Carlinville Writer’s Guild: Challenge words: Perpendicular, Papaya and Lion

100_0208The horizon has a certain perpendicular appearance to it from my deck. No matter the season, no matter the time of day or night. To understand this you must understand that my home is located in a timber of mostly oak trees that grew straight trying to out reach their neighbors in an attempt to hog all the sunlight. They position themselves to encourage their leaves to each grab all the rain they could when the opportunity presented itself.

My husband drove a bulldozer around the spot we chose for our house trying to open up an area big enough for our future home without disturbing too many of these awe inspiring giants. Then the men dug a hole in the southwest side of a hill for our basement. An especially impressive oak was left just southeast of the hole. The forester said it would probably die within five years, but here we are twenty years later and it is still standing tall, a few feet from the deck breaking the horizon into a perpendicular.

We poured the basement and then built the main floor with a big patio door opening looking out at the oak. When the supplier arrived with the drywall the oak kept him from backing the truck right up to the house so we had to handle each set of two drywall panels. All were 12 feet long by four feet wide. They were terribly heavy and the supply truck driver, my husband and 17 year old son did most of the work, but I stood at the door and heaved them across the space from one man to another bruising my leg with my technique, which was similar to my method for bucking bails from the ground to the wagon in the hay field.

By the time we had the house built I don’t think I could have won any competitions in strength, but I felt as proud as a lion when it was time to return the unused drywall and I could easily handle the boards back out to the truck. I hadn’t realized what a difference those months of hard work had made. Of course, I paid for that and other heavy work later in life, but I loved the feeling of strength at the time.

We stained the cedar siding a dark papaya shade that made the house disappear into the timber in the fall. It is a toss-up whether a person would notice the house or the tree next to it first. More times than not, a person coming to visit for the first time drives past before they realize they missed the turn. When they either turn around or backup they see our oak standing proudly in the timber next to the deck, alive and well for now; and offering a very interesting perpendicular break in our horizon.

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