106. These days…

“The purpose of art is washing the daily dust of life off our souls.” — Pablo Picasso

The last few weeks there has been a lot of daily dust on my soul. On my body too, as we sweep the city house clean of grime, stuff, and collected junk. Touching every single item that takes up space in this house, getting rid of the stuff that needs gotten rid of, and storing and keeping the sweet memories. It has taken its toll. Alternately at peace yet anxious, content yet wistful, it’s lovely to see the gardens beautiful again, the rooms freshly painted, the porches clean and inviting, and junk cleared out. For two years I’ve wanted to be at the cottage; these days I find myself wanting to be here at the city house, enjoying these last days before we sell it.

At work, too, it is the same. This is my last week. We must give up the old to embrace the new, and I’m ready to do that. But then I get sixty cards from students telling me how much they will miss me, thanking me for being in their lives, drawing me pictures of their favorite books, hugs goodbye, and I’m wistful again.

Beauty helps. I’m so glad that we are not moving in the winter. I can sit outside in the green and watch birds, take pictures of flowers, and feel the beauty of it all washing the dust away from my tired body and needy soul.


Buzzards aren’t usually photographed for their beauty. But the turkey buzzard on the barn roof was a beauteous sight. There he sat, with his wings stretched out  — long enough for me to admire him, run inside to grab my iPhone, take his picture, and then admire him for a few more minutes. Soon he was joined by his mate, but as I was adjusting the camera, he flew away. I didn’t get the photo of two turkey buzzards on the barn roof.

It looks to me as if he is praising God for this sunny, glorious spring afternoon. Yes, I know that is anthropomorphism, (perhaps it sounds more acceptable if we make it a literary allusion and call it personification?) and he was probably just airing out his wings…

Yet it reminded me to stretch out my arms and praise God for the sweet beauty of these days.

 

15 thoughts on “106. These days…

  1. Oh what a beautiful house. I know your cottage will be feeling comfortable, and cozy soon, just like a “home” should feel. 🙂
    God is good…all the time.

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  2. It is a quaint little house — (Pittsburgh is The City to live in if you want to find a cute little stone house); but I’m a country girl and am yearning for evenings with no sirens… I’ll just be glad to get settled. And it helps to know that everyone who moves goes through this.

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  3. It is hard to leave a job you have loved. We put our hearts and souls into the children, hoping and praying we are touching them with our book choices, that somehow they will come to love the characters as much as we have. Maybe they even find that the characters give them strength to mold them into the children God wants them to be. Change is hard. All we can do is pray that we have done all we could for them. And now, what does God have in store for the next chapter of your life? Something wonderful, I am sure.

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  4. God created those turkey buzzards for a reason. And I have no doubt He sent that one to Air his wings out, right in front of you. I’m praying that you get lots of peace and rest, and are able to absorb all of the beauty surrounding you in your new abode.

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  5. The Pittsburgh house looks great! I’m glad you are leaving with so many good memories 🙂

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    • Yes, well — you’ll notice I did not post pictures of the upstairs bathroom (currently looks like a pile of rubble) or the Basement (currently looks like many piles of rubbish). 🙂

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  6. Isn’t it amazing how much “stuff” can accumulate around our homes? For the past six months I have been sorting through and letting a lot of “stuff” go. The amazing thing is I don’t miss it and I enjoy having a less cluttered house. It is all an ongoing work in progress. One of these day I am hoping to get everything organized and can start repainting room-by-room.

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    • Everyone who has gone through this process of cleaning out, says it is very freeing. I’m not there yet! But thanks for the encouragement. 🙂 By the way, I saw a photo of your kitchen counter in the post with the strawberries? I love it!

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      • Thanks. That tile work took me about two weeks to install. Unfortunately the sink, which is tiled in, was damaged by a dropped cast iron frying pan. There is also a damaged time from something else. I have been looking for a replacement sink. This time I’m going to get the stainless steel sink I want in the first install. I have a feeling this job is going to require patients and is going to be time consuming so as to not damage any other tiles. Fortunately I have extra tiles as well as grout from the original batch.

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          • I would love to have a soapstone counter and sink but keep the back splash you saw in the picture. So far in my research I have found one sink that would work with the existing hole (my choices are limited due to the fact I have a wall mounted faucet). It is stainless steel which means I would not have to worry about chipping in the future plus it is a drop in and would require no new tile work. I also came across two hammered copper sinks but they would require some tile work due to their size. I like the idea of a hammered copper sink because it would not show dents from dropped items. The other draw back to the copper sink is the cost which is about double on one and over three times on the other. Stainless steel I believe would actually look better with the Wedgewood stove and its chrome top. Any design thoughts are welcomed.

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            • Well…I love our soapstone sink and counters, but they do chip. After one year of light use, they have a couple hardly noticeable nicks on the edge of the sink. You have to be the kind of person who can live with that. I am. Mr. H.C. is not. He agreed, knowing that if the dings get too bad, he can sand them out himself. What I definitely recommend is a deep sink. Ours is around 10″ (I think) and a high faucet enables me to put a 5 gallon bucket in the sink! It’s wonderful. I don’t know I lived all these years with a regular one.
              I love wall faucets. It wasn’t feasible in the kitchen, but we’re putting one in the bathroom. We have a hammered copper sink for the BR, but we’ve had it for 5 years and we got it for $100. I’m not sure I’d want one in the kitchen; the soapstone is so easily cleaned. Your backsplash is a natural for looking good with soapstone, but I’ve also seen stainless deep sinks that are very pretty too!

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  7. The cottage is awesome. I’m also a country girl at heart, but I’ve always thought that Pittsburgh seemed like a nice city whenever I’ve visited it. I’m looking forward to hearing more about it as you get settled in.

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