She was waiting for me on the front porch and she wasn’t at all what I expected. At 90, she walked with confidence and spoke with a long Southern drawl. She lives alone and volunteers at a nearby elementary school. She plants herbs and flowers alongside her gardener who comes by once a week. She was carried through the front door of her home as a young bride at 17 in 1938, and has spent the last 73 years nestled on acres of hillside property. Her land is a piece of history in our little county and I set out to interview her for the newspaper.
I followed her lead down rows of English boxwoods and I scribbled her words into my yellow notepad. Her stories were fascinating of long remembered days gone by. She recalled the mornings of waking up at four am to cook the three meals her family would eat that day. And then it was hours of milking and planting and tending.
“It was hard but we had fun,” she said convincingly. “The house was full, aunts and uncles and grandparents. The doors were always open.”
She shuffled her black boots back and forth, then softly said, “It’s a lot quieter these days.”
And even though she said the words through half a smile, my heart ached for this sweet woman who has a beautiful quiet home.
And as I drove away, I headed back to my own address, where the dishwasher is always full of cereal bowls and the weeds are beginning to peak through a muddled winter garden.
I know one day too soon my children will grow up, and the quiet will find its way in. But these little ones of mine will come back to the house we built, not with our own hands, but with memories we polished through the seasons and fancy daydreams we served up at afternoon tea parties.
And it’s a sweet 90-year-old woman who reminded me that your home isn’t about what you have, but who you have in it.
If you’re visiting from Lysa TerKeurst’s blog, thank you for stopping by. I’m excited and humbled to have been one of the winners of the Cecil Murphey Scholarship. I’m looking forward to attending the She Speaks conference in July!