Warning - this is a long post. I don't think blog entries are suppose to be long and I really like the ones that are short & to the point. I'm warning you - this is not one of those posts. And I apologize: I promise I won't ever post one this long again. Cross my heart. Now go get a hot cuppa coffee or tea & come sit with me for a while. It's a good story. It's one we'll be telling our grandchildren. And they'll be telling their kiddos. Yeah - it's that good!SLAM! The door slammed shut with a mighty slam!

I was devastated & indeed wouldn't even believe it until I had spoken with the wife. Sure enough, it was true, her husband was divorcing her & she & the children were to live in "our" white house with black shutters, 6/10 mile from the most charming little town in east Texas.

Unfortunately my heart didn't get the message & I was slipping into depression until I
begged God to please slam the door shut on my heart. And He mercifully did! I woke up the next morning without heaviness of heart.

So, our search for a house started again. All over. Again. I plugged our zip code into & there it was! A new listing! "A real wife pleaser", it said! The first thought in my mind was, "We may be the answer to someone's prayer. My second thought quickly followed, "This may be an answer to our prayers"!

We got in touch with the listing agent & later that day drove out to see it. It's on about 1 acre with lots of trees, surrounded by pastures, without a neighbor in sight, unless you consider cows as neighbors! It's an old dogtrot house & close to 80years old. And only 2.3 miles from our old house, as the crow flies!

RABBIT TRAIL - Skip if you wish! You say you're not familiar with a dogtrot style home? Well, they were primarily built in Texas & Louisiana. A dogtrot has one room completely detached from the main house, separated by a porch, & sharing a common roof. I'm thinking a more modern version of it would be a breezeway.

Anyway - in this house, the 2nd bedroom & bathroom (truly the tiniest bathroom I've ever seen!) are separate from the main house. We're thinking that it originally was the kitchen because the current kitchen is added on & is very, very "quirky". We were able to make some changes to the kitchen before moving in – the main one was getting the washer & dryer out of the kitchen & moving the refrigerator from the middle of the kitchen! What was that about???? A refrigerator in the middle of the kitchen?

The main house has three living areas. . . none of them huge; one bedroom & one very small bathroom & that very, very quirky little kitchen, which hubby & I quickly learned to love, now that we're actually in the house & the changes have been made!

Being a dogtrot, it has a wonderful porch. And like a lot of houses from that era, has a metal roof. And windows: 20 fabulous windows! Remember, that was one of two requirements: lots of nice windows!

OK - enough about dogtrots. . . . and back to the tale. My brother is coming today & the house is a mess. . . I spent most of yesterday in the ER with my dear daughter. . . but that's for a post at

OK - as soon as we left the house I texted the kids, "We found the one!" That was October 24, 4:18 PM! (I saved the text on my cell!)

Now here it gets a bit confusing, but God is so all over, around and in this!!!!! We quickly came to find out that we're acquaintances with the seller & friends with her grand daughter & her husband! The grand daughter was also one of the sellers!

We called them & told them we had just looked at the cabin & they were delighted we wanted it & said it just went on the market Friday evening & they would really rather have us in it than a stranger & would even be willing to sell it for less, if that's what it would take for us to get into their grandmother's home!

So the next weekend the kids came down to look at it because like I said before they're the ones who are going to come out & take care of broken tree branches, etc., when we're old & “infirmed” (as one of our kids like to say!) & they are the ones to have to sell it when we're unable to live by ourselves, etc.

So at 10 AM the following Saturday, we all went to look at it and they all loved it too! Youngest grandson said it looked like a retreat! Isn't that a wonderful way to think of grandma's house? We sent pix to our youngest son, who travels a lot, so we could get his input, too.

Daughter-in-law made great suggestions about how to make the kitchen more workable without spending a ton of money.

Our daughter & oldest grand-daughter sat on the porch swing, chatting up a storm. :)

The men crawled beneath the house (which was dry, even though we recently had 7 - 10" of rain) to report that there is new plumbing & water pipes are wrapped & all looked fine.

Hubby measured rooms to draw out a floor plan for me. He's done this for every house we've ever lived in!

Son-in-law made suggestions about how we could open up one of the rooms. . .

Oldest son played with the younger grandkidlets & their dog & visited with the neighboring cows who came to see what was going on.! :)

The house & yard were both alive with activity & excitement & exclamations about how it was so very much us! And it was unanimous: 'sign the contract & let's seal the deal!'

