This are two foreclosed homes on our block, down from three. Will County has had one of the highest rates of foreclosures in the state, and Bolingbrook has been one of the epicenters.

Some foreclosed homes are kept up well, but this one was pretty neglected. The front door looked like something out of a war zone:

That screen door couldn’t stay shut by itself. The yard was raggedy. Eyesore central.

There’s something painful about an obviously empty house, even when it’s not an eyesore like this. It’s like a corpse –  physical evidence of what used to be a whole life. And, of course, you wonder about the story of the foreclosure. Was the owner foolish? Too hopeful? Or did they lose their job or have a family emergency? Whatever the story, you know there’s heartbreak there. On your block, you can have two, three or four two-story memorials to heartbreak that you drive by every day. And maybe more around the corner.

So many human crises happen behind closed doors. Foreclosure isn’t like that.

But that particular house has been fixed up recently. Some guys showed up with a dumpster for a few days, although I never saw what they tossed into it. Broken appliances? I never had the guts to peek in the windows to see what kind of condition the interior was in.

But now the lawn is mowed and the door is cleaned up. The shaggy bushes got trimmed. The screen door stays closed. Now the outdoor lights are always on, which is a bit ghostly but probably intended to make it looked lived in.

Still, the local newspaper, which everybody gets free, collects in the driveway…

It’s not for sale, yet. Just standing empty for now. Lights on.