shoulder them off their foundations. Next to go is the roof, piece by piece of rusting tin, first lifted and loosened, then flying right away in the hurricanes. Finally the rains soak the wood and, helped along by the termites and sow bugs, the millipedes and carpenter ants, they turn to dust and disappear into the earth.
The old Southern mansion is and was the lone home for miles around. It is surrounded by protected wetlands, pine forests, and old rice fields near the Santee River.
It's easy to imagine evenings and Sunday afternoons on this porch, sipping sweet tea and watching the cars on the highway that runs up the coast from Florida to Maine, US. 17. I wonder if the rooms upstairs might have been used as lodging for travelers in those days gone by.