The Treehouse Of My Youth

I was running a little ahead of time for a doctor appointment this morning in Austin. I decided to drive by the place we called home from 1958 until 1965.

What was back then a small wooden structure built on uneven ground, up a canyon that was 65 acres comprised of mostly shin oak scrub brush and rocky soil with a scattering of live oaks that has now given way to yet another suburban neighborhood.

The street leading off of a then unpaved country lane is now Talleyrand Dr. The rocky little trail up to our house is now Rolling Oaks Trail, a street lined with homes that are notched back into the hillside.

Besides the memories I have of the rattlesnakes and copperheads, breaking Shetlands and raising goats on that place, I remember that we paid $25 a month rent. Our Dad had agreed to keep up the maintenance of the place, which he did. But it was truly a real find, to have that much land for us to roam on with Bull Creek just a few hundred yards away, with swimming holes all up and down it.

My place for solitude was a treehouse, just a little ways out from the house. It was a crudely built thing, nothing more than a few 2 X 8’s nailed across the branches of an oak tree with 2 X 4 steps going up the trunk. I had gone back several years ago and those boards were still up in that tree as the new houses were being built. That would have been well over three decades later.

This morning the tree is still there, easy to identify. It was the only one of any size in the vicinity. I sat there for a little while remembering back to a time perhaps 60 years ago, not having any idea what life would bring.

This is the same tree below. It doesn’t appear to have grown much over a 50 year span of time. I guess that speaks to how that rocky caliche soil wasn’t the best for growing anything.

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