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Pastimes have a comforting tone to it when reflecting on your childhood. "Times were simpler back then." Ever heard that? Did you have any idea of what you wanted to be when you grew up? And were you even remotely close to being a frog hair stylist when you made it to adulthood? I think my brother wanted to be a cowboy. Or maybe it was a pig wrestler. He is a year younger and I was the boss of him. Living in the country often kept us as the only kids our age to play with - much to his chagrin.
Our part of the world happened to contain millions of pine trees. Pine cones. Sap. And pine straw. You become creative when your St. Augustine is regularly blanketed in that rusty brown color. You mow it away then sprinkle it in every.single.flowerbed. Or rake. Mowing used gas. And it was a rider; so, talk about waste. Dad wouldn't think of it. Probably if I meditated I would remember the mowing moments were induced by begging.
Spending hours outside as a kid, you get creative. Rocks get names. Decks of cards end up missing a 10 of hearts because it's in the spokes of your bicycle tire clipped with a clothespin. I built pinestraw houses. To this day I don't know of another soul who built them. Not the kind that you could huff and puff. These were thick lines of needles formed into rooms and doorways. Usually it was just two rooms: the bedroom and the living room. Guess who was the homeowner. My brother was often "in trouble" or sick and had to sit in his bedroom while I repeatedly neatened the walls. The wind played havoc with my construction. If he was sick, he got a good dose of two Sweet Tarts. Our home was decorated in the Fall with pine cones around the fireplace and hearth. I collected baby pine cones. A pine tree chopped down from the nearby woods was the Christmas feature - one side usually limbless but it's now too late to put it back; so, just turn that to the wall.
I guess being a master of pinestraw houses set the tone for my future as a real estate agent. And making good use of useless things. Here's a tip: Decorate in groups of odd numbers. If you are planning to sell, I can assure you we can get your house and yard in perfect shape. Ask my brother.
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