Though perhaps, as it is February 2nd, “new” may not be quite the right word. How about “fresh”? As in - this is a fresh year with few mistakes in it.
Unfortunately, one of my mistakes this fresh, new year is procrastinating so long on this blog! In the Lord’s Providence I hope not to allow this to happen again!
It seems a good way to begin to celebrate a new year is to rejoice in the delight and blessings of the last one (particularly when one is behind with the sharing of said delight). A full listing of our joys this past year would probably rival a dictionary in length and as this blog is concerned with our new home and life, here is a thankful glance at a sampling of the fun we had last fall.
The last few days in September, began our readying our dear little house in the valley for our “occupation”.
There was much to be done. The two-story house hadn’t been inhabited for six years, and there was much dust and many dead Asian beetles. The floor had to be mopped, the walls needed to be scrubbed, and the old furniture had to be moved out.
Father was needed at work, but the rest of we Careys were not alone. Two dear families from church came and helped with the work. Cheery Mrs. E and her four delightful children, and lovely Miss. A with her youngest brother, Master A.
Dear Mrs. E kept her baby in his snuggly while wiping down the walls with a mop (Did you know that wood paneling tears up a sponge mop? Never thought about it until it was done). Both mother and son appeared quite content with the situation.
Mr. B (our landlord), one of his friends, and a family from our church with strong young men, moved the heavy wood furniture out of the attic, the second story, and the first floor.
Masters E, A, and Murray all assisted as young boys might, with enthusiasm, gusto and diligence. We were all very pleased, proud, but not surprised with them. Oh, how I wish we had pictures!
During that afternoon, the threesome discovered an empty old chest in the attic. Mr. B told them how his uncle had once kept all the arrowheads found on the property in that chest. The boys were fascinated. Not only with the story of the arrowheads, but also with the conviction that before holding arrowheads, the chest had obviously been the property of pirates! I wonder how it came here…
By the end of the day, most of the work was done, and we all went home with the satisfaction and pride of a job well done!
Two days later, we moved in (I had hoped to have some photos of this momentous day, but alas no Carey was wielding a camera. Hopefully I will be able to beg photos from friends and then post them in this spot…).
The love and gracious outpouring of friendship as old friends and new assisted us with moving day, and then helped to arrange our rooms for living until we were fully settled (several ladies from our church opened all our kitchen boxes and arranged our cabinets for daily life) was overwhelming. Our cups overflowed.
The evening was spent in fellowship and the relishing of chili, and that night we slept for the first time in our new house, then rejoiced in the 25 minute drive to church (it had been over an hour). It probably bears mention that it takes about half an hour to get anywhere here, but let me assure you that this life is more that worth it. A new state, a new life, a new era had begun!
Most of October was spent settling in. There were still things that needed to be taken from the old house and brought to the new one. There would be two more “movings” before we were completely settled. It’s truly amazing how much effort goes into creating a home and an uplifting living space.
One day, after we were mostly settled, we went to visit some dear friends for many years who are like family. Mr. and Mrs. S own an old farmhouse called Green Pastures. While there, we picked apples and enjoyed sweet fellowship together.
Later that month, we had an adventure. One crisp and dew-damp Saturday morning, Mom and Dad weren’t home and we at home were completing the household tasks when my younger sister (Mia) noticed something unsettling – a bull calf in the yard! Our house is separated from a cow field by a fence and gate, but this black, wooly, muscular fellow descided that take what it may, he must absolutely get the grass from our yard (Thirty-some acres to choose from, and he fights through a metal fence, pulling some hair off in the process just to make it to a garage-sized plot of grass! Hmm… is there some kind of spiritual analogy here…). He looked content and we doubted our ability to herd him to the cow pasture.
It did take awhile. He paid little attention to the apples we kept throwing, but finally, he did o interested and with perseverance and teamwork on our part, we lured him into the cow field, shut the gate behind him, and blocked up his hole with rope we found in the shed. That mostly ended the adventure, however, until he was taken to market, if I wore a certain outfit, he’d come to me expecting apples.
