Dwellings...Our Parade of Ten Homes in Twenty Years

2. Little English Cottage

Welcome to House #2! Our second residence was in the same village as the apartment, we rented it from the same landlords, but it had an altogether sweeter character. To some it may not matter much, but I am attracted to homes with character, beauty, and soul. I mean, it seriously looks like someone cared, and invested a lot of effort and design into this home. It's an adorable little cottage that made me quite happy!

Again, it was actually divided into two apartments. We lived on the first floor and had the garage and basement. Friends of ours rented the upstairs. This was also my first attempt at my own gardening. I planted impatiens out front and they grew beautifully, despite my inexperience. The landlady did have to call me a time or two to remind me to water the plants she had put into the gardens. She really was a patient, motherly lady, teaching this newly married young girl some basics of homemaking!

One primary, life-changing event occurred while we lived here...we became the proud parents of our first child!

Dale was pretty sure he wasn't ready to be the father of a son, but he took it all in stride! Who really is "ready" for all those changes a baby brings? I, on the other hand, almost couldn't wait!

I felt like I had to pray our first child into existence, I was so excited to begin mothering and not have to go work outside the home. Strange, maybe, but I remember dreaming and praying about having a family. It was what I aspired to and longed for.

Julian Dale Schmucker was our firstborn and cause for joys I had never known before. I found satisfaction and fulfillment in being a mother. He was sweet, cute, content...

This was in the era of cutting up photos for scrapbooking and I took it seriously! Sorry about the quality of the photo...it's one of our first family snaps.

This one is especially precious to me. My grandparents, Allen and Emma Miller, are not living anymore and I still miss them. But I was blessed to have them visit our home soon after Julian was born. My Mom is standing beside me.

My parents still lived in Pennsylvania when Julian was born.
It's an evening of games with Renee', Kris, and Dad.
This makes me want to treasure the moments we share with family and friends.
My parents and three younger sisters moved to Montana a year after Julian was born.

Julian was a happy baby in those first months, as can be seen here!

But we also had sorrows come our way. Before Julian was even a year old, we noticed he seemed slightly extreme in some areas - screaming in fear over loud laughter or singing, becoming fearful of anyone except his mother, a bit slower developmentally... Was something wrong with our son? I didn't worry too much about it. Somehow, it would all work out.

While living at this place, we also faced some intense struggles in our marriage and in our spiritual lives. I will never forget one certain spot on that living room floor. I knelt there crying out to God for help, for His Spirit to lead, and I committed myself to His purging, purifying work, whatever that might be. Somehow, I knew a transaction had been made between God and me. I meant what I prayed and felt that He intended to take me seriously.

I am of the opinion that it is impossible to truly love God as we ought unless we are tested and tried and find out how much we really need Him. In any case, my own experience brings me to that conclusion. If all goes well I don't need Jesus. When my world gets shaken I am much more apt to call on a higher power than my own. Then He can come in with His glorious liberating power to set us free! It may take days, weeks, or years...this was the beginning of God's love becoming real to me.

To be continued...


  1. Wonderful true story!!!

  2. Karyn you are amazing! I love and enjoyed the stroll thru memory lane......miss you......Martha

  3. Thanks ever so much, Martha! And I would love to see you too. Combing through old photos made me want to get together with the Miller family again. I keep hoping one day it will happen :)


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