Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering "The Building"

For some reason, perhaps because I've been reconnecting with some high school acquaintances through Facebook and my mind has been in "rewind" mode, I thought of "the building". I don't know what triggers such an insignificant thought, but I had to smile as I stepped back nearly 50 years ago to remember "the building."

I was two years old when we moved to Molly Drive in 1956. Dad built our little house on the quiet dead-end street, which soon became home to 13 families. The "circle" at the end of the street was our baseball and kickball diamond, and the hill behind it launched our sleds clear to Rt. 619! Life was simple and quiet. I was a a true tomboy in every sense of the word and a tag-along to my older brother, Bob. Most of our days were spent playing with the neighborhood kids, climbing trees, playing in the woods, riding our bicycles, or riding a cardboard box down our steep bank. There was never a shortage of friends or activities since it was unheard of for kids to stay inside and watch TV or play video games.

I think Molly Drive was once a part of a large farm, and we had mature maple trees, apple trees and a grape arbor on our property. The fruit trees eventually all came down to make room for the garden. I loved to take a salt shaker to the garden and eat juicy ripe tomatoes off the vine! Every year Mom would can hundreds of jars of vegetables to get us through the winter. Beans and cornbread were a staple, and many Sunday evenings we had a treat of fried mush and milk.

Dad laid brick and made a walkway from the house to the backside of our property. The walk led to a small two-room tool shed. One side had a dirt floor and was used for necessary things, but the other side had a wood floor, a separate door, and a window. Dad kept his tools and supplies there since the house was barely big enough for our family of four. Probably not more than 8' x 12', it was known simply but properly as "the building." Whatever Dad needed, it was no doubt out in the building. There was nothing special about the weathered wood frame, but it was a special place for a little towheaded girl with a big imagination. Dad never threw anything away, and the bags and boxes of "stuff" fed my curious mind. If I organized everything just right, I had a pretty nice little playhouse. A couple nails and some twine held a makeshift curtain on the window. My transistor radio gave me access to the world, and I could browse through the stacks of National Geographic Magazines for hours. I was never alone though. My dog Tippy was always nearby. One year the building became a birthing suite for a neighborhood stray cat. I stayed with that mama cat the whole day and still remember how funny it was for a cat to have her litter on Labor Day.

I don't know why I thought of that building. It's been long gone for probably 30 years or more. What I do know is that I'd rather have a wooden plank floor anytime than fancy ceramic tile. I'd rather have an old cutter quilt than ornate silk. I'd rather have a scented candle or oil lamp than a fancy chandelier. I'd rather sit on the back porch and look at God's creation than go to a shopping mall. I'd rather be just the way I am, and know it probably started as a little girl enjoying simplicity in "the building."

It was just an old shack to anyone else.  To me, it would bring a smile and a tear from the memories of 50 years past.

Below are some pictures of other favorite buildings and places. Enjoy!

Long Run Baptist Church, Herald Route, West Virginia was my mother's church as a little girl. It is still an active church home for many of my relatives.

My cousins live on the old homestead that belonged to my mother's sister and her husband.

The original Davis Homestead near Sutton, West Virginia, where my mother was born. This picture was taken at the highest point of the farm looking down upon the house and the driveway. The property was purchased by the State of West Virginia and land-locked when I-79 was built.

The original country store on Herald Route.

One of the out buildings on my cousins' farm

I love the look of weathered wood!

Driving down Herald Route ~ Make sure you have room to get off the side of the road if a car is coming the other way.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful and enjoyable story/memory. Thank you for sharing it with us. -Ivy