Towards the end of the month, we drove several hours northwards to the Southern Fall Ball hosted by our friends the K’s and the M’s!!! We danced old dances, learned new ones, made friends, and generally had a thrilling time!
Sadly, our computer with photos of most our adventures died a tragic death (I didn't know that computers could scream). Therefore, I am unable to post our own photos and must direct you to a friend's slide show of some of the images. Thus, here is the Old South Ball
November saw us beginning to engage in hospitality as our dear friends the P’s on Kate’s birthday! What fun! We had a delicious meal, talked for hours, hiked, and even began a wigwam (in an undisclosed location, of course – it’s a secret!). The littlest Miss P seems to have been struck with the cows.
The next week we enjoyed a square dance and ball hosted by Miss A, and our friends of many years, Dr. and Mrs. F. I’ve never been to a costume ball, and it was simply delightful! Kate was a 1950’s young lady, Murray was Daniel Boone, Mia was Maid Marion, and I was a 1930’s housewife. The six hours we danced were not enough...
Again, I must needs direct you to the same friend's slide show. Here is the Costume Ball
More delight was on its way, as Uncle and Aunt D came to visit. We'd not seen Aunt D for quite some time and reveled in the visit!
Our Thanksgiving was unlike any we have ever experienced! Lacking nearby family members we planned to celebrate alone, however, the Lord had other plans- the delightful E family! Frankly, it had never occurred to me contemplate celebrating Thanksgiving without blood relatives. How glad I am that we did!
We decorated Cookies.
We played Spoons.
We had so much fun
And the E's still have the pictures...
The month of December, was primarily spent in Christmassing. Someday, before I’m 90, I plan to have my Christmas gifts completed (and wrapped!) two weeks ahead. I may die in the attempt, but I’m still going to try.
We had the best Christmas ever. I look forward to the day when there are more of us, when six families gather at Christmas and not merely one, but even then, I don’t see how we could top the joy and fun we have savoring presents. At least, we children do. At our house, quality, not quantity is what is important. We have had our thin as well as our fat years, and we have learned whatever the case to savor the gift, joy in the giving, and relish our Lord’s manifold blessings; it took five hours to finish savoring.
Then we took a hike up the hill. The weather was right balmy 51 degrees, and perfect for hiking. We marched up to the top of the hill to observe an outcropping of rocks dubbed “The Cliff”, walked along the backbone of the hill, and enjoyed a picnic on a flat spot of the hillside seated on a fallen birch tree. The repast consisted of oranges, nuts, three kinds of cheeses, crackers, gingerbread cookies, and some of us had candy canes. The walk down the hill and across the meadow was fairly leisurely, and we enjoyed our Christmas Dinner about 3:00.
In early January, a very old friend came back to live with us forever. Mother's Great Aunt Daisy's beloved Upright Grand Piano has returned home after visiting with some of our friends. tree was put up a week later than is tradition, so we kept it up a week later! Thus, I have a lovely picture of our Living Room just before we began to take down Christmas (hence the box). Note Bene the Piano to the right.
Some of our faithful church family helped with the piano, and then stayed for Spoons!
During the same week, we had fun HB family vist. Where we live is perfect (if I do say it myself) for kite flying. JHB and BHB are working on setting up their stunt kites, while Mr. HB, Mrs. HB, Miss HB are with the Rest of the Careys in backyard flying our kites.
We also welcomed two dear girls to our home – Miss A, who stayed for a week, and Molly, our dearly loved puppy from the P’s who is half Newfoundland, half Border Collie and VERY intelligent.
We had a great deal of fun with Miss A, and anticipate with great joy her visiting us again!
Molly is learning her place in our pack and seems to appreciate every one of us. We hope and anticipate to be good stewards of our Furry Little Friend (FLF).
The month of January ended (as it always does) on Mia's birthday. We attended a beautiful Sweet Sixteenth Ball of a dear friend of ours who birthday is the same as Mia's. I believe there are few better ways to end a month than with a Big Beautiful Ball...