Nestled high on top of Lookout Mountain is a grey and rock house that holds the key to countless stories tucked away in my favorite memory box. It’s an ordinary house. What makes it extraordinary are the 20+ years of stories that all happened in this very place – making it not just a house, but a home.
Perhaps my favorite part about the house is the deck out back. A very ordinary deck that sits on the edge of a small piece of Lookout Mountain overlooking the North side of town where I grew up – Fort Payne, Alabama. If you look to the right, you can see all the way to Chattagnooga, Tennessee, I once kid my sister. It’s probably true though. It’s a breathtaking view – it’s my very favorite view.
This deck has heard countless stories – some of defeat, mostly ones of celebration of life’s sweetest moments. It’s felt the tears from heartbreaks, from trials, from shortcomings. It’s felt the warmness of a blanket as endless mugs of coffee and tea were shared and spilled from belly-aching laughter. I learned to drink coffee on that deck. The sweetest memories usually always involved a mug, or a knife that was used to carve a ring out of an acorn, or a string where we would fly junebugs around and around until we couldn’t stand, and a big, old, burgundy Bible followed by long summer talks, just rocking in the swing chair, soaking in God’s word, and gazing hundreds of miles away from where we sat to another place entirely.
Endless early morning breakfasts and late brunches have taken place on that deck. But never without endless stacks of savory buttermilk pancakes dripping in butter and maple syrup with a splash of homemade strawberry jam. Because, why yes of course we picked our own strawberries earlier that summer. We’re Alabamians after all.
Sunburns and snow covered noses happened on the deck. Water balloon fights, nerf gun wars, and of course, numerous bloody knees and splinters. Sigh.
But most of all, loads and loads of love was shared right there in that very place. And that perhaps makes it easy to miss all the more – for it’s more than just my favorite place, it’s my favorite collection of moments.
Where is your favorite place?