For those who have just recently found this blog – welcome and thanks for dropping by!
To catch anyone up who needs catching up – this is the story of an old house in rural Benton County, Arkansas, that my husband and I lived in for ten years – 1992-2002. The house was built in the 1880s and sat on 7 acres. We paid $35,000 for it. And most people who saw it at the time, thought we had lost our minds!
You can find the previous posts by going to the Home page and the category drop down thingy will be on the right hand side of the blog (over there >>>>) Find the category ‘The Last Really Good Shack’. These are all the posts about the shack, just in case you are interested in our adventures and misadventures.
Now, back to The Last Really Good Shack.
We had built the foundation and deck to the porch when we stopped work for a number of reasons. Money being one, winter another and my dad’s health was the most pressing. He had surgery in Dallas that Thanksgiving holiday. It was during a horrible ice storm and my husband was the only driver my mom and I trusted. So, bless his heart, he drove in just awful conditions back and forth from my brother’s house in Arlington to the hospital in Dallas.
Once Dad was sent home, most of our weekends were spent in Texas with him and Mom. Not much time for working on anything. As his condition worsened, I stayed and Bob went back home to work and take care of the dogs.
This was when the porch was finished.
Bob completed the entire thing by himself, rafters and all. He measured out the header onto the house where the rafters would be placed and then wedged the 2×12 at the proper height with a 2×4 and the ladder, then bolted the board onto the house. He attached all the posts and cross beams on the ends and spaced the rafters, wedged them up on one side and screwed the other end, then the other side the same way. Once he had all the rafters in place, he used galvanized tin roofing (like you see on barns and sheds) to cover the porch. The railings were put in place and (Ta Daaa) we had a huge covered porch. The final dimensions were 36’x9’.
It was just an enormous space looking down the front yard and across the creek bed and to the twin ridge to the west.
I know that he was there by himself and had time to do all this. But I really believe that he thought if he could just get it finished, Dad would be able to come and sit on that porch.
It didn’t happen that way. Daddy died in April.
But the porch became a place of rest and peace and love and joy for my Mom and all my family, for friends and acquaintances. I always said it was the bellybutton of the universe, where all peace was found.
Even now, anyone you talk to about the old Shack, one of the first things out of their mouths is ‘That was a great porch!’ And it was.
Until next time, my friends……
Brought tears to my eyes as I remember that porch and the conversation, the fun and togetherness. Of course, your Dad is a whole book unto himself! And always the great memories…shooting wasps off the ceilings with rubber bands among many others..HA!
We did some really weird stuff – he was a funny man. And it WAS a great porch! Love you! K
I’m sorry to hear your father never got to experience the porch, but I’m willing to bet he was there in spirit even if just through remembrance. I’ve always loved porches – and they’ve got to be open to the breeze and the bugs – none of those enclosed things for me. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this.
He is always with us. : ) I agree about porches – even tho I love my big ol’ screened-in porch we have now. At the shack, the hummingbirds would fly thru the porch from end to end and each summer big garden spiders would decorate the posts with their huge webs. I would carefully move them with a broom to the garden. You don’t want to make them mad, they will write your name on their web! K