A Tale of Heartbreak and Ingenuity

When I was a girl, I would visit my grandparents at the farm in the summers.  There are so many things about it that are stamped on my memory and I want to share the story of the house and its origins.

The farm-house was old even then.  There is a romantic story of how it came to be.

The homesteader built a small two room house into the side of a tall hill.  It was snug and large enough for his needs with a dug out room in the back for storage.  He put a porch on the front, but most of his building skill went into the barn.  It was a magnificent building.  It had a set up for milking the cows and an ample haymow for storage in the winter.  The rest of the barn was set up with mangers for the horses and pens for the calves that he fed when he separated them from their mothers.  He had a separator that he set up and automated with greyhounds.  He would put the milk in and the hounds would go round and round so that the cream would be available to sell at market.  Eventually, he sold the homestead to an enterprising young man named Oscar.

In another location, a man busied himself building a wonderful two-story house.  He was preparing it for his mail-order bride.  He spent hours on the Victorian style building and had completed the basic part of the house.  He was decorating the eaves with intricate cut-outs and was nearly finished when the word came that his bride was arriving that week.  In order to have the surprise complete, he sent his brother on the anticipated day to fetch her.  He worked feverishly.  Night fall came and his brother had not returned with his bride, indeed, he never did return.  He took her for himself.  Broken, the man abandoned the house and became a hermit living in a cave.  Oscar also purchased this property.

With ingenuity that we no longer see, Oscar took the Victorian and moved it.  He used a team of oxen to manuever it to the top of the hill and carefully located it on the other house. As I looked at the property, I was in awe that it could have been accomplished.   He connected the two buildings with stairs, added a side porch and moved in.  Later he moved to town with his family.

First my parents and then my grandparents rented the farm.  This is where I spent many wonderful hours of my childhood.  There is a creek and seven cold springs on the place.  A deep canyon had been cut by one of the springs.  A log had fallen across the happy little  stream.  When I visited, I would go there and sit by the hour on that log, singing, dreaming, and talking to God.

In the house, my grandmother was a true homemaker.  Her tall  cabinets always shone with varnish and polish. The beautiful African rosewood clock sat atop them, faithfully chiming the hour.  The old oak table was often heavy with homemade food and fresh vegetables.  At night, after the dishes were done, we would all sit at the table and listen to the radio and play canasta.

Although it is long ago abandoned as a home, my grandparents still live there in my heart .  My dog, Stubby, waits outside the old screen door for us to come.  The chickens and other animals populate the landscape with the sounds of peace broken only by the guinea hens who don’t know how to be peaceful.  In here, in my heart, it is still alive and beautiful.

There is much more to tell, but I will cherish it in my heart until the time is right to share.

They Said What?

Everyone has an opinion and everyone feels that it is necessary to share it with everyone.  Today, you cannot open up yahoo without finding out what this celebrity said or that politician declared.  Sometimes I wonder why we care.  These are people that we will never meet and often they have more influence than the people that we live with.  Whatsup with that?

Consider the people who give the news – – now those people have opinions.  They talk about a lot of things no one cares about and a few important things that we do.  The weather is always good to know.  An update on the local bad news is obligatory.  Some knowledge of the wars we are engaged in and the status is good.  A brief look at the unending political contest would be a relief.  But for heaven’s sake, who cares about the sex life of some celebrity?

This got me thinking.  Who has an opinion that matters to me?  This was more difficult than figuring out whose opinion didn’t matter.

My husband’s opinions are of great importance to me.  We had a pastor’s wife that said,”If both of you agree in a marriage, one of you is not necessary.”  We are both absolutely essential to one another.  We keep each other examining new concepts and ideas.

I care deeply about what my children are interested in.  They are interesting and engaged adults.  My daughter home schools four children and could win the “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” show with no problem.  She is capable, intelligent, articulate, and a great cook!  My son is a Kindergarten teacher.  He has lived in Taiwan, Croatia and Wisconsin and traveled the world.  He has seen and done things that I only dream of doing.  He has developed his own view of the world that is quite different from mine.  I learn something from him every time I talk to him.

My Mom turned 95 on Christmas Eve and her mind is clear.  She lives seven hours away and wants me to come visit often.  She loves me and cares what I think and that makes it good!  She attacks life with enthusiasm.  She married her second husband at 91 when he was 64!  They will be married four years this February.  She loves life and isn’t afraid to live.

My sister is awesome.  She has always loved me and as the big sister, in our early years, I was often too busy and distracted to notice.  As we have grown older, I have found her to be charming, funny, thoughtful, and not only my sister, but one of my very best friends.  Her opinions are uniquely her own and her mind is sharp and clear.  She has had many challenges in her life and has walked through them with grace.  She is very special.

I have a few friends, some old and some new, with whom I love to share time.  Their insights into the world, the culture, our mutual interests, and discussions about our Lord Jesus are stimulating and challenging.

The question for this week is whose opinion matters to you?  Please reply.