It stands by itself, the turn-of-the-century Florida cracker house with green shutters and a tin roof.
It was the home of Laura Riding Jackson, a widely-published poet, short-story writer, novelist, essayist, and critic.
Jackson lived in Wabasso, a tiny settlement north of me, in a typical old ‘cracker house’, a style named for the cracks of the local cattle herders’ whips.
The house had no electricity, so Laura used kerosene lamps and got water from an artesian well that she deemed “rather stinky.” And then there were the brushfires, snakes, sand flies, and prickly burrs. Not a high maintenance gal, that one.
Laura and her husband Schuyler worked on a major project here, a comprehensive dictionary they started in the 1960’s, which evolved into a treatise on the deeper meaning of words and language, Rational Meaning: A New Foundation for the Definition of Words.
The house finally got electricity in 1991 when Laura’s caregivers threatened to leave because they were unable to run her medical equipment. The indomitable Laura was 90 at the time.
This simple cracker house in Indian County is where Laura found peace, a place where she could be “left alone to be, left alone to do.”
Is the kind of place you are longing for?