Friday, June 28, 2013

Find Joy >> right here

"July came on with that breathless, brilliant heat which makes the plains of 
Kansas and Nebraska the best corn country in the world."
// My Antonia, Willa Cather

If you follow me on Instagram (@chelsea_pea), you probably saw photos from my recent weekend trip with my mom, little sister, and some of our girlfriends.

Rainy, hot day. Winding roads through our wonderful Wisconsin bluffs. A long, steep driveway to an old farmstead on a hill.

The house is completely gutted, save for the kitchen, bathrooms and one bedroom, so there wasn't much space in which to "live" over the weekend. But, I'm part of the Mills family, we remodel all the time, and we can see the potential a place has. So I focused on that.

A few lawn chairs, an old couch and some mis-matched furniture to eat at. A small summer kitchen that isn't exactly air tight. The bugs got in, the rain got in and the door doesn't completely shut. But it was shady in the hot afternoon, cool in the stormy evenings and relaxing for meals or moments of quiet.

Hauling timber, mowing, pulling weeds and moving scraps of lumber and tin in the muggy afternoon. Backing the truck with loads of fallen branches to the burn pit. Collecting wagon load, after wagon load, of sticks from the yard. Hot, though overcast, and humid, but the breeze was steady and cool.

Getting dirt under my fingernails, caked onto my feet, and feeling sticky all over from sweat. Not a nice n' easy Saturday, but a satisfactorily tiring and productive one. Not feeling bad about going in when you got too hot, or lying down for a rest after lunch. Eating delicious food, prepared all by hand. Each dish was full of fresh produce. An extra couple minutes was spent on each just to make them look pretty, because we're girls and we appreciate that.

Five girls who have country life in their viens, were raised to be good home-makers and don't mind rolling up their sleeves to get done what is needed. Washing dishes silently at the north kitchen window. Clearing plates methodically. Folding up blankets, refilling glasses, and being thoughtful throughout the day's work.

We had to turn the pump on manually to fill the toilet tank so we could flush and the power went out each night so we never knew if it would come on in time for the next meal or for showers before church, but we just rolled with it. Thankful for flashlight apps, gas burning stoves that can be lit with a match, and a mutual understanding that if things didn't work out ideally they would still be good.

Small-town church where the majority of the congregation is over fifty, the slide-show and sound-system never runs smoothly, the worship team sings hymns with enthusiasm, and the ushers are half grown-men and half boys-becoming-men. Where you sit close together on the pews, everybody knows everybody so anniversaries and birthdays are remembered, and it just seems natural for the opening message to contain a story about a farming Dad whose faith in the Lord was never shaken by all that befell him in his work.

Picking rhubarb to immediately be made into a pie, being greeted by roses every time you walk up to your front door, finding a nest of baby bunnies burrowed snuggly under the surface of the ground, and peeking into bird's nests. Watching the dark clouds roll up, hearing the wind whip all around your walls, and watching the rain beat against the window panes as the lightning flashes again and again in the distance. Humming, reading, just sitting in stillness and savoring the evening shadows and the refreshing summer breeze.

It wasn't the weekend I had anticipated when we headed out on our girls weekend, but it was good. In the extra work, the hot summer days, the unnerving storms, the limited amenities and "nothing special" days, there is so much joy to be found in the simple, the beautiful, the actually-important.
find it here.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely, colorful snapshots. Sounds like a simply wonderful time. :)