Sunday, March 25, 2012

that old chicken house

We have a new mantle. That room has always been missing something. Now a beautiful mantle above our wood burning fireplace radiates love and blessing heaped upon blessing from deep within its grain, worm holes and pores.
Its hard to say how old the wood is, but it certainly has a story of its own. You could say its been around a while--at least long enough to pass through four generations of the Wolf family.
It was gathered by my loving husband and I, from my Pap's farm in Wolfsville, Maryland. A piece of home. A home of not much money, but a rich in love. We gathered it, the old hand hewn American Chestnut beam, one spring. Hand hewn it was by the strong hands of my Pap and Great Grandfather Loy. It was a support beam that the old gray weathered chicken house used to rest on. The old gray chicken house that had rigety stairs to get inside and an old, rusted water spkit. You could hear the chickens clucking away from outisde. I was young when Pap and Grandma would take me across the pig path road and down the pasture to that old chicken house. Outside of there was a young birch tree. Pap would get his pocket knife and cut a little branch and skin off a piece of birch for me to chew on. I still remember the birch taste and chewy wood in my mouth.
There was a tin bucket. "Get that bucket, were gonna need it for the eggs" he would say. I would get its handle and wait for him to open the door that stayed shut by a small piece of wood nailed to the door frame. Gently I gathered the brown eggs and placed them in the tin bucket. Sometimes an old rooster was in a cage in there, Pap would put him in there if he was bullying the other chickens.
That spring day many years later, my husband and I gathered that beam from a rock pile. The chicken house is gone now, but this beam remained. It was so heavy, I could barely lift my side as we put it into the back of his truck.
We took it from there to my parents house, where my Dad used his strong hands to cut it on his saw mill.
My husband then brought it to our new home in West Virginia. I sanded that beam, and sanded it, and again until it was smooth. Daddy made us matching brackets and I sanded those too. Then "golden oak" stain was put on it. Magificient it is, as it pulls out the dark color of our knotty pine wall behind it.
Today, Dad and my husband put up that mantle. I can't stop staring at it. Although Pap passed away two years ago and went to live with our Lord Jesus, I can't help but feel a little piece of him, of our memories is right here with me.
Pap touched that beam. He cut that Chestnut tree down and hewed it to hold up his chicken house. Dad touched that beam. He cut it into our mantel. And now, me, I have had the privelege to touch that same beam, sand it and stain it.
When I was young and walking up the rigety chicken house stairs, gathering eggs and eating birch, I had no idea what profound love and memories are forever etched in my heart. For there are many, and now one old, chicken house beam will always remind me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A W poem

ok ok....I guess I'll admit it, I never intended for it to be...but it appears this blog is looking like a "mom blog." Never thought I would be a "mom blogger." Turns out this blog is more for my release than for anyone to really read. Sorry. This is where I am right now.... Im embracing it!

Our two year old inspired me to write this poem tonight:

Who ever thought this sweet little face
Could so put a mother in her place

And bring me low to
humble me so

And teach me more than
I could ever have hoped to know

And bring me high with giddy delight
And then its time to kiss him goodnight

As he slumbers quietly
I get down on my knees

Oh Lord, please make me wise
and gentle and kind

Because tomorow him and I
will probably get in another bind

And let me give thanks that
each day is new

And so are mercies and grace renewed

Who ever thought this sweet little face......
Could so put a mother in her place.

He's asleep now.
I miss him already.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flying North or Flying South?

I am not sure where they are going, the geese. Three times they flew over my head today. Magnificently they flew, right over my head. I could hear each of their wings flapping. Its only recently I took notice to the sound, wondering had it been their all along, or are they closer to me here than they have been before all my life? As they fly in their V, each of their wings move up and down in unison. They honk, and as I sit here and write, another flock flies by outside my loft window. Flying the same direction. I wish I could tell you whether that was north, south, east or west. But I don't know. I have a poor sense of direction. But wait, let me think. I know that the direction down back our gravel road, is south because that is the direction I would take to Virginia, and I know that much....that Virginia is south. The geese are going exactly the opposite way, north. They are coming home after their vacation for winter. I am hopeful, hopeful for spring. I like spring, of course, I like summer, fall and winter too. But spring is special. There are signs of it all around. I hear the birds chirping, corcas are blooming purple, tulips are rising up through the dirt that has shown no life in a while, biggest little boy is running wild outside (although, honestly that is not seasonal...but year round...and thank goodness!), husband is preparing to build a coop for spring peeps, and...yes...the geese come home. They always know where they are going and how to get there. It is instinctive. Spring brings hope. Brings us the hope of the new, a fresh start, lent and with lent forgiveness. Ready for your spring to wash over me and all...come spring come, with the speed of a lion and the calm of THE LAMB!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A White Rabbit Incident

Alice in Wonderland's white rabbit, it always running about in a frenzy asking "...the time, the time, who's got the time??" He is always running late, and always in a hurry.

