We knew from the beginning that we wanted a porch. The house looked spare and homely without one, and we needed the extra living space. So for about a year, maybe a little more, we used the stacked cement blocks as our steps up into the front door. Old aluminum yard chairs were hauled out of the shed when we wanted to sit out. But with no patio or landscaping, it was just basically sitting out in the yard.
Then one afternoon, an old friend of Bob’s family called. He had recently moved to east Texas and wanted us to come for a visit. So we packed up for a long weekend and took off for Hughes Springs, TX.
Harold has a lovely home, looking out on to pasture land. A comfortable house with a covered porch in back, its a wonderful place for him and for his dog.
We brought with us pictures of the house as well as our dreams of our future there. And the subject of building the porch came up. Well, Harold had just the thing for us.
A friend of his bought old railroad container cars, which he would sell for scrap or to people who needed really odd, large storage containers. And the floors of these cars just happened to be tongue in groove 1 ft by 9 ft solid oak! And he would sell us a cars worth of the flooring, which happened to be just about the length of our house and the width of our front space. Eureka! The beginning of our porch!
We made the deal and Bob made plans to come back with a flatbed trailer to cart the floor back home.
Our first priority became building the under structure for the floor of the porch. Because of the lay of the land and the height of the second floor windows, we had to be sure we had head room and enough slope for the roof. After much measuring and leveling, Bob began work on the foundation and I became the helper again, toting and carrying and running to the hardware store and cleaning up.
So in the autumn of our second year, Bob finished the floor of our porch. It was solid! The floor boards were stained gray and they were gorgeous! We still brought out the old aluminum chairs to sit on the deck that fall and winter. And my Dad, in his last trip to the shack, was able to sit out in the warm October sun and enjoy the view.
It would be after he died that the porch would be finished. And it became the gathering and healing place for me, my family and especially my Mom.
This porch became the center of our home. There are so many more stories to tell about the porch and the shack and our adventures.
So until then……
This is a pen and ink by my beautiful and talented aunt, Carol Allen.