Oh – did I mention the house was shown to a Houston couple on the same day. An hour before us?

Daughter & her hubby went to bring my mom home to our old place, while the rest of us went home to put the finishing touches on lunch when we got the call: The Houston couple who looked at it at 9 AM submitted a contract!

Now - - - I probably should stop here & get busy cleaning, but you already know we got the cabin & I'm anxious to start posting about down-sizing & decorating, so instead of a cliff-hanger, I think I'll just continue on!

Just let me fix a cuppa tea!

OK. I'm back.

Oh my! We were devastated! This was *our* house! We knew it; our children knew it; our grandchildren knew it & I suppose even the dogs knew it! All of us knew it! It just felt so right! In this economy, who would have thought she'd receive TWO contracts in eight days? Who would have guessed?

Hubby called her grandson-in-law & he said he'd talk to grandma & his wife (the sellers) & get back in touch with us.

At our daughter-in-law's suggestion we all gathered together & prayed for God's will to be done. And I knew to pray that if this was not the one, for Him to slam the door on my heart as I was more in love with this cozy little cottage than with the white house with black shutters! Oh so much more. . .

It was without a doubt one of the longest 45 minutes I have ever endured! I'll always, always, always remember where I was when the call came: in my bedroom with our son & his wife, talking, surmising, praying, hoping & wondering what was going to happen next.

The phone rang. . . hubby answered. . . and back into the room, "They say, 'be blessed'. Be blessed? They accepted our offer, even though the Houston couple offered more money.

Can you beleive it?

Hubby asked if we needed to match the offer & he said "no - just be blessed". He did not tell us nor did we ask how much more they offered. Since it took more than 45 minutes for them to discuss it, I'm thinking maybe quite a bit more? The fact of the matter is we'll probably never know. And we don't need to know as God is able to bless them much more than we ever could!

What honorable people. . . they said at the beginning they would rather have us in the cabin then someone else. And they were true to that claim. . . Honorable men and women of God! People whose "yes is yes, & no is no". Taking less money...almost unheard of these days.

As much as they were an answer to our prayers. We (& the Houston couple) were answered prayers for the grandmother as she didn't really know if she was suppose to sell & told the LORD if she was suppose to move, to quickly sell the house. And that HE did!

We went to closing on December 12.

The big moving day was January 23 & God continued to show His love & mercy to us, and especially to me. Hubby repainted every room of the main house. Don't get me wrong - the house was very clean & neat - just not the colors we want to live with. So he painted & painted & painted some more.

Youngest son came & dug up plants & moved them to the new place. For 4 solid days! And he painted.

Dear daughter fed us several times, having us over for delicious home-cooked meals. Man! She can cook! She supplied supper for all of our moving volunteers, which by the way, included a Ghanian whose first language is French & a Czech whose first language is of course Czech! Son-in-law put a second coat of paint in our new bedroom, after painting their own house & moving Christmas week!

Oldest son & his family came the day before the “big move”. Daughter-in-law had been a wonderful encourager through the whole process & kept me from getting too overwhelmed. Oldest grandson took off two days of work to help with the move. He and our son started loading the 26' moving van the night before, getting all the heavy appliances & many, many, many boxes loaded on. Grand-daughter helped clean up/out the old house. . . as well as daughter & daughter-in-law.

Oh - and some young friends of ours spent part of their Christmas vacation loading the 26 foot moving truck with our yard stuff: concrete bird baths, plant stands, lawn furniture, etc. They really worked. And they really must love us. Why else would they work so hard & during their Christmas holiday?

Oh - remember that darling white house with black shutters? The one where the hubby was divorcing his wife? Four days after we made an offer on the cabin, the hubby called to tell us they were reconciled and were once again selling the house!!!! We had no hesitation telling them we appreciated the call, but "no thank you". . . we knew we had found the one God wanted for us.

Remember all those illustrations I used to tell this story of God's wonderful grace to us? There was the quote from The Music Man & I talked of fingerprints. But the one I used over and over again was our prayer that God would "slam the door". Slam the doors to houses that weren't the best for us. And I begged Him to slam the door to my heart.

There's one more slamming door. It's not an illustration but a reality. There are three old-fashioned slamming screen doors here! The kind that make that wonderful slapping sound when they slam shut.

The sound that remind me of my childhood...Of visits at my favorite aunt's house...Of my grandpa's old farmhouse. The sound that signifies "home".

Discovery: Slamming screen doors define my life. Good or unpleasant, coming or going...slamming screen doors are part of my DNA.


