Every time I walk past our stairwell a tiny little “ding” is heard. It’s faint, and I’ve gotten used to it for the most part.
It comes from an antique telephone Krista brought from her mom’s house last month, the kind I first saw on the Waltons, with a crank and a separate ear piece. It’s classic.
Following the death of Krista’s dad last September, Krista’s mom, Joan, decided to move out of their spacious log home and into a two bedroom condo. She downsized, which meant that we now have a number of little treasures like that phone … and a small chalkboard that hung in their basement … and an old flintlock gun that looks like something Aaron Burr would have used in his fateful duel.
Although we’re proud to own these keepsakes, it’s hard for me to place them outside that old log house where they’ve lived these last 30 years. It’s where we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas ever since I met Krista. It’s that place of quiet retreat that always smelled like a combination of Roger’s workshop, a wood burning stove, and the warm, muskiness of barley and hops.
I’m not sure who will miss that house more, but I know my name is on that list. The night time was the best, with no ambient light or noise for miles around. Sleeping in was assumed, as was a quiet walk down the stairs if you were the first one up.
There was nothing fancy about the house — or life in the house — although it was as sturdy and well built as you’ve ever seen. Krista’s dad built it from scratch, after all. Their dream home. A home for all of us.
But things change and life moves on. Families aren’t confined to four walls, after all, and the practical side of taking care of property and appliances and cleaning eventually wins out. It was time to move.
Joan is now finding a new normal as she transitions into a different home and a changed routine. The large picture window in her bedroom helps, perfectly placed so that she wakes up every morning to the sun rising over Lake Keowee. The dawn of a new day.
Which is precisely what all this is, for each of us: the dawn of a new day. Different, sure, but each day kissed with the beauty of newness and grace.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills; from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth” (Psalm 121).
I have no idea where we’ll hang that old telephone, but we’ll find a place. And in time it will become part of its new home, a constant fixture whose “ding” seems to announce that “all is well.”
Blessings to you and yours,