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We would wake up every morning in the summer and ask excitedly, “can we go to The Property today?” If the answer was yes, and it often was, we would pull on our bathing suits, fill up the cooler with Orange Crush, Nehi Grape and vienna sausages, and off we would go. Our fingertips and toes would blister at the start of every summer from holding on to the edges and pushing off from the concrete bottom.
The barn was another wonderland of fun, with now-empty stables underneath, a duck pond in the back and in the attic, a treasure trove of our aunts’ and uncles’ old letter jackets and prom dresses, an iron toy stove, foot lockers and furniture, a long-forgotten saddle and a million other things. I remember standing in the open doorways and feeling like I was as far up as a person could be, on top of the world.
The Property is still just as magical as it was when I was a child. The soft moss feels like a plush carpet when you walk barefoot past the horseshoe stakes to the apple and pear trees. I can remember the wild roses that used to tangle in the fence by the front drive, and the sharp thorns on the blackberry bushes that used to grow wild by the fruit trees. The pool’s concrete has long ago cracked and the bullfrogs are the only ones swimming there anymore, but I love to sit in the thick grass by my grandparent’s former home and listen to the woods all around me. There is no better place to appreciate Nature in the world, for me, than at The Property.