Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dad and the Pecan Tree

     The last time I saw my Grandparent's house I was 10 years old.  It was the summer my Grandmother died.  We spent 2 months with her before she passed.  She loved to read and travel, like me.  I was in awe of her.  She was elegant, but never pretentious.  She was intelligent, but never intimidating.  She was amazing.
    So was this house.  Once I got used to the train than ran through my bedroom every 30 minutes in the middle of the night, I fell in love with the house.  Seriously, there was a train track that ran next to the house and the first night I kept dreaming that I was sleeping between the tracks.



     You may not know to look at it, but the house was beautiful inside, grand antiques and large windows. As long as it's been, I remember so much about the house.  I remember the cubby under the stairs, the metal doorknobs, the tall shelves in the office, and the big beautiful fire place mantle.  At the age of 10, I was an old house junkie...  It's never just been about decorating.  The structure of an old house fascinates me. Every architectural detail, nail hole, and floor scuff tells a story of the life it's seen.
     It was the only home my dad knew as a child.  His memories are plentiful and I'm grateful.  One of my favorite stories is the one he tells that always starts the same way ....
   
     ...."There use to be a huge pecan tree at the back edge of the car port where I'd climb up, walk across the roof and into my bedroom window. Once when I was caught racing with Mike Madox by the highway patrol I was grounded for two weeks. My dad told me to be home at midnight when he finally gave me my car back. I was dating a girl from Eustis at the time and I remember dropping her off RIGHT at midnight and racing home. I was on the Fruitland Park road and when I crossed the county line the law was waiting.  I had a real good lead so I floored my '70 Dodge Challenger. I made it to our 20 acre field and pulled in under the tree limbs, far back.  As I waited, I noticed a glint of chrome in the moon light where the patrolman had turned in on our property(lights off) and was waiting for me to go by on the main road.  So, now I'm stuck waiting for him to leave and I fell asleep. When I woke up, at 2:00am, he was still there!  I rolled down my window, so the interior light wouldn't come on and ran to my house- up the tree and safely into my bedroom. The next morning my dad woke me up asking where my car was. I said it was at Jamie Summers house, who lived a couple blocks from me, because it wouldn't start. Dad told me to get dresses and let's go see what was wrong with it. I asked if I could go over and try to start it and if I couldn't, I'd call him. He said OK. Whew..."
   
     I wish I could have spent more time in this house, with my Grandparents.  There was so much more to learn...
   

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

He told us this story too...it was great! He smiled the whole time he was telling it lol......I love old houses too....

Anita Kay said...

Thanks for reading and commenting :)