Life just isn't like that any more - the simple friendships and slower pace of life seem to be long forgotten and perhaps more wonderful in my memories as I tend to remember the good things and forget the bad - or at least I was too young to know what was going on.
It takes a long time to "break into" a new community. When I meet some new-to-me neighbours they inevitably ask where I live - my answer always used to be - in Bill & Barb's old house. They would look at me quizzically so I would say - in Fred & Ruby's old farmhouse. OH THERE! Bill & Barb lived here for 23 years but I guess that wasn't long enough to make it theirs.
One of the joys of moving to this community has been meeting "Down-town Donna" and her husband - they live where two roads cross so I teasing refer to her as Down-town Donna. Donna is the niece of the original owners and is also the area historian. (and she taught my daughter and I to can all kinds of pickles last year) We've spend many hours over tea talking about who-is-related-to-whom and what life was like back-in-the-day. The other day she showed us some photos she's getting ready for a community project. In one there was 14 feet of snow in front of our house. She remembers being cautioned to not reach above their heads or they would touch the hydro wires. The pictures showed every able-bodied man in the area digging out the road. It was a near impossible job but they did it anyway.
She also showed us a black and white photo of Aunt Ruby and a group of ladies standing by the back door of our home on a beautiful spring day... and there was a back porch right where I wanted to build one.
During our very first tea chat we got talking about my desire for a bigger table in the dining room. They mentioned that they had an old wooden table out in the shed - it had been out there for about 20 years. They had tried to give it to their daughters but no one in the family wanted it. The table had originally come from our farmhouse. Would we like to have it back? Sight unseen I said a very enthusiastic YES!
This week I made up my mind. The table was either going to languish mostly unused in the corner or it would have a glorious new purpose as a huge coffee table where we could all enjoy it.
I have my brave moments but big cutting power tools are a little outside my comfort zone - not that I let that stop me! I set up the table saw and went to it. I had to force myself not to think about it too much because I was cutting the legs off of a 100 year old antique table and it does go against my grain of restoring things. When it was over and everything was reassembled we were all very pleased.
We now have a huge coffee table - big enough for the food platters when everyone comes home to visit and a reminder that life has been happening here at the farm for 150 years or more. I wonder at the many meals taken around that table and the conversations that would have ranged from politics and farming to how cold the outhouse was in the winter. I suspect it may have been a place were hurts were shared and grace was said over the meals. It feels right to be part of our everyday lives.
Welcome home table!