Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Becoming Brave

It has been a long road from the old farmhouse in Amesville, OH.

There were days, living at the end of the electric wires out there, that I felt sure I wouldn't go anywhere.  I would be stuck in that holler forever.

There were days when I felt that the road was too long...too winding...too wooded and dark...too dangerous...and I was too afraid.

There were days when the bike tires went flat and the refrigerator was empty and the wood stove sat cold.

There were lonely days.

There were dark storm-days...days that pounded and flashed and shook.

And there were nights that lasted into eternity...candles lit after a storm had knocked out the electric yet again.

That old water pump ran on during storms, we hauled water from the spring house to wash in and drank from gallons of store-bought water.

There was a lot of wood chopping in that old house.  Trees came down and were split for the wood stove to heat us all winter long.  On non-electric days we cooked on the wood stove too.  Mom knew how to cook a frozen pizza right from the box on top of that old stove.

There were days...there were nights...there were moments...

There were rare, sweet moments...being dropped off after spending time with someone special...

He handed me a cassette tape once and said, "Just put it in and press play."

And I did.  And it was this song...

And it broke my heart.

There were moments that made me braver...helped me know it was all going to be okay...

Like this time in the summer...

The rain was dripping...not falling hard...just...drip-dropping like it does in summer.

The front windows were open to let the cool air in.

I could hear Dad and Richie on the porch...playing guitars...plucking and strumming and humming along.  The rain kept time and made harmony behind their music.

And the kitchen...banging and fussing and talking to herself while she made the most glorious chocolate chip cookies (the kind moms make).  I could smell them baking.  

It was heaven in that moment.

The music, the rain, the smell and sounds from the kitchen...and an old, beat up tom cat purring on the couch next to me.

Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can feel it all again...and smell the cookies...and hear the music...sometimes.  And I feel strength from it.

The old farmhouse memories are rich and full and hard and painful...and they make me brave.

Brave because the storms don't last forever...the electric comes back on.

Brave because music still heals and changes me...softens my hard edges.

Brave because happiness lurked in the corners of that old house, waiting to surprise me at odd moments.

Brave because I am my snug home...with my good man and my four babies...

And remembering the farmhouse days reminds me that I am stronger now because of it.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dear Ann

You couldn't possibly have known that I would need to read your e-mailed blog post on this morning of all mornings.  You couldn't have known that.

You couldn't have known that my nerves would be strung tight as any guitar string...or a piano string...or like the strings on my Daddy's dulcimer that sits behind the living room chair...

You couldn't know I would be strung that straight and taut this morning...or that your post would strum the note right out of me.

But God knew.

God spoke right to my tightly wound heart using your words, Ann.

The words that came from your heart to my e-mail at 0-dark-thirty in the AM.

God plucked the note on my heart strings...played his morning melody...sang me His song...using your words.

These Words right here...

And I am ever so grateful that God knew what would get me out of the bed this morning...that He knew I would need words like yours...that He knew your words would break the knot up that was collecting in my throat...the knot that was keeping me from saying what needed to be said...

So grateful that He used your words to make me brave today.