This picture looks all shadowy because I took it on my cell phone, but the history of the house is shadowy too so I'll say my bad photography skills (maybe bad art skills too) are symbolic here.
In 1856, my great-great-great grandma sailed on a steamer from England, rode on a train to the Midwest, pulled a handcart to the Rocky Mountains, and is rumored to have moved into this house, which was just a log cabin at the time. My grandpa was raised in the same tiny house along with six siblings. One of his sisters, Helen, had to live in a chicken coop in the backyard to quarantine from the family when she got tuberculosis.
A few years ago, the little family homestead came up for sale and a real estate agent friend offered to show the six remaining siblings around. I followed them from room to empty room and wondered why the air felt so thick, almost like the place were still packed with boisterous teenagers and a million grandkids opening Grandma's handmade knitted Christmas gifts.