It's cloudy outside. The world is delineated in every detail. Every little shadow and line is accented sharply by the ominous thunder rumbling across the belly of the sky. The bits of color in the flowers reach but cannot leave much of a mark on the pervading gloom. The inside of the house is warm and well-lit, peaceful and serene. The laughter of carefree children echoes down through the centuries of its wooden frame. Hospitable, smelling of a home-cooked meal, one gazes through the glowing panes of glass and can only conjure memories of rustling skirts covered by wide aprons, full-chested mothers sweeping and elbow-deep in dough, scolding their children and wiping away their tears. The house now stands abandoned and empty, only dust and cobwebs covering the windows. Long ago and far away, I recognized the nostalgia of the times that came before as I look down the neon street, the first drops starting to hurtle down from the dark heavens above.