The Welcome Home

For a few months we had been inching toward the sale of our home. One year ago today was the first of three days of showings. We’d been blindly taking steps forward, guided by the unseen Hand. 

Now over twenty five years ago we were looking for a home that would be just right for our growing family. “Looking” is far too weak. We were searching, yearning, praying for such a home. We searched and searched—drove around day after day looking for that forever home.  It had been suggested that I make a list of things I hoped the home would have. I made that list. I still have it, somewhere tucked in the pages of an old journal.

A series of events led us to drive through our town and notice a small sign on a post: For Sale By Owner. It’s a sweet, memorable story… the home had most every single thing on the list: a porch, a Willow Tree, enough bedrooms, a clawfoot tub, a large kitchen, land, space, a shop… We bought the forever home—the just right home for our growing family. And it was; it was just right. And one year ago today, after the For Sale sign went into the ground, dozens and dozens of showings began. I look back on that day now with melancholy reflection and no small measure of regret. But that Unseen Hand? That Unseen Hand was guiding us. And though I still do not have gladness in my heart about the decision, I do have a small measure of peace. Peace that it was God’s plan and peace that further along we’ll know more about it

At the end of the lane where that original For Sale sign was posted, and then 25 years later, our own, is a ‘Dead End’ sign. It was always going to be a dead end, but I’m sure never ever saw it that way. I saw it with eyes of joy and a heart full of gratitude. It was The Welcome Home… our forever home.

When we moved into that home, I wrote on the front door: Welcome Home.  Thus, it was named. It became the theme of that home… for in that home we welcomed three more babies, raised our eleven children, ran a swimming pool business, we took in several who needed a place to live, we fed strangers and friends, hosted Bible studies and a house-church, had huge gatherings, weddings and memorials, ate fruit from the trees and vegetables from the garden, grew flowers, made wedding cakes, birthday cakes, a gazillion cookies, thousands and thousands of meals and so much more.  So much more.

But it is the memories of mornings sitting on the porch beside the enormous Willow tree, in what we adoringly called the Garden of Eden, that make me teary today. We’d become nearly “empty-nesters” the last year there and that porch was kind of an oasis, a sanctuary of sorts, for us.

I purposely did not blog this whole event nor much of anything else for nearly a year now.  I was journaling accounts of each day — for which I’m very grateful now. As I’ve looked back, I’ve read the many grievous, heart-rending accounts of all that happened after we accepted the first and then the second offer and the months between the sale and the move away from that dear home.

I haven’t been back to our home—the once beautiful ‘slice of heaven’ with its majestic trees has been forever changed, destroyed, really, but it’s a new year, it’s time to move on. What’s done is done. The beauty and majesty of The Welcome Home is but a precious memory now.  I must note that our buyer loves the home, has big plans and dreams for The Lost Willow Farm. I’m glad.



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