I wrote about our present home before.
It was the provision of The Lord fourteen years ago for us and the nine children who still lived at home.
We now have an empty nest! There are no more fledglings left! They are grown up and have moved on from their parents. Yes, it is lonely after all the activity of a full household. Instead of children running up and down the stairs all I hear is the timbers creaking.
Many of the seven bedrooms are empty. The heating is turned off in the rooms. Where there used to be life, chatter, laughter, lights on and essays being written, there is silence and a chill in the air.
There is no one to call to make a cup of tea and have a chat. There is no news about what friends are up to.
There are no cries of “Who touched my Razor.” “Where is my toothbrush?” “Who used my hair jell?” “Dinner is ready!” “It is prayer time. Come down for prayers.”
I do not have to check the rooms to see if everyone is in bed. My boys and girls slept in peace in their warm beds. They were always well rested to face all the activity of their young lives. He gives his beloved sleep. Psalm 127 v 2
There are five levels of stairs in my home so one had to shout loud. Even then everyone did not hear the call.
An African man came to visit. He enjoyed all the buzz in our home. It reminded him of his own country where there is plenty of activity and noise.
The jam in the cupboard grows mould because there is no one to eat peanut and jam sandwiches. I throw out vegetables and leftovers in the fridge because there are no hungry boys coming in from football to eat them.
The washing machines are silent. I would have two washing machines on the go to wash towels and all the jeans and socks.
The house was warmer then with all the bodies in the house. There was help to keep fires lit and logs cut. I loved the sound of the Hoover on the landing. I knew the carpets were getting refreshed. Now the dust gathers and we don’t see it. Cobwebs grow on the shutters.
A proverb says “Where there are no cattle the stall is clean but with increase of oxen there is strength.” There always was help to keep the family going. The children did their chores.
There are no football bags in the corridor to trip over. I don’t have to replace many toilet rolls. There is no smell of burnt toast. The kitchen sink is not full of dirty saucepans. All the signs of life are gone.
The grass is beginning to grow in the spring sunshine. The plant pots need refreshed. Hedgerows need pruned. The work is too much for two of us. Reluctantly Brendan and I have agreed to downsize. We have to leave this Old House that has lovingly protected us and our children for fourteen years. It has been a shelter from the wind and rain. It’s gardens provided play areas for our children and their friends and grandchildren, soil to grow my vegetables, trees to climb and swings to dangle from.
Take a look at this video on YouTube:
Brendan and I and the children have enjoyed many times of tea on the front garden where the morning sun shines. The children come down one by one to sit with us and enjoy the moment. We enjoyed many barbecues and conversations around camp fires. It’s hedgerows provided homes for blackbirds, doves, robins and sparrows. Blossoms on the Laburum, Magnolia and Rhododendron tress signalled spring.
We had champagne on the lawn for our son’s wedding. That was a great success. And the birthday parties?
We are moving on before all the spring activity starts and I will be tempted to stay. We will keep the memories in our hearts.
Thank you God for providing this house in which our family flourished.
video of This Old House by Shaking Stevens With thanks.