Many days I feel like a white rabbit. Too many days lately. I want to slow down, slow life down....I want to be able to take in each moment and give thanks for it. The rush is getting to me, some days drives me to tears. The trying to keep up. Dishes. Laundry. Changing diapers. Feeding mouths. Cleaning. Work from home....etc....etc. You get the idea. I'm missing all the gifts I've been given when I become the white rabbit.

I wasn't created to be a white rabbit. I was created to be me, and I believe I was created to be a thankful me.

I LOVE, Ann Voscamp in One thousand gifts. She is real. When I read her book, I see her being on a journey to go through her wonderland without anymore white rabbit incidents. She writes "Is it only when our lives are emptied that we're surprised by how truly full our lives were? Instead of filling with expectation, the joy filled expect nothing and are filled. This breath! This oak tree! This daisy! This work! This sky! These people! This day! Surprise!"

Today, God has granted me the grace to see! To name just a few.....calm morning with husband and coffee on the couch-lost in conversation, baby jabbering and starring at me bright and early, biggest little boy digging in the dirt outside, winter shadows in the woods, unexpected gift of two babies napping at the same time....SURPRISE!, short bubble bath and time to write this blog.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ace of Hearts

They say home is where the heart true. Even so, now that I am grown, I have more than one home where my heart hangs its hat. Every Christmas season, my parents host a card party. Last night was it. As the years have gone past, time allows nothing to stand still. Some of the faces are no longer present that once were at the party; my loving and happy Pap, my I want to tell her everything Grandma Wolf, the funniest Aunt...Eva with a great big heart and others. But today, still, the house is bustling with some traditional-couldnt have the card party without you faces and some new faces, and heaps and heaps of love from the hearts of family and friends. Let me take you there:

Walking up toward the back door with the wind chilling us, husband and I with each a baby boy in our arms. We see, puffs of smoke coming out the old stone "shop" building, with candles aglow in the windows. I loved the way the candles fogged the cold glass from the inside. My suspusion was correct.....Jonathan, the not so little anymore brother was in there. He was stoking the fireplace and getting music ready for guests, in case a game of pool and friends warrented so. "hello Jonathan I yelled and Happy card party!"

Enter through the rough door of the old farm house and into the cozy, toasty warm woodstove heated kitchen. There, Mom greets us, while hurrying along to perfectly place each tasty snack on the old, round oak table that she refinished a few years ago. Christmas green punch filled the glass bowl; peanut blosssums with hershey kisses perched on their throne, peacon dreams, Sadie's sugar cookies from her Grandmother's receipe, chex mix, bottles of wine, homemade vanilla ice cream and other yummy snacks mounded high on the table.

Here comes Dad, cold, worn and tired from another day working far harder than this daughter ever wishes he had too. He just got home from the barn...with time enough to grab a quick shower before festivities start. Biggest baby boy, begging to play with toy tractors, runs for the stairs because he knows exactly where to find his little treasure. Husband and I open generous Christmas gifts from my parents. Gratitude.

Not long, here begins the people that make the party what it is, pouring into the toasty warm kitchen. Greetings comense: Hello. Merry Christmas! So glad you could come. How have you been? To name a few.

Cards. Game known to us as "500." The throw down of Aces, Jokers, Jacks and off Jacks of the trump suit...if you'd be lucky enough to have one. Laughing. Snacking. Cousin Chase and sister Tara wearing Biggest boy's teenage mutant ninja turtle masks. Discarding, and gathering of trunps from the widow. Dad and Mom with big smiles enjoying this traditional night. Dealing. Collecting tricks...with hopes of making your bid. Uncle Charlie who wouldn't miss this night gathering up his cards, organizing them after they are delt; playing with Barry and others. Husband jumping right in there, and when he's luck struck...raking in the tricks and piling them up; one trick stacked one way, next stacked the other way so as to not lose count. Brother Darren, Grandy and Grandma playing at another table with more cards. Dealing. Discarding and gathering tricks. Grandy resides in the old press back rocking chair in the cornor, although 97 years old, still one of the sharpest 500 card sharks present. Littliest baby boy being passed around by loved ones, while biggest baby boy biting cookies and putting them back into the tin on the old oak table. Take a moment, Treasure this moment, give thanks to the loving God who has given us all this. Thank you for this night, this gift, these memories,; and please etch them in my mind, heart and soul forever...don't let me forget each detail. The voices, the faces, the love, the cards, the laughter, the silliness, the cousin who traveled over an hour on a work night because he wouldn't miss it, grand parents, parents, aunts, uncles, friends, husband, littliest and biggest baby boys, brothers and sister. All of this, all of it! All of it with the GREATEST gift of all looking down on us, surrounding us, baby Jesus on the mantel, there present in the room, filling the room with his love forever more. No matter how time passes, faces change, card parties change, life changes, His great love for us never changes or leaves. I leave this entry...overwhelemed.