Leslie Muir has always sought to venture where no one has tread for long, long decades. She is drawn to abandoned and forgotten places, where the silence holds a story.
“Behind every door there is a story. Every room and every object has something to say,” said Muir.
Muir is also a photographer, intent on capturing the tales of these once-beautiful, hauntingly dilapidated places.
“Anytime I go to an abandoned house there’s still an energy, there’s still a story that’s told, and you can feel it the minute you step onto the driveway,” Muir said.
“That’s the beauty of it—the beauty is the unknown.”
Muir lives in Ontario, Canada, and between home and work there is an abandoned house she had never explored despite seeing it nearly every day.
The front yard was unruly and overgrown, the house was in disrepair with the roof caving in, there was no sign, things looked broken.
“Any sign that you saw would have led you to believe it was an abandoned home.”
The house that stole my heart – this is the exterior of my new friends home. Tonight we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful evening. He explained to me how his injuries started in 2000 when a bull fractured his hip. He told me of his brothers illness and how they have lost touch. He said I was a blessing to him. I told him I couldn't put into words what he means to me. #abandoned #thetourist #lost_souls #new_friends
For some reason, today she stopped.
She made a U-turn and pulled the car up to the house, then made her way in.
As she pushed open the door, she got the shock of her life.
She expected the deadened silence of untold stories you find in homes that have not been lived in for years.
Instead, she heard the sounds of the radio, and a timid “hello.”
This is Lawrence. He lives in a house I had believed to be abandoned. The driveway is overgrown, the roof is caving in and the interior would lead anyone to believe this land had been deserted. I found him in the living room. He has a hard time getting around so he spends most of his time in there. Alone. He is missing his right eye and has cataracts infecting the left. Even after noticing a stranger essentially helping themselves to his life he was nothing but sweet and kind to me. He was even nice enough to let me take his picture which I will always treasure. He is a beautiful soul and I plan on visiting him a lot. I'm posting this picture in hopes that it will inspire at least one person to reach out to someone they may have lost contact with or perhaps just forgot about. These old souls are still full of life and I feel blessed to have met this one. #abandoned #thetourist #lost_souls #new_friends
And this was the face that greeted her.
Muir quickly learned that this was not abandoned, this was Lawrence’s home.
The elderly man had a fractured hip and only one eye. “He looked tired, he looked lonely,” Muir said. “He was in pretty rough shape.” Much like the house.
So she stayed.
Tonight was the first of what will be many dinner dates with my new friend. Over the course of 3 hours we ate and drank and laughed. I was fortunate enough to hear about his life.. His struggles and his triumphs. This truly was one of the best experiences of my life & I can't wait to share another meal with such a gentle soul. #abandoned #thetourist #lost_souls #new_friends #twistedtea @twistedtea
“I thought this was a chance to be here for someone who needed it.”
Muir ended up spending a long time there that evening, deep in conversation with Lawrence, and learned all about his life. Over the course of three hours they laughed and drank and shared life experiences—triumphs and struggles and all—and truly became friends.
“He is THE kindest man,” Muir wrote after the conversation.
“I found him in the living room. He has a hard time getting around so he spends most of his time in there. Alone. He is missing his right eye and has cataracts infecting the left.”
“Even after noticing a stranger essentially helping themselves to his life he was nothing but sweet and kind to me. He was even nice enough to let me take his picture which I will always treasure.”
“He is a beautiful soul and I plan on visiting him a lot. I’m posting this picture in hopes that it will inspire at least one person to reach out to someone they may have lost contact with or perhaps just forgot about. These old souls are still full of life and I feel blessed to have met this one.”
What started as an effort to be there for someone very quickly turned into a genuine friendship.
“He has melted my heart. I brought him some chilli and tea biscuits and some snacks for the next few days until I can make it back later this week. I hope to have most of the trash cleared out and a few repairs done by the end of the summer. Give him a bit of his home back 🙂
“Lawerence wanted to wish all of his American friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving 🙂 xoxo ”
“Another great evening spent with this guy, listening to our friend @rculciar play the piano for us ❤ .”
“I have always been a loner,” Lawrence said. “She brightened up my life. Still does.”
“She’s just a really good friend. A really good young friend,” he said.
Muir said befriending Lawrence taught her to realize what is really important in life.
“People take pictures of what they care about, of what they’re proud of, of what they want to remember. Nobody takes a picture of something they want to forget—so I try to take his picture as often as possible now,” Muir said.
Since Muir has started posting photos of Lawrence on Instagram, many people wish him well through messages and fondly look forward to updates.
Well it's been a while since I've posted anything about this handsome fella so I figured I'd give everyone following his story an update. After a prolonged stay at two different hospitals after his last stroke, Lawrence is now living at a local retirement home and doing much better. He's safe and warm and seems to be fairly happy to be around some new people, although I know he misses home. I bring my dog Violet with me when I go for my visits, and she has now become a favourite around the home and she seems to enjoy herself thoroughly (indulging in yet another cookie as seen above). His birthday is coming up shortly (Valentines day) and we can't wait to celebrate with him, properly… With less pastry for the puppy. 🎂🎉🚫🐶 #thetourist
“He’s very happy to have some new friends following his story and his smile grew with each kind post I read to him,” Muir wrote. “We both thank you for your beautiful words and thoughts and will post updates regularly for those who are following his story.”
Watch their story below: