It’s a most unusual Thanksgiving. Instead of the typical flurry of preparation, I spent the morning scouring the internet for antique slag glass lamps (I’m obsessed) and historic wallpaper patterns. Afterwards, a leisurely ramble through the pasture with the animals, and lunch in the yard—it’s mild enough here in the South to eat outdoors, at least in the middle of the day, but brisk enough for a sweater and Daddy’s old hunting jacket.

Late in the day we’ll gather at the home of beloved friends across town for a traditional feast and the best of fellowship. But right now, we’re savoring the quiet of our place, the sunlight kindling amber-colored lanterns in the hickories, the clucks and squabbles of the hens in the barnyard and the crackle of squirrels foraging in the leaves.

We’re so thankful to be here on our property. So very grateful for this refuge of an RV which (dare I say it?), is becoming homier by the day. We’re thankful that our house did not burn utterly to the ground, as the firefighters assured us it very well might have done. And oh-my-heavenly-goodness, we’re thankful for the work that’s been accomplished around here in the past week.

This is actually what progress looks like!

On November 15 our restoration began in earnest, and the air has rung with the music of hammers and power tools ever since. I never imagined how sweet that sound could be, or how I’d come to reverence the scent of sawdust and the traffic jam of contractor’s trucks in my driveway. (I also never imagined the full-on chaos once the work finally commenced, or the myriad on-the-spot decisions to be made and fixtures/doors/windows/hardware to be sourced yesterday.) In many ways, it’s like building a house from scratch—with very clear existing limitations in place. A fascinating puzzle, to be sure, and one requiring a rather heady blend of flexibility and ingenuity.

And we’re thankful for our general contractor. He is the answer to our prayers—and to many of yours, as well. I told him the other day that he’s like a conductor directing an orchestra of subs (including us! ;)), and it’s true. You’ve never seen such a combined force of humor, brilliance, kindness, and drive. We are glad, glad that Danny and his crew are part of our story. And under the ‘staff work of the Omnipotence’, we know that it’s no coincidence.

Finally, I just want to say how deeply, dearly thankful I am for all of you. The little community that has gathered here has always been a source of grace in my life, and never more so than now. Every comment, every assurance that you’re praying for us and that you have faith in the beauty that will be given for these ashes, means more to Philip and me than we could ever express.

I was touched and overwhelmed by your response to my query about an email newsletter chronicling our restoration story. I’m utterly delighted to know that this idea resonated with so many of you! It will be fun for me to share this journey in such a personal way. Thank you for being excited with me—and for your friendship here in sunshine and in shade. Truly, to think of you is to thank God for your kindness and virtual companionship.  

I hope to have the first newsletter ready to go in the next week or so. Soon I’ll have my software engineer/gentleman farmer husband arrange a proper sign up, but, in the meantime, if you’re interested in following a more detailed account of our home and its story, feel free to leave a comment here or on the previous post.  

I hope you all have a most blessed Thanksgiving, and that your year is indeed crowned with blessings. Know you are in my prayers, even as I send these words into the world, and that I’m grateful today that God has allowed our paths to cross.

Under the Mercy,

~Lanier

 

There is no “better” place than this, not in this world. And it is by the place we’ve got, and our love for it and keeping of it, that this world is joined to Heaven.
~Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry