Let me begin by explaining a little about ‘The Little House’. This house is the house my grandparents built. This is the house that my dad grew up in. This is the house they could afford, which wasn’t much. ‘The Little House’ is a United Built home that lives up to its name very well. It is a small 2 bedroom 1 bath home with kitchen/dining area, living room, and screened in porch. It’s yellow. It was built in the early 60s on land that has been in my father’s family at least 4 generations. This land that this yellow little house is built on is God’s land, Belah land. Many generations of Windham’s made this Belah land their home, and so shall I (Even though I’m a Zeagler now, my heart is still in Belah…which, luckily, so is Mr. Zeagler’s). Anyone who has ever lived in this small community we call Belah understands when I say there is something about this land that creeps into you and becomes a part of you. The smell. The warmth of the grass. The air. The rich soil. The views of the sky. The sounds at night. Okay, okay, a little over the top, I know, but this is what this place does to me. It is home.
So on this wonderful plot of land that my family owns, there is my daddy’s mechanic shop, my parents’ home, ‘The Little House’, a make-shift-work-in-progress personal shooting range, and my older brother’s home (which was my great grandparents’ home). This plot of land is at the road’s end out in the middle of nowhere, so privacy is another thing to add to the growing list of amazing things about this place.
So, this ‘Little House’—what’s the story? I grew up next door to my grandparents and great-grandparents. Since we live in such a rural area, we didn’t have many neighbors, especially ones with kids our age. So, myself and my 2 brothers spent most of our free-time over at Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s or down at Big Mawmaw’s. We would ride our bicycles to each house, set the kitchen timer (for the allotted time Momma said we could stay) and then would visit, play cards, do jigsaw puzzles, play tiddly-winks, make biscuits, drink tang, or listen to stories we had heard 100 times before. It was wonderful. My daddy is an only child, so we were Mawmaw and Pawpaw’s only grandchildren, and Big Mawmaw’s other great-grandkids lived in other states (some in other countries). We were spoiled. When I was a kid I always assumed that they never had anything to do or any where to go, but as I got older I realized that they probably did, but they would stop whatever they were doing to spend time with us. We never had to call before we came over, we just asked Momma and she would tell us how long we could stay. Like “Yeah you can go, but only 30 minutes at each place” or “Ok, an hour and ½ at each”. That was our top, an hour and ½ at each place. That was a jackpot for us! But sometimes you know kids do get bored, even on this wonderful piece of land and even visiting with some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. When we would get bored or tired of hearing one of those stories we heard a thousand times before (even though today, I would give my right hand to be able to hear them tell one of those stories one more time), we would go bump the timer up. Also on the same token, if time seemed to be going by too fast and we were caught up in a riveting game of double solitaire, or one of us was in the lead in rummy, or the jigsaw puzzle was coming along quite nicely, we would sneak and go bump the timer back. I’m not sure if they ever knew, but they never said anything.