On Labor and Messes

I am a woman in labor.  

It’s been a long time coming, this something being born, and I want to cling to how it was before, how I was before, and I’m afraid of this new that is on the way.  

It came to me as I heard a song on the CD player, a familiar song of this season, and words came floating through my head.  

Or was it through my heart?  

All around is the festive celebration of a birth, a special birth that is the crux of belief, the cornerstone of faith.  Yes, that person was born then and that life holds hope and promise and sacred meaning to so many of us.  

Always at this time of the year I see so much more.

Thoughts carried me back to actual physical birth pains, and that time when I just knew I was not going to get through that, that I could not do it any more.  And that was when all of it broke loose and we were at that point of becoming new…as a new life was welcomed into our arms. 

All was changed. Nothing looked the same.  

Weeks or months later, I could finally see myself as this new person, this young mom, so head over heals in love with this new life, both the one I could cuddle and rock and feed and bathe, and the new life that was a way of being.

Don’t we go through this same process over and over?  
Not the child bearing, 
But the nurturing of our ever changing lives.  

We plod along as we have been for a time, then we find ourselves holding something new. We’re scared…maybe. Excited…perhaps.  Wondering what hit us…yup.  

Here I was, 
in the middle of painting woodwork, for cryin’ out loud, and all this hit me.  Painting woodwork is a painful task…tedious, unrewarding, very time consuming, requiring lots of careful brushing on of multiple layers of paint.  I feel like I’m stuck in that paint can forever.  I’ll never, ever get this done.

The new, exciting ‘stuff’ of moving has worn off, and now I’m in that part that seems not so pretty.  Coming to terms with being here, not there.  Realizing that the new familiar is not much like the old.  

This is indeed hard work.

Even still, the messes can be tolerated. The house actually is looking more like home. Doesn’t everyone have a step ladder sitting in their dining room like we do?  Canvas drop cloths add a nice touch to wood floors, and maybe they even help soften the sounds in the room.  We could be trend setters.

There will always be messes.  

Each will look different, will come from different causes, but will eternally remind me of the changes throughout all of our lives.  

Learning as I go … 

I see that we all have something being incubated, nurtured, anticipated within us.  Each day, each moment is a leap of faith. 

Messes and paint brush

The Sights and Sounds of Autumn and Changes

Work in progress

This work in progress…
so worth the time
and sore muscles
and dust and plastic
and ladders and planning.
So worth it.
Corn harvest
We are surrounded by change.
No big surprise there.
Harvest is here,
and someone had to spend the time
and get sore muscles
and work long hours
to get this crop ready.
Fall leaves
On the steps to our back door
the sun warms these leaves 
in the morning light.
They fell effortlessly through the air
before being tossed about
and coming into my view.
We can make change happen,
or we can witness it all around us.
That’s what I know today.

Searching for kitchen scissors and other essential things

There is an awkward stage when you move into a new place.  Try as you might to make it home, it just feels foreign for a while.  The usual patterns, the familiar sights and sounds and smells are gone, replaced by boxes, new light coming through windows, new everything.  

This can be good. And overwhelming. But at least it’s only temporary.

Those elusive kitchen scissors turned up in a compartment in the car.  As I was searching for something totally different I happened to find them, safely tucked away in that “safe place”…which for all practical purposes might as well have been a deep cavern at the end of the earth.  I was ready to go purchase a new pair because this essential tool was something I really missed.    

That’s just how it goes around here.  I may be very organized in some areas, and a total wreck in others.  That box over there may have exactly what it says on the outside, but then again it could be a surprise.  Among all that stuff we packed and hauled with us we have so much more than we really need, and in due time it will all be sorted out and given a new place.

sanding the wood floors

One of the projects we have going is refinishing some wood floors.  Once the old carpet was removed it became very obvious that just cleaning the hardwood was not going to work.  So for several days my husband has been working diligently at getting that old finish removed, using a large drum sander first and now a belt sander around the edges.  

Oh, and did I mention the sawdust?   

daisy in black and white

While he has been sanding floors I have been working on removing old wall paper and boarders.  With every little bit of work that we do we can see the beauty of this old place, that original craftsmanship being revealed.  

There is a definite parallel between working on this house and working on my self.  I have some close friends who shared with me that they have had similar experiences with remodeling their homes, while major changes happened in their personal lives.  

Many years ago I heard a speaker talk about removing the layers of mud from our selves, those facades or masks that we wear.  Her point was about how we let this “mud” build up and hide the true diamond, our true self. And now, with every swipe of the sander, with each piece of wall paper that comes down, I think about the changes in the physical place and the changes happening deep within me. 

We’ll keep on sanding floors and sweeping up sawdust, tearing down wall paper, unpacking and rearranging.  The kitchen scissors will be kept in their new place in a drawer, ready to be used over and over.  Other things will be misplaced and found again.  

It’s all about moving.  

All about finding this new place and calling it home.  

Images of Home – from another time

Johnston Farm house

Have you ever had the chance to tour an old farm house like this one?  To hear someone tell of what life was like in the early 1800’s and see how the home reflected the life style of those living there?  

I was interested in the small details I saw in each room.  And it made me think of the small details in my own home today, of what is similar to a home that existed 200 years ago.


There were children’s playthings in one room.  Evidence that a family once inhabited the place.  You’ll find children’s playthings in my home, too, in a container that is brought out when children arrive.   

I love getting to pick up toys again.  Never thought I’d say that 30 years ago.

table setting

There were dishes on the table, waiting to be filled.  

We eat out a lot, so you won’t always find dishes at my table.  But when I cook I do like to set out the dishes and make a special setting for a meal.


Handmade furnishings are everywhere in this old mansion, items that to me are works of art.  I don’t know if the creator of this bed spread would have considered this art, but the details and craftsmanship certainly make it so in my mind.

In my home there are hand made bed covers, too.  And art hanging on the walls, meaningful objects that say “this is where we live.”  

child's hat

A child’s hat laying on the bed. It tells a story to me of a young one coming in the house after chores or after play.  There is something welcoming about having that place to put your hat.  

Near my back door is such a place.  Hang your coat here and leave your hat.  Come in and have tea.

vase and flowers

Little touches that add color and softness.  A bit of fragrance.  A handmade item.

This is the good kind of clutter that softens and gives a place a feeling of home.  We have that in the form of books laying everywhere, an occasional stuffed animal, real violets growing in pots, and cat toys on the floor.   

Light in the windo


And there is the light that streams through the windows, the light of the candles when the night falls.  Always the light that overcomes the darkness.

When we look for a new home, I always look at how the light is, how it comes in, how it fills the rooms. 

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These images were all taken at the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency near Piqua,Ohio. Click on the link to learn more about this interesting place.  There will be more images in the following week from this farm.
Over the next several weeks, as we prepare to move, I’m looking at “Home” and what it means to me, how it looks and feels, and how we make a place our home.  Please join me in the conversation and share your thoughts about what Home means to you.

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Thank you in advance for not copying my images or word without my express permission.