Monday, October 24, 2011

The Castle In The Trees - Part Two (Tree house pics!) seems like ages ago that I wrote part one of this post. Life has kicked into overdrive here at the Kingsburys'. I doubt that I will be able to blog with as much dedication as I did during the summer. My life is not really my own until after the holidays. I am having a blast volunteering at the schools and am planning a big party in a couple of weeks, not to mention that we are having to replace 5 major appliances all at the same time. Then...the Christmas Parade Float. Yikes!

And tie together the loose ends of this story. Let's see, where was I? Okay, after my GrandMattie passed away, I was pretty low. It felt like all of the women in my family were disappearing. It was the end of an era, so to speak. I hadn't really spent much time with her the last few years of her life because I was living far away and only came back to Dallas for holidays and such. Still there was this emptiness. You know what I mean.

Several months later I received a very official looking letter in the mail from an attorney. As it turned out, my Grandmother's nephew had been managing her estate and she had left all of her children and grandchildren a portion of it. I was NOT expecting that. I won't say how much but it was a generous amount of money and I was so emotional at how even in death, Mattie kept on giving. I started thinking about how much she loved kids and how she was never able to have children of her own (She was my step-grandmother) and how I empathized with her. Had it not been for modern medical technology, I would have probably been in the same boat. One day the kids saw a really cool tree house online and asked me if me if we could build them one. And then, an idea began to take shape...

I couldn't think of a better tribute to my sweet Mattie than to take a portion of the money she left me and pour it into something really fantastic for our kids! The neighbor kids were all in on the design process, too. They wanted it to look like a castle. (It does). They wanted it to have electricity. (It does). They wanted enough space to sleep in it so we added bunks into the design plans. They wanted it to have a ceiling fan. (It does). They wanted a mini-fridge (Okay, I'm not crazy...that request was met with a resounding 'NO')! But it does have a wrap around balcony for the grown ups to enjoy the view of the creek! One day, Patrick said "Mom, we have to walk all the way down to the river and then climb the ladder to get in the tree house." I said "So, what do you want me to do? Build you a zip line to get across the yard?" We both looked at each other, not saying a word and then a big grin spread across his face. "Mom? Can you?" he asked. I burst out laughing and said "Well, why not...let's look into it!" We found a willing contractor and we were off to the races!

And so, in the summer of 2010, a mini-monument was imagined and built in honor and on the foundation of a grandmother's love and generosity. We all had a hand in getting it done and every time I look in my back yard, it makes me smile. Sometimes it's with sadness but most of the time...simply thankfulness that God put my grandmother in my life to teach me in the way that I should go. I've made a few detours and sometimes taken the long road, even hit a few dead ends but I see my way clearly now. I know where I am headed and I'm looking forward to the journey.

Yes, I believe in fairy tales. Even if mine is not exactly conventional. Still, I do have my prince and our sweet kids. Now we even have a castle. It's more than I deserve and better than I ever imagined.



Zip line platform
Testing the zip line landing

Filling in nail holes
Michael is admiring his work

Two good looking guys hard at work
Painting in PJ's. That's how we roll!
One dedicated Daddy!

Painting 'bricks' for the castle
Note the heart rock in the upper right corner...
for GrandMattie with love.
Kingsbury Castle in the Trees Circa 2010


  1. Cat, That was incredible and I'm certain that Mattie is smiling from heaven on you and your family.


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