On Sunday, July 17, Gregg and I said goodbye to our little bungalow on Benson. It sold within 48 hours, and part of my heart will always be there. It was our first house. We lived in an apartment for the first year we were married, then renovated Benson and lived there for a year and a half. I absolutely will always love that house, the hardwood floors, the shelves around the kitchen sink to hold all my grandmothers knick knacks, the screened in porch, and my absolute favorite part, being next door to Bob, Mae, and Naomi.
Bobby is Gregg’s older brother, and Meagan is his wife. When we told people that we all lived next door to one another, the crazy looks were hilarious. But we just absolutely love each other, and God gave us a season of living next door to each other. I can honestly say living next door to them is something I could do forever. The Saturday morning coffee dates on the porch, the late night calls to Mae saying, “Hey, can I come borrow a shirt to wear tomorrow?”, and then her watching me walk home to make sure I got there ok, even though it was only a few steps away…The many late night talks and laughs, around our kitchens, washing dishes at my sink and looking up to see Naomi (our niece) run across the yard to see Uncle Hoot and Aunt Airwin, the meals we shared, the shows we all watched together…All of those things were a gift, a gift that could have only come from the gracious hand of God. So as this chapter comes to a close, I want to share some of my favorite days from every season living on Benson. I loved that house.
Our first Christmas on Benson, and our third Christmas being married. I’ve had this tree for 6 years, I bought it when I was working as a server at Cracker Barrel through college. I bought it for $33.00, and at the time I probably didn’t really need to spend $33.00 on a tree nonetheless, but I did, and years later, I am still enjoying it. I consider that a good purchase.
This is our memory tree that we set up in our dining room. Gregg and I have many things in common, and our love for Christmas (aside from that we both love Jesus) is my favorite thing we share a love for. This tree is filled with ornaments from childhood, married ornaments that we got as shower gifts, and ornaments that we buy whenever we travel to a new place. I love this sentimental tree.
Our first snow. February 16, 2015. On this day, I made a huge breakfast and enjoyed having a week day off probably more than anyone. I also made a loaf of cinnamon banana bread, and enjoyed our fireplace and netflix the entire day.
On this snow day, January 22, 2016, I decided to spend some time decorating my mantle for Valentine’s day. A cozy-day-in is the perfect motivation to clean, organize, and deck out your mantle for upcoming holidays.
3.17.15 On this day, I was washing dishes, and I looked up outside and saw that my buttercups had bloomed. I ran outside, cut a few of them, and put them in a jar on my counter. The Lord makes all things new. Every Spring I’m reminded of that truth.
With warmer weather came more opportunities to spend time on our porch. This porch was my favorite feature of Benson. Many talks with Jesus took place in this room, and many cups of coffee were consumed….
Last May, I got to throw my life-long-friend Chelsea a bridal shower. She and I jokingly tell others that we were friends even before we were born. Our moms were in the same “La Maz” class back in 1987. She was born in September, and I was born in October. I love that sweet little detail about our friendship. It has been such a blessing to see Chelsea so happy. I’ve seen God be faithful through her, her love for Phillip, and his love for her.
Us celebrating our mom’s on Mother’s day.
Since my husband is a Summer baby and the most patriotic person I know, I decided for this year’s birthday I would throw him a Red, White, and Blue Birthday Barbeque. I invited all of our family, and it was a great time.
My sister, niece, and nephew were in from Ohio the same weekend as Gregg’s party. It felt good to have her home, celebrating with us. I miss not having her here for family get togethers of any kind.
Both of our last living grandparents came to the party, Gregg’s grandmother, Elma, and my Papaw, James. Gregg never got to meet my nana, she would have loved him. By having my papaw with us to celebrate, makes me feel like my nana was somewhat there too.
One last picture from the party because I sure love this guy.
Fall is my favorite season of all time. I love everything about it, and I loved decorating my porch last year for it.
One of my favorite things to do is cook for people. On this particular night, I had 4 girls over from church. I had the privilege of making Maggie’s (to the left of me) first roast. I can’t remember how this conversation came up, but we were trying to figure out our menu for Bible study for this night, and Maggie mentioned she had never had Roast. I was totally shocked. So, I did as most all other Southern women would do, put my apron on and made this girl a roast. I feel so thankful that the Lord saw fit to make us friends, to walk this life together.
We always figured that when we got Benson, we would fix it up, live in it for a while, and then resell it. When the opportunity came for us to put it on the market, we showed it to a couple at our church on a Tuesday, and they called with an offer the following Thursday. A lot of people think we’re crazy for selling our house with no new home on the horizon, but I had to completely trust the Lord, and I trusted my husband that we were making the right decision, while we don’t have kids, to find a little bit bigger home, with a bigger yard while we had the chance.
So on July 10th, we said goodbye to our house on Benson, filled with many sweet memories, and we moved in with Gregg’s gracious parents. To be honest, it took the entire first week we lived here to catch up on rest. We were exhausted to say the least. We have been so busy this summer with work, being out of town, weddings, VBS, packing, getting a house ready to be shown, and many things in between that I had honestly taken a break from creeping Zillow every single day and night.
Fast-forward a week……
It was a Thursday night, we had had VBS Sunday through Wednesday that week. So, on our first night in that week, we were watching TV with Mike and Jan (my in-laws). I was praising the Lord for a night with no where to go or be, the delicious spaghetti dinner my mother-in-love had made, and Gregg was scrolling Facebook when he came upon a picture that his high school friend, Hannah, had posted. The picture was of her grandmother holding a for sale sign, standing in her front yard. I saw the picture only from a distance, and knew that Gregg had to text Hannah and get more details. Sure enough, he did, and within 12 hours we were viewing her grandmother’s home.
It was a Friday morning, and the rain was coming down, we knocked on the door, and sweet Mrs. Ruth greeted us with a big smile. She told us several things before we began to look at it, but I remember the first thing that she told us, that this was the house that she and her husband raised their family in, and this was the only house she’d known for 53 years. Of course, I’m looking at the fireplace, and the kitchen cabinets, and Gregg is outside looking at the roof, and the building out in the backyard, it was when we got to the kitchen (which is on the front of the house, a long time dream of mine) she looked at me and said, “I bet I could feed all of Warren county with the food that’s been on this table.” It was then that I knew. This is the kitchen I want to cook in for years to come. I had such peace. Peace only He can give. Long story short, Gregg and I made her an offer, and she excepted. Before leaving, we all stood in a circle and said a prayer. I’m still praying for Mrs. Ruth as she transitions into a new place, that’s better suited for her at this season in her life, and I’m so thankful that I work at the church she has been a member of for more than 60 years.
Isn’t it something how you find exactly what you’re looking for when you least expect it? While I’m excited to do a few fixer upper projects with this new home, cook in a kitchen that’s on the front of the house, my heart will always love our little bungalow on Benson. But even more than that, I am thankful that our “home” is not the actual house we live in, rather it’s the people that we get to do life with, our family, and closest friends. I look back on all the memories made in only a year and a half living at Benson, all the people that we ate with, celebrated with, and made memories with, and I can’t help but sing praises to the One who was the giver of it all.
Onto a new home, a new address, and a new season, with the same savior who thankfully never changes.