Friday, July 20, 2007

House Hunting [CCR]

This week finds me in Murfreesboro looking for a house. They call it “house hunting.” Not exactly the best kind of hunting, but it is required. Personally I’d rather be back home coon hunting with Dad and Mr. Thompson or Mr. Maxwell. In our case it is a special race to look at the maximum number of houses in the fewest days so we can focus on a couple of houses at the end of the week.

Relocating always presents its challenges. You get seven days to find a house that may be your residence for the next thirty years. So far I haven’t had to worry about being in the house that long, but this time I don’t want to move again any time soon. So with teenagers, the family dog, and a real estate agent in tow we wander around Murfreesboro looking for a major purchase.

Mom and Dad are here to provide Dad’s expertise. Dad learned a lot from Granddaddy Daily who built houses all around Colbert and Franklin Counties. In fact one of Granddaddy Daily’s final jobs was helping Dad build the house Mom and Dad live in today. Dad will examine the house from top to bottom giving me a virtual guarantee of buying the best possible house. I couldn’t do better on my own.

Granddaddy always wanted to teach us what he knew. I only wish I could have spent more time learning from him. He kept a stack of scrap lumber beneath his table saw for us to pick through. He also let us borrow tools from his big green toolbox. We gathered the pieces and built all kinds of contraptions from that wood. Our imagination was the limit. I’m not sure what happened to all those whatnots constructed by the grandchildren.

In his later years the family bought Granddaddy a small band saw and some other tools. Even with his arthritis he continued to use his hands extensively. He became quit good at carving small scale tools and equipment used by his generation. He actually built a small log cabin with all the furniture and apparatus for a small farm house. The chimney was built with small rocks shaped very similar to the homemade chimneys of his childhood. I guessed it would draw smoke if one built a fire in it. He was very detailed. I’m not sure where that cabin is today, but it is something both my sister and I will treasure our entire lives.

Giving everything you have is something my Grandparents not only taught us, but showed us as well. Grandmother did her part too. Even when she was 90 and spent most of her day confined to a single room where she continued to crochet Christmas decorations. I dropped by to visit her at Aunt Bertha’s house and she always had a sack full of her creations. I would buy them to provide money for more supplies. Today I still adorn our Christmas tree with many of these homemade decorations which are much more valuable to me than the other decorations we own.

My real estate agent is supposed to call any minute now. We will pile into our rented gas guzzling SUV and begin our trek around Murfreesboro. I keep thinking to myself, “This is the last time.” Let’s just pray this time its for real.