Thursday, October 14, 2010
Saturday had been designated a “work day” at my mother’s house in Alabama.
She will turn 80 next month and has always been very independent. But she has been struggling with some health problems and when it comes to removing an old pump house, cutting down trees and other such tasks, she needed the assistance of children, sons-in-law and grandson.
My 8-year-old Erin and I, after a late night of Friday night football, awoke early Saturday and left Holly Springs about 7 a.m.
We made a couple of stops, one being at Hardee’s in Hamilton, Ala., after one of my sisters called requesting some biscuits.
Erin said, “That’s so nice of you to take care of your older sisters.”
She said she would do the same for her older siblings, Emma and Andy, some day.
The work had already started when we arrived at my mom’s house.
The old, decaying pump house had been destroyed. My brothers-in-law were hauling off the remnants.
That small structure, located beside the house, carried with it a lot of memories – and not just the excellent job it did in helping to bring us some of the best spring water ever.
It had concrete steps to its side. And they came in very handy to a small boy growing up on the property.
There’s no telling how many baseballs I ruined by throwing them off those steps and catching them – either line drives, pop-ups or grounders.
And I probably ruined a few shingles on the house, too, when I missed some grounders.
One of my high school teammates once bragged on me for my quick reactions at the third base.
I thought – give credit to the “pump house.”
Of course, I used to roll a lot of toy trucks and cars down those steps, too.
The spring itself, which runs beside rural Highway 278 in Marion County, Ala., is still there. But my mom made the switch to city water back in 2003.
Just above the pump house, on a small hill, was once a basketball goal nailed to a tree. That tree was cut down a long time ago.
I also recalled the many hours I spent shooting at that goal – often without a net and often until after dark. Mother would have to call me more than once to come into the house. And when I missed shots, I would often have to run down the hill and retrieve the basketball.
I took a few minutes Saturday, when I thought no one was watching, to browse through a small storage room beside my mom’s garage. That stirred some memories, too – particularly when I saw some books from my childhood days – one of those a favorite, “Snoopy.”
The barn behind my mom’s house has been leaning for several years. This time it was leaning a lot more. It may fall soon.
I think one of my brothers-in-law or perhaps my nephew will make use of the oak lumber and preserve a portion of that landmark on the family’s property.
I told my immediate family members I sure was glad they were taking care of the place because, “I may want to come back some day.”
But whether I “go home” or not, the memories of the place are very special and ones that I will always cherish.
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