The Old House

Christianity Oasis has provided you with this inspirational writing titled The Old House from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh collection. We hope these short stories bring you understanding and peace within.

The Old House

Welcome to Christianity Oasis. This is The Old House from our Sojourn With Luz Leigh Collection. We hope you enjoy this enlightening reading and it helps you on your own be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

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Sojourn With Luz Leigh

The Old House

Written by Luz Leigh - 08 August 2009

The old house sat for nearly a century, providing a home for people, some of whom were born in the 1800s. Around the turn of the twentieth century, a wealthy doctor had the house built for his growing family.

Downstairs there were three bedrooms, living room, dining room and a large kitchen with a pantry as big as some bedrooms in modern homes. On the second floor were more bedrooms and a large playroom where the children could spend happy hours playing with their toys when they were small. As teenagers they would invite their friends for parties, which included parlor games and sometimes dancing.

The house faced east, making the front porch an ideal gathering place on summer afternoons. The wooden porch swing was a favorite place to pass the time of day. After the darkness of night had fallen, the creak of the swing could be heard by those souls who had chosen to retire for the night. Young men who came courting the girls who lived there always wished the creak could somehow be removed. You see, as long as old Dr. Williams could hear the swing's movement he was satisfied. But, let there be silence for a more than a minute or so, his gruff voice could be heard, piercing the stillness of the night. "Son, is there a problem out there? Do you need me to come outside?" The old doc knew there was no problem and his presence was not needed nor wanted, but it was his way of warning the amorous young men that his daughters were "off limits."

At the back of the house was a screened back porch opening off the kitchen. When the house was built there was no indoor plumbing for a bathroom, but later a bathroom was built on one end of the porch. The location of the bathroom was handy for those who were coming from the fields or pastures. There was no need to traipse into the main part of the house.

By the time the old house came into our lives in the early 1980s, the house had seen its better days. It was no longer a showplace, but was still sturdy and functional. If there had ever been paint on the outside walls, weather and age had taken it away. The boards were weather-beaten, gray in color. The tin roof did not leak, but most of it was rusted.

One of our favorite spots was not the front porch which was located not too far from the busy country road, with its dust and noise from passing vehicles. It was the little back porch that faced the hay fields and the pasture where our cattle and horses were kept. Watching the sun as it settled into the western horizon was a peaceful sight; indicating another day was over and rest would soon come.

To the south of the house were large pecan trees, providing shade where children played or adults visited in the years before air conditioning. There were two swings that someone had put on the limbs of one tree. We would sometimes park our car near the house under one of those trees; it would be blocked from view of anyone who happened to pull into the driveway. This was our getaway when we needed to withdraw from the pressures of our jobs and other responsibilities. We didn't intend to be anti-social; just that we were not in the mood to entertain.

The year our second son graduated from high school, we threw a big party to celebrate. A caterer set up long tables loaded with bar-be-cue, with all the trimmings. There were coolers upon coolers with non-alcoholic beverages iced down. Do you have any idea how much liquid refreshment it takes to satisfy one hundred active teenagers? There was a country and western band for the enjoyment of the teens and their parents.

The plans called for the men and boys to spend the night at the country house. We women and girls would leave them to do whatever it is that males do to bond. Shortly after 1:00 a.m. I said goodnight to the group, drove to my home in town, only to find I had no house key. I really didn't want to admit to my husband, my sons and their friends what I had done. I remember laying the key on the bar just before I left home earlier that day. So, I did what any red-blooded Texas woman would do. I found a window that was unlocked. And wouldn't you know it? Just as I started to climb through the window, one of the local deputy sheriffs chose that exact time to make his appointed rounds through our neighborhood. I heard the car approaching, but thought I would have time to fall inside the room before he reached our home. But, no. All of a sudden the side of the house was bathed with light from a spotlight on the deputy's car, and he tapped the siren one time. Just to let the neighbors know he had apprehended a burglar. All that was not necessary; you see he knew my car, he knew me although he had never seen me in the odd position of being halfway in the house and halfway out. He was a fellow officer of my husband! He knew this was going to be one of those stories he would love to tell. And tell he did.

I would love to say the old house is still with us, but sad to say, in 1994 some teens broke into the house and during a drug party, somehow accidentally set fire to the house. Because it was located in a rural area, and the culprits did not bother to report the fire, by the time the fire department arrived, it was too late. All they could do was save the building nearby. We stood and watched as years and years of memories were burned. When the light of morning came, all that was left were pieces of tin from the roof and the concrete foundation blocks.

The authorities were almost certain they know who set the fire, but there was never enough evidence to bring them to justice.

A few years before the house was destroyed by fire, a picture of it appeared on a calendar published by a major oil company. I treasure that picture because we always thought the house would remain forever and never took a really good photo of the outside of it.

It was a grand old house. Wish you could have visited us there.

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