat on. That first session, in the morning, I just stood outside and drew, in below-freezing temperatures with a shivering hand. My car was parked on the other side of the road.
Coming back warm after lunch to draw some more, I was sure to park my car where I had stood before. I was now facing the wrong way for driving, but the right way for drawing. I only stood out in the icy winds for a few minutes, to see over the big pile of plowed snow. Drawing behind the wheel of the car was too low to match my earlier standing perspective.
The bearded man behind the wheel of the pick-up had a big smile. His more stoic wife said her mother grew up in the house. I asked how old the place was, but they didn't know for sure. “A couple-a-hundred yeeaahs.” The accent was as authentic as the worn siding on the little barn before me.
I asked if anyone lives there anymore. The wife said “No, just in the summah.” The man smiled wide and told me he replaced the roof this year. I told them the house is great and that I'd give them a copy of the drawing next time I was in the area. The man seemed thrilled. The woman said “Okay.”
"We live in the log cabin up the way, right up the hill,” said the man.
I said I'd put it in their mailbox someday. And I will. I know I'll be back, because my in-laws own a beautiful house on a nearby lake. That's what brought me to the area on this freezing weekend. I'd be back in summer, for sure.
The only problem is that when I drove off, up the hill, I found not one, but two log cabins up ahead, both with pick-up trucks in the driveway. Both with smoking chimneys. Looks like I’ll be making two copies of the drawing.