I did something tonight that I don’t usually do (unless I’m sick). I was actually laying on the couch, wrapped up to my chin with a fleece blanket. We’ve been cold and snowy here in Eastern Nebraska much longer than I really care to be. Once my body gets cold it takes blankets and/or a hot bath to really feel warm again. Tonight, I was hoping the blanket would do the trick. I guess that’s why I was on the couch.
The TV was on (more so for noise) and Jim was sitting in his chair looking at his phone. I thought about this particular scene as I looked at the carpet on the floor. My thoughts immediately went from the current moment to remembering what the floor looked like when we first moved in, which led to the carpet, which led to the chaos and craziness of this particular area of the house, which led to the quietness of the house, which led to why I’m writing.
Somehow, all the years I just mentioned did, in fact, occur and I feel like nothing or no one could have properly prepared me for where I am right now. When we moved into this house in October 1985, I was pregnant with Jamie. She was born in December. We had nearly two months before the silence was broken on December 23. These walls and these floors have experienced a lot of noise, chaos, laughter, tears and love.
Same corner – different look.
I looked at the carpet that was purchased in 1993 to cover the wood floors and got a bit sentimental. This carpet was a gift from my Grandma. She knew how difficult it was for kids to live on wood floors and she wanted my family to have the warmth which the carpet would provide. So, when I look at this carpet, I also see my Grandma. Babies have been laid on it, puked on it and pee’d on it. It became the foundation of many Barbie activities, Christmas gift wrapping and unwrapping, late-night TV watching, birthday parties, holiday meals and slumber parties. This floor has seen a lot of wrestling, tickling and crying. It has been walked on by bare feet, baby feet and the feet of those who are now a memory.
It’s the quietness of the house that sometimes really makes me think about what this carpet and these walls and this house have experienced over the last thirty-three years. And I wonder how could that time already be in the past? Where did it go? It went into the daily routine and schedules of nurturing kids and a family – sometimes doing whatever it took to get through the day. Days led to weeks; weeks led to years. And then, all at once, my job was done.
I told Jamie the other day it feels like the past thirty years of raising four little girls into four amazingly strong women seems like a different lifetime. She replied that it feels like a different lifetime to her too – living here with her sisters and going to the Manley school. Funny how that works…we all get so busy with the present moments, we don’t think about how our lives can and will change just around the corner.
Taylor walked in last night with her friend, Carlee. She was returning some luggage she and Colten recently borrowed. She looked at Carlee and said, “Mmmm, smells like home”. This warmed my heart. And then after I told her how I had just been thinking about the past and all the memories on this floor, she took over the conversation and began telling Carlee about some of the memories she had while growing up here.
So, of course, I went to the picture album with the intention of only looking for the picture of the floor to remind me when the carpet was laid. And then…I couldn’t help it. I felt the need to share a few of the oldies but goodies. Oh my goodness I have a lot of pictures!
1990 – Our harvest years are just beginning!
1992 – Jim with his hired men (his dad and Mark)
While in Snyder, Oklahoma (1992), we found four abandoned kittens and nursed them back to life. Jamie is feeding Okie.
1992 – Inside the trailer house we borrowed from my grandparents talking to Tom Thumb (Ryan).
The 1992 crew. Left to right – Jim’s dad, Lloyd, Jim, Jenna, me, Jamie and Mark.
Jamie & Jenna – 1992
Line up of equipment – 1992
Montana 1993 – Lloyd (Jim’s dad) and Jenna
Jim – Montana 1993
Snacks always taste better on the end gate of a pickup – Montana 1993
Digging for treasures – pieces of pottery and glass – Montana 1993
Not many pictures of me because I was the photographer. This one was taken by Jim’s mom when they came out to Norton, Kansas to visit. See that baby bump? Not many pictures of me being pregnant, either. This was 1994 – the baby was Taylor.
Montana – 1994
Heading for home, home. This was one of only two times we had people help us move home from Montana.