My daughter, granddaughter and I started the morning with a cup of coffee, some chicken biscuits and Little Einsteins. Then, I trekked into "big town" for last minute weekend groceries and such. They straightened up the house, did a load of laundry and cooked a pot of delicious beans to go with dinner later. Lily Kate took a good nap and was ready to go for a swim by the time I got home and the truck was unloaded.
Charla, Dana's best friend since they were in diapers, and her daughter, Cora came over to visit and Cora kept us entertained with her latest "water moves" since she just finished her swim lessons. Lily Kate was, at first,pretty hesitant to throw herself into it like Cora did but she finally did and we all had a splashing good time. Great fun!
After we came inside, Dana started the rest of dinner for tonight -- chicken mole, red rice, cucumbers in yogurt and dill sauce, rolled up in a big ol' flour tortilla. The little girls played and the big girls visited while Dana cooked. Something about the whole scene made me "flashback" to a time in my life that was so good, so satisfying. Just thinking back on it all made me smile.
When William and I were 33 years old and had three children ages 3, 4 and 10, we knew we were being led by the LORD to leave where we were - with the nice salary and the great benefits, nice paid for house, surrounded by both our families and lots of friends - and move to Fort Worth, 4 hours away from home, for him to attend Southwest Baptist Theological Seminary and go to graduate school. Crazy enough --- we heard the LORD and obeyed. We have so many memories -- ALL sweet ones -- from that next 6 years of our lives. We all learned so much. We have some really great stories from those years. Those stories will just have to wait til another day.
When we moved, we very fortunate to get assigned seminary housing. It was a tiny house with a total of 6 rooms, 2 bathrooms. It had been a duplex at one time and was now combined to make a single family home. The house was lacking in many things but the backyard more than made up for it. A couple of enormous trees provided lots of shade. William found a place to buy sand for the kids to play in and we had brought the kids small playhouse/fort with us. Soooo, we had a "playland" for a yard, especially compared with the other hot, dry and treeless yards in the neighborhood.
Surrounded by other little seminary houses we were also central in location, so most afternoons our house was the gathering spot for the neighborhood. There were 5 women and 16 little kids that would come over for playing and visiting.
All the women stayed home with the children, many homeschooling, while the guys went to class most of the day and worked at various jobs until late in the night. None of us had much money and we all were on very tight budgets. So even on the very hottest days, we never ran the air conditioners. Some would run the a/c window unit in one room -- which we all referred to as "the cold room". If you were just absolutely about to perish, you could duck into "the cold room" just long enough to revive so you could go about your business. Summertime in Texas is blazing hot.
I remember so many afternoons --- naptime would be over and the women and kids would start to appear. The sounds of the children playing and laughing would come through the open doors and windows. And we girls would sit where we could see the kids and visit and sweat. I remember one time my parents were coming to visit and they got there early in the day while all the neighborhood was still there. I was in the middle of mixing up and baking cookies for everyone. And someone else had brought over a box of popsicles. There were kids everywhere!!! It was pretty much flat out chaos that day. But fun chaos!! I never found out what my folks really thought of that day. I suspect they just shook their heads in amazement. It really was a three-ring circus! Such fun! Such good memories !
I'm not sure I could even do such a thing today. Of course, that's been nearly 25 years ago, so I'm much older. And, therefore, like my air conditioning more. But I really truly believe we women were all empowered by something beyond ourselves. It was a matter of pride to NOT cave and turn on the air conditioner and spend your family's money needlessly. We all lived on strict budgets. We were sacrificing for the financial good of the family. And none of us wanted the others to think us wimpy. AND almost all of the husbands worked very physically demanding jobs and we figured if they had to be out in the heat every day....then by golly, we could do it too.
Wow! I'm so thankful the LORD didn't leave us where we were all those years ago, but called us out into the unknown for His purposes. AND I am also so glad we heard and responded. We've never been the same. What a great life - then and now!