Thursday, February 10, 2011

Moving Right Along....

We have finally started the process that eight years ago we knew would one day come. Back then, in our almost-married stage, we had no idea when it would come. What would be involved. How long it would take. But now, it has started. We are starting our move into The Farm House.

Almost 60 years ago, my in-laws moved here as newly weds. Over time, with hard work, good planning, and many abundant blessings from God, Dad Carter and his family built up a great farm that led to a solid, local business. I'm not sure exactly how many acres are planted between the farm and the north property, but we grow alfalfa hay, produce from asparagus to zucchini, raise hormone-free beef cows, and recently started with chickens, too. It is alot of work, but it's satisfying work.

Tony and I currently live about 1/4 mile from the farm, not that far, but still a good distance when it comes to having to get up and feed the furnace at the farm at night, check and move irrigation, etc. With our upcoming move, it will be much easier for Tony...and for all of us.

I am so thankful to my in-laws for the work they put into the farm house. I can't imagine how hard it must be emotionally at times for them to be moving out...even though they are moving to a new house less than 1/8 mile away, they are moving out of the house that they raised their family in, all seven children. But I am also thankful they are ready to move into their new house, especially since it will be so much easier for Tony to take care of the farm.

The majority of things are out of the farm house. There are still some things Mama doesn't know what to do with, move them to the new house, sell them at a yard sale, pass on to one of her children. So for now, much is being stored in an out building until warmer weather comes.

I've started cleaning the farm house this week. Time takes it's toll. It's an old farm house, so there are nooks and crannies where over the years mice have found their way in and left evidence of their presence. I'm wiping down everything, vacuuming carpets (and will be shampooing them), disinfecting, sweeping, dusting, and the kids are having a blast clearing out the cobwebs. Swifter and Watkins cleaners are my friends; my dust mask and disposable gloves are part of my attire. I'm making note of what needs Tony's attention...some nails to be pounded in, nooks and crannies to be filled in, what needs to be repainted, repaired, light fixtures he'll have to get down to be cleaned. I'm finding little cubby holes, seeing treasures from over the years, and letting my imagination go to what fun Tony and his siblings must have had growing up where our children will now grow up.

Luke and Susanna are delighted with what will be their new rooms. Susi has some unrealistic ideas for how she wants her room to be (perils from watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition! -- no, honey, those are NOT the kind of rooms most kids have!).

So far, I've done a pretty thorough cleaning of the kids' new play room, except for the floor. Years ago, it used to be their Daddy's bedroom downstairs. I've also done everything except shampoo the carpets in their new bedrooms. Saturday, I hope to start and finish cleaning what will be their school area and possibly my office area...then it's on to the kitchen/dining area, the family room, the bathrooms, and our "new" bedroom before finishing off the rest of the basement.

We're looking forward to the move....and if you have some free time the next few weeks and are bored, stop by to help clean!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Life Is Short

It has been just over a week now that I received a phone call no one wants to get. My beautiful young cousin, newly married just shy of six months earlier, became a widow. Her husband was in a car accident with two other young men (one of the men, the driver, was also killed; the rear-seat passenger had head and facial trauma). We had just met Kevin literally a couple weeks earlier at our family Christmas get-together. Although I didn't get much of a chance to talk with him, he was such an awesome young man. Kevin looked like a tough guy, tats on his arms, big muscles, and in some ways he probably was a tough guy....but what I saw of him and what I've heard about him was his friendliness, his helpfulness, his gentleness, and the way he related to people of all ages. He was not only family, he was a close friend to so many of my cousins.

Not all the details of the accident have been released, but snow and ice were not factors, nor were alcohol or drugs. It was a one-car accident that happened around midnight and wasn't seen or reported for another eight hours. And no one was wearing a seat belt...although since the engine was pushed into the front seat upon impact with a tree, I don't think seat belts would have saved the lives of Kevin and Nathan in this instance.

I am thankful these young men knew Christ and gave their lives to Him, sold out to God. They are with Jesus now and I doubt they'd want to leave heaven to return to their loved ones...but for those loved ones still left waiting here on earth, emotions are running deep.

Please pray for Julie, my cousin; her father Julius who was also very close to both young men; for Nathan's three young children; and for the extended families and friends who lost someone too early in life. And please...remind your loved ones AND yourself to buckle up as well as drive safely and defensively. Regardless of your age, you are NOT indestructible. Life is short, don't make it shorter.