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May 09, 2008



As a child, my family lived on a small farm in the very rural woods of Tennessee in a small two room house that had a kitchen and back porch added. My mother was a good housekeeper, the sparce furnishings always clean and the beds made. Linolium covered the center of the floors with the outer part painted. It was a typical house in the immediate area. My dad would take my brother and me on tractor trips (we didn't have a car) to the "rich" neighbors house. I was in awe of the cubbords on the walls, the shiney wood floors, a real sitting room with no bed, and doilies on the arms of the sofa and chair. The ceilings were so tall, it seemed that the walls went on forever. There was always food cooking, different smells than the fresh vegetables grown in our garden, or the beef, pork, and wild game from our farm that my mother cooked. She was known as one of the best cooks in our little part of the world, but these smells were exotic to me. Things like spaghetti, tacos, and other non meat and vegetable dishes. The lawn seemed expansive, with various flowers in bloom in neat beds and hydrangas growing in profusion around the front porch. It seemed like a dream house to me.

A few months ago, a house came on the market that reminded me of that house, which I discovered was not nearly as large or grand as it had seemed at the time, but was still beautiful. My husband and I bought the house and prepaired to strip away old wall paper to paint. It already had new oak kitchen cabinets and granite countertops. My children helped redo the house, my oldest son, the floors. When he pulled up the old carpet, there were the most beautiful hardwood floors you can imagine. The previous owner had used paste wax regularly so even after 20 years under carpet and pad, the wood was still unstained and in great shape. My son, being a tow-boat deck hand, knew how to clean and preserve wood, and restored the floors to a mirror shine. My younger son, home on military leave, bought and installed a stained glass light for the dining room and a new faucet with detirgent despenser in the kitchen. One daughter painted, and the other bought decor. Before my eyes, one new plant after another breaks through the earth and blooms, hydrangas line one end of the house. After my husband used most of his savings to buy all new furniture, I now have a home that rivals my little girl fantasy house. He had to come out of early retirement and go to work to pay the bills while my disability check pays the house payment. I am so blessed that my whole family sacrificed so much to give me my dream home. I thank God regularly for such a blessing, and many others. But I also realize that this is just material things. My husband's dream is to live in Fla., and has job skills in high demand there. If it is God's will that I give up this blessing, I will do so without regret, knowing that it was a special gift for as long as it was intended to be, and it may be intended to be as much a gift and blessing to someone else, and that other gifts and blessings await.

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