Yesterday two women stopped by our house. Sisters. They had stopped by once before, probably 5 or 10 years ago already. I had almost forgotten about that visit. I wasn't home when they first got here yesterday. My mom was watching the kiddos while I was out for a bit. I called her on my way home and she told me about the visitors that were here waiting for me. When I arrived at home 5 minutes later, there they were. In my kitchen. In their kitchen. They did their growing up here. In this house. They were probably in their 60's. 70's maybe. They brought some copies of pictures of our house from the 40's and 50's. Some inside, some outside. Some including naked kids in a clawfoot bathtub. A fabulous old car in the driveway of one of the pictures. They said I could keep them. They brought them for me. Their family lived here from 1945 until sometime in the early-mid 70's.
The house was built in 1927. We moved in in 1998. I think that their family was the 2nd family to live here. I think we are the 5th. I know a teeny bit about the family that built the house (the Peterson's) and now I know quite a bit about the 2nd family. We bought it from my good friend, Carol's parents, so I know quite a bit about them too. I was at this house quite a few times over the years before I even had an idea that someday I would raise my family here (my junior high and high school years). It's so fun to know so much about the history of our home. It just makes me love it all the more.
I was thankful that, yesterday, the house was less than the complete disaster it often is in the middle of a week day. It was actually pretty clean! We looked at the pictures they brought and chatted for a bit. When they showed me a picture of some kids near a swingset, I told them that the frame from that exact swingset was still in our yard. We looked out the window and I pointed to it. It was here when we bought the house and we didn't have the first clue what to do with a huge, substantial, metal swingset frame, so there it sits along the fence in our backyard. Current day swingset makers should take note. That puppy is probably at least 60 years old and still as solid as can be. The younger sister said that she was often afraid to go upstairs to bed at night and wanted to stay downstairs until someone else went up there with her. Just. like. Lydia! It was so fun to hear their stories.
They saw a stack of (4 copies) the same book on the hutch and asked me about it. (Kirb said later that maybe they thought I was an author. Who else has multiple copies of the same book?) I said it was the book that had had the greatest impact in my life and I always keep a few copies on hand to give to people. Would they like one? I think they were surprised at my offer, but seemed genuinely excited and took a copy -- but only after offering to pay me for it. I said no, I would love them to have it. I gave them my usual warning that the book starts out really sad (I would have appreciated a heads up on that fact before I started reading it in a public place!), but if they could make it through the first chapter they could continue reading without a box of tissues right by their side (well, maybe keep one tissue available, just in case. It is cold season, you know).
As they were leaving, the younger sister asked me if I would pray for the older sister because she has cancer and isn't doing well. She wants to keep getting treatment, but her platelets are low and they have had to stop the treatments for a while until the platelet levels come back up. I told them that I would pray and that I was dealing with low platelets at this exact time last year. She said she could tell that we were believers, otherwise she never would have asked. I was touched deeply by that comment. What an unexpected blessing they were in my day. I'm praying that Ann's book blesses them as much as it has blessed me and many others!
We just got a new computer (our old -- and it was old -- one died with the ending of 2011) and it isn't hooked up to the scanner yet, far as I can tell. As soon as I get the fabulous pictures scanned in, and in digital form, I promise to share them with you. They're SO fun!