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

7. Meadowbrook Lane

How we were privileged enough to live in another darling little cottage is beyond me, except I am a firm believer in God knowing the desires of our hearts and delighting to surprise us with wondrous gifts! I have an especial love for charming old homes, so I can only conclude this stone cottage was a gift from God, almost as if He was helping me through the sadness of selling our home.

Home. What is it? Surely it's not defined as one particular spot forever, or our little family would never succeed in creating one. It seems to me home has more to do with family, the unit of people who live together, the feel we impart to the house we occupy. I'll have to think on it some more!

The property had a huge sycamore tree out front with just the perfect branch for a rope swing. Dale put his own life at risk to hang that swing for the children...but the thrill they got out of the ride made it worthwhile!

We planned to rent another house, even gave a deposit because we (well, I) figured we'd better get it while it's available, i.e., dive in quickly before it disappears. But I had to keep scanning the ads in the newspaper. You know how it is. Or maybe you don't! One day I saw an ad that looked too good to pass up, so I got Dale's permission to at least go take a look.

Astonishingly, it was almost next door to our current house, but not at all what I wanted. After showing it to another lady and me, he took me aside and informed me that this stone cottage across the lane will be empty within a few weeks if I'm interested. Am I? Or course, I am!

Another phone call to my skeptical husband. Yes, I could take a tour. Charmed. Now to get our deposit back on the other house. We got some of it, but the rent here was quite a bit less and the house so much better, it was not too big a deal.

We did have to move into Dale's parents' basement for a few weeks because it took the landlord's son longer to get out of the house than expected. O, and we did have to start charter school during that time. Much driving back and forth between Lewistown and McClure for school and cleaning the old house. I couldn't wait to settle in. I offered to clean the cottage. What a mess of dust bunnies, dog hair, dog food, and mouse droppings. But the trials were bearable with the prospect ahead of us. And I had lots of ladies helping me clean.

I loved this red and white kitchen...

The living room had the most darling little front door and a lovely stone fireplace

Other than a lot of painting and installing new windows, which I was relieved we could do (labor free, but materials paid by landlord!), we didn't have to do that much work on it. Happy landlord - happy tenants.

How I delighted in that fireplace...

Mom's cheery face!

Many happy evenings were spent playing games with Dale's parents. I miss that...

My dad came up with an ingenious way to mow all our terraced lawns!

We had a ridge up behind the house that needed to be explored, so the four of us hiked up one Saturday morning.

Jacki must have preferred to climb the trees!

Jacki and Julian painting boxes for a school project

Julian took it upon himself to create a map of the USA. He was becoming quite enamored of maps and roads, working on these hobbies during much of his free time. It's a fascination he's had since he was only a few years old. I was so proud of him for making this totally on his own.

They had this thing with dressing up as King and Queen or Prince and Princess.

They are certainly sober enough!

Jacki had already started a collection of hats and loved her stash of dress-up clothes!

Julian helps with blueberries

Our terraces made a great place for sledding in winter

Even their dad got involved. He got ahead of his toboggan somehow!

While we lived here, my brother Keith's family stayed with us for a week or so (can't remember how long) until they were ready to move to Honduras. We had a great time together before they left, but it sure was hard to see them go. Tina plays games with Weston and Julian.

Julian and Jacki put together a treasure hunt for their cousins, Amie and Weston.

Canning applesauce...Amie, Jacki, Tina

Boys will be boys and that means wrestling...Josh, Weston, Julian

Getting in some physical education for school, Julian and Jacki play volleyball!

Another fascination Julian had was bugs, so we bought him a little bug box, in which he put many creepy crawlies. We had a plague of cicadas one year, but he had fun catching them!

They both took piano lessons. Julian was the "pound away at it" type!

Jacki's style is more soft and flowing! It takes both kinds!

My very first chapter of promise in the Bible was Psalm 37, which is not about getting what I want, but rather, all about delighting and trusting in God. If my life is fully surrendered to God, He has freedom to order every step (Proverbs 3:5,6). The problem is that I don't like to surrender. Looking back, I marvel at how many gifts He gave despite my failings. How faithful He is! It's a lifetime of learning...

Our sojourn at this cottage lasted approximately a year and a half. Then a place came up for rent near Dale's parents with a much better monthly payment, a chance to live at the foot of a mountain away out in the country, less than a mile from our church, and of course, the pleasure of living within walking distance of Dad's. Much as we didn't exactly want to move again, all signs pointed in that direction! Always trying to save money...

Once again, the call of adventure and exciting new discoveries beckoned me onward in this ever-changing story of life! And since our lives are truly in God's hands, I believe it was His plan! There is security in surrender!

To be continued...