We moved to our new place in November of 2010, one month after my husband lost his father. We looked forward to our private 7-acre sanctuary, located just four miles from the family farm. It was, and still is heaven on earth.
When we found the house, the selling point was the stone fireplace, the loft, and the most magnificent northern view. The only thing missing was the white picket fence that we always said that we wanted.
My husband has spent countless hours renovating, painting, planting, and mowing. He loves to tinker around the yard and I am so grateful that he has had the opportunity to design our property. He mows about 1/3 of our land. He plants a significantly sized vegetable garden, has flower gardens all the
way around the house, and has recently enjoyed planting raspberries and fruit trees. It makes him happy and he takes such pride in his accomplishments.
We love to entertain at our place. We have celebrated birthday’s, anniversaries, and graduation parties on the lawn. The property has provided a great deal of laughter and joy in the past four years, and provided a wonderful distraction for my favorite man during a difficult time period. Perhaps God had that all figured out. He must have known that my sweet baby needed to be kept busy.
One month after losing his job of 17 years (May of 2013) my husband started his next major project. He had four 50 foot berms, and one 100 foot berm made. They are about 4 feet high and shaped like a tear drop. He has had a lot of fun picking out evergreens, bushes, and flowering plants that will one day help to keep the snow from filling in our driveway. Those berms, along with a 6-foot fence around the elbow of our roughly 400 foot driveway really help with the snow until it gets so deep that they are covered. Looking out our window, you can barely see the top of the fence, and you can’t tell we even have berms. We didn’t count on that 4 years ago. Although I have to say that the snow has provided a needed distraction through the long cold winter. My husband isn’t thinking about the dreaded diagnosis when he has snow to shovel and wood to carry. Winters are long on the hill, and being housebound gets old.
As long and cold as the winter is, the summer makes up for it. Spring begins Friday so there is hope for warmer days spent gardening, mowing, and having family gatherings. It is ironic that winter on the hill is a bit like our life story. Difficult things come into our lives like the fury of a snow storm. We have weathered lots of storms, my husband and I. However, God has provided relief and has allowed great joy as well. Perhaps the snow is like life’s potholes: a road we have to endure and a journey we have to take in order to toughen up. As a result, maybe we will be better parents, and our example will help to preserve the future families of our children.
I’m not sure what the future holds for our home. Perhaps God only gave it to us for a short time in order to experience the seasons and to learn from its lessons: the brutal winter to strengthen, and the sweet summer for respite. Without the winter, perhaps I wouldn’t enjoy the summer so much. So for today, while the wind howls, the snow blows, and the temperature dumps, I will dream about the sweet smells of summer in the
days to come and thank God for my new-found strength.