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The sad and lonely house on Route 28 in San Miguel, New Mexico

It was different when she was alive. The crazy lady from the Midwest whose favorite expression was , “You or your evil twin, Skippy” cared for that house with all the love in her huge heart. The yard was alive with her dogs, Cookie the goat, two egg-laying geese, and the colorful birds that flocked to her feeders. From early morning to the day’s end, she raked, pruned, trimmed, watered and cleaned. Her laughter was infectious and friends were always visiting.

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She had gone in for routine surgery when her appendix burst and she never really came home after that. She lingered, in and out of the hospital and short-term care facilities for almost two years. During that time, friends cared for the house and the pets, made sure the pecan trees were watered, and handled the harvest. She had always fretted over those trees, checking the new pecans, the growing pecans, the ripening pecans and finally, the harvested pecans.

Today, the house sits empty. The animals are gone and sadly, no one cares for her beloved trees which are drying in the drought. A daughter inherited the house and the mortgage but there are no people and no “for sale” sign. Even the neighbors who knew her best are not sure what’s happening – except that the trees are dying.