Flowers on the Roof

I love everything about this.

Excerpted from Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor, ©1985:

Then one day Leon announced that he was leaving home, at the age of 62. Roman had dreams at night in which he rounded up pigs who were loose in the corn, and they kept Leon awake. So he went over the hill and made him a sod house in the meadow. Dug down six feet and put up walls of turf blocks and laid old lumber across the top and laid on a sod roof, and he moved in with his books and bed and a woodstove. “My brother who lives in the dirt,” Roman said, but he was lonely without him and came down in the evening with Leon’s hot supper in a pie tin.

Leon didn’t lack for visitors the last few years. He planted flowers on the roof, which bloomed beautifully in the summer and also in the winter, germinated by the heat of the stove. People drove out to see it, a patch of bright colors in the snow, and dropped in to see him. He climbed out of bed, marked his place in the book, snipped off some roots from his ceiling, and boiled up tea. He died in a bed full of books, with an encyclopedia on his chest, opened to a page of pictures of flowers.

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