I'm a city girl, at least by birth. I was fortunate to grow up in Austin, which has lakes and rivers and trees trees trees. The Austin of today is certainly not the Austin of my fond memories, but at the time it was a perfect smaller city. My favorite place in the world, however, was Bivins, TX, specifically my Grandma and Grandpa Mahaffey's home in Bivins. Nestled in the Piney Woods region of Texas, a trip to Bivins was an eight-hour drive full of the Alphabet Game, the license plate game, and renditions of "Found a Peanut" with my dad.
I couldn't describe at the time why this place meant so much to me, but as an adult looking back I realize my grandparents had the life I now desperately crave. I have no idea how many acres it was, but it was a simple home built by family and friends. It was heated by a huge fireplace in the great room and space heaters in each room. It was cooled by a ceiling fan and open windows. The front porch was a gathering place with a view of the big tree and the washer pit. The back porch was stacked with firewood and offered a view of a large grassy area that I remember being a garden until Grandma had trouble maintaining it. Her pantry was filled with glass jars of her fruits and vegetables.
The loft over the kitchen was the favored place to sleep if you were a grandkid, niece, nephew or cousin. The woods surrounding the house were always beckoning, and a favorite past time was walking out to the railroad tracks to flatten a coin. Easters at Bivins were amazing. The adults were very creative with egg placement! The memories were painful for a time due to the disillusionment that comes with growing up, but I can now look back and remember everything that made it great. I loved my Grandpa and Grandma Mahaffey, and I loved their little piece of heaven.
I found the kind of love they had together. Now we just need to find our heaven on Earth as well.