Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Old Place - Part Two: The People

When we first moved to Liberal there were eight of us; by the time we moved into the little house on Paine Street our oldest son was married and our two middle sons were living on their own, so, at that point, there were just five of us...John and I, our two daughters, and our youngest son. Our oldest daughter married in the summer of that same year, so she wasn't there long. Then there were four of us. 

In 2007 our youngest daughter landed a full-time position with the state and moved to northern Missouri. After that there were just the three of us...John and I and our youngest son. Our youngest son married in 2013, so then, it was just John and I.

It was in this place that John and I experienced, not only "empty nest syndrome", but the "what do we do now" after 26 years of homeschooling together. It was tough...and it still is at times. I miss those days of having all my children together under one roof and the hubbub of family life.

All of our grandchildren, except for our oldest granddaughter, came into the world during our tenure at the old house. Many happy hours were spent with the grandchildren at that house...especially when the older ones were really events, family and holiday celebrations, picking up walnuts, tea parties, and all kinds of wonderful things! 

The stepping stones that the children made for me for my birthday one
year. I dug them up and brought them with me to the new house. All the
color is gone and the pictures are faded, but the little hand prints,
engravings, and little stones and things that they embedded in them are
still there. Not sure where I'm going to put them yet, but I've got them.
The grandlittles on the day that they gave me the stepping stones.
Audrey, Silas, Abby, and Gianna
Audrey, Silas, Abby, and Gianna having tea at Nana's.

T.J., Audrey, Liz, and Silas on Resurrection Sunday at Nana and Papa's
Liz and Audrey having tea at Nana's.
Abby and Gianna making Christmas cookies at Nana's.

Isaiah, Audrey, and Silas picking up walnuts at Nana and Papa's.

Baby Sarah

Silas having tea on St. Patrick's Day.

Our granddaughter Heather, our adoptive granddaughter, Chloe,
and I having tea on my birthday.
Baby Esther

The neighbors...oh! The neighbors! We had some pretty good neighbors over the years there on Paine Street. A couple of our neighbors owned their homes and had been long-time residents when we arrived, but there was a church parsonage next door to us and I don't recall how many pastors and wives and their families lived in that house over the years, but there were several. They were all nice and they were all friendly, but the ones that we were the closest to were the Reece's. I recently shared a post about my friend, Robin. She was one of the pastors' wives that lived next door to me and one of the closest friends that I've ever had. We did everything together and referred to the time that she lived next door as "the golden years."

There were other neighbors that, despite the fact that we hardly see each other at all now, will forever and always be considered good friends and others, of course, that have passed on, yet, their memory, and memories of our shared times together, linger on and will remain always.

When a new neighbor would move in anywhere on the block, I would welcome them to the neighborhood with a loaf of bread...baked fresh and right out of the oven...along with a jar of homemade jelly or jam or apple butter, if I had it. 

At Christmastime I would make each family on the block a loaf of banana-nut bread or some other sweet treat, and would hand deliver it along with a special Christmas card. This was something that I looked forward to every year. It's something that we did when we lived in Blue Springs and it's something that I have carried over to here. I grew up having good neighbors at Grain Valley and, even though I've learned that it's not always the case, it's something that, in my heart and mind, people just do. I've never regretted trying to be a good neighbor to those that the Lord has put within my sphere of influence.

There are so many sweet memories of people that came and went at the house on Paine Street...our children...their families and friends...all the in-laws (and the out-laws, as my husband calls them...LOL!)...visits from friends and family from back home...our friends from get-to-gethers...tea with friends...homeschool events...cookouts...bonfires...and the list goes on and on. 

So many many sweet memories! And I'm thankful for each and every one!

Until next time...

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