My children grew up hearing encouraging words; mostly words my Grandma used…
Words such as—Each to their notion said the little old lady that kissed the cow. Or, You have the world by the tail on a downhill slide. Or Today’s the day they give babies away for half a pound of cheese…there were a number of sayings my granny used and my children have also used…not as often maybe as I used them but still…
We had a distinct place in our hearts for our cows. They provided us with many things. Calves were so cute, and with bovine, most of our cows would stretch out their neck in joy if you scratched them just right under their jaw. I could understand a little old lady appreciating her cow, but as for some of the sayings.
I often questioned the world by the tail and the downhill slide. Was this a good thing or were we just going downhill fast? Would we at some point be able to get free of the world or would it hold on to us forever?
And giving away babies? Shocked here, were we getting babies or giving babies, and either way, were we getting cheese or giving cheese? So many questions.
Several years ago I heard of the plan of our previous landlady to tear down the beautiful old house we had rented from her for years. After we had moved out some of our family moved in and rented the house from her.
She had a farm manager who had badgered her for years. The house (and farm property) had been her husband’s uncle’s and her husband had inherited it. An old house and property that dated back to when the O’Malley’s had done the original survey of the land back in the 1800s.
The farm manager was angry that he didn’t have total control of the property. She rented the house to us cheaply because she wanted someone who would care for it and the manager could have rented it for much more and gotten a share of that money as well.
After twenty years of being badgered and her children not stepping up she had enough. It was a beautiful two-story farmhouse with ten-foot ceilings, a beautiful bay window you could sit in, or with padding lay in, five bedrooms upstairs…it was a beautiful once-in-lifetime home about to be bulldozed.
I wrote to our ex-landlady trying to find options to save the house, and at first thought, I would send some pictures to help sway her children’s minds. The children I call them, but they would have been almost the same age as my husband and me. Nevertheless, that was my plan, to send them some pictures and plead with her to sell the house and have it moved, or sell the house as an acreage, or…
I looked through my stash of pictures, but my pictures had not been stored well and most were ruined, so I didn’t have pictures. So, I went to plan B and that was to plead my cause When You Only Have Words.
She had given our son and his family one month to be moved out and she had told him he could take anything he wanted to save from the house with him. There were French doors, stairs to the second story, the bay window, woodwork throughout the house, the wood beams in the living room, dining room, sitting room, lights, a huge wardrobe…so many things.
He wanted to know if we wanted to come help dismantle the house and save whatever we could. The scene from Walt Disney’s Cinderella came to mind. The one where the jealous sisters tear her dress to shreds.
I told him no, I just couldn’t tear the house to shreds, it would break my heart. Even knowing that otherwise it would be dozed and burned I couldn’t do it.
Well, life happens things change, we all change. The house was one of the first dwellings in the area, a landmark. The local people of the town and community had names for the farm manager and none of them were complimentary.
I don’t know the end of that manager, but I have an off feeling that these scriptures cover the situation:
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. 12) Though a sinner do evil an hundred times, and his days be prolonged, yet surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God, which fear before him: 13) But it shall not be well with the wicked…
It was just a house. It was just a life. It seemed like it was just yesterday.
9 Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11 Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.