“But wolf rules and Brian rules only applied to wolves and Brian.”
— Gary Paulsen
Back in the long-long ago before artistic sincerity was murdered by memes, in a banal and decadent time known to the ancients as “1994”, my grandparents owned a summer-house so beautiful it was featured in a magazine literally called Better Homes and Gardens. There was even an engraved plaque on the front door that said which issue and everything.
The house was located in Covington, Louisiana. “The Northshore” as us New Orleans natives referred to it; the shore being referenced was of course Lake Pontchartrain’s and calling the area North of it “rural” would be an understatement. Especially back then.
When my grandparents first started construction on the house in the mid 80s, Covington was little more than one big forest intersected by several winding branches of the Tchefuncte (pronounced “JUH-funk-ta”) River. And my grandparents had chosen to build what would come to be known as “the Covington house” along an isolated stretch of one of these branches.
The place was technically three stories tall but the truth was that, with it being so close to the river, the house had to be situated on 10-foot stilts to make it even remotely insurable. So the first of those three stories was just a drydock obscured on three sides by a lattice wall and used mainly to store my grandfather’s fishing gear during the off-season.