Where was I? Oh yeah - our prayer (even though we really, really, loved the white house with black shutters) was that if it wasn't God's best for us, then would He please slam the door shut to this house. But of COURSE He wanted us there . . . just look at how He so easily led us to it. Right? Wrong!!!

Now is a good time to insert that line from "The Music Man". You know the one, "Well, ya got trouble, my friend. Right here, I say trouble right here in River City"!

OK - I know, I know - I'm using too many illustrations: Music Man, Fingerprints & Doors. But this is how my thought processes work & that's how I have to write 'em down!

What was the trouble? What were the smudged finger prints? What was causing the door to slam? This - the seller called my husband & said he was divorcing his wife & she & the children would be moving back into the white house with black shutters just 6/10 mile from our favorite little town in the whole world, with the pond in the back yard! No deal. No sale. Just like that - the clear fingerprints of God were all smudged up & ugly; and the door slammed shut with a mighty loud slam!

Just like that - with just one phone call - God answered our prayers. He slammed shut the door.

Unfortunately He didn't slam shut the door to my heart. I was heart-broken. I was sad. I was depressed. I didn't like the sound at all of that door slamming shut.

Discovery: Answered prayers are not always without pain.

Okey dokey, that's all for today. We're having up to 15 folks over Sunday & my dining room is still in disarray. I will soon start blogging about down-sizing. It's our hearts' desire to do so. It is not necessarily an easy thing to do. For us it is a very slow process. I'll write more about it later, when I'm through telling you how we discovered this cozy little cabin.

Today's photo-Discovery: Even weeds are beautiful

In the meantime, I need to eat breakfast & get to work!!!!


OK - this is pretty much a repeat from, but I really want to keep the two blogs separate. Here is the beginning of the saga of how we have discovered, designed & decorated our Cozy Little Cabin.

Part I: Hubby & I have looked off and on for several years for a smaller house with less property. We got really serious last Labor Day & informed our adult children about a possible move. We wanted their opinion because hopefully this is our last move until we either die or become infirm (!) and it will be up to them to sell the house, etc., so we wanted their opinion about what and where we moved. Hubby & I had only two requirements: the house must have two bathrooms and it must have lots of nice, big windows! Pretty much everything else was negotiable.

We were first interested in a piece of property 10 miles farther out of town: 11 acres with a creek & a house that had only 2 closets & one bathroom, but had GREAT porches, hardwood floors, fabulous windows & a lot of 60 year old charm & those charming 11 acres of woods. . . did I mention it had a creek? We met with our contractor to discuss adding another bathroom and a few more closets.

Our offer was accepted by the homeowners when we realized we really didn't want to live 10 miles farther from my mom & daughter & besides that - what were we going to do with that 11 acres anyway? We withdrew our offer & continued looking.

Our oldest son & his family, daughter & her husband came out several times to go house-hunting with us. We looked in nearby towns; we looked at lake property; we looked at fixer-uppers, and we looked at move-in ready houses. We even looked at an old church. . . that one would have been lots of work, but oh-so-much fun fixing up! Oh yeah – we're sixty years old this year. . . . no big remodeling for us! We didn't get to look at many properties in the country because they sold/had contracts on them before we could go look! After several outings we finally realized that we didn't want to live in town unless it's our town, in east Texas.

It's so much easier when you know what you don't want!

I was sharing this revelation to a friend of mine (who lives in "our town") & asked her about the house next to hers that had been on the market but no longer had a Realtor sign out front. She thought it was still available since there was no one living there.

Later that day I drove by to get the address in order to try to find the owners' new address/phone number & my friend was out mowing her yard AND the neighboring home owner was there moving out some more stuff! My friend introduced us, the home owner said the contract with the Realtor had expired, but yes, they were still interested in selling!

How serendipitous is that? :)

After calls & visits, etc., we were all set to buy the house! It's 6/10 of a mile from town, on a huge lot with w/a fishing pond in the back & we had visions of walking to/from our town, etc.

We saw God's fingerprints all over this. . . nice house (again with lots of 60 year old charm!), fishing pond, no neighbors real close, no Realtor fees to pay so they were able to come down on the price, etc., etc., etc. But in spite of God's fingerprints all over the finding of this house, we all prayed if this wasn't His best for us than please slam the door shut. . . not quietly, slowly creaking closed! Just slam it shut, please!?

OK - enough for today. . . . I need to get the dining room ready for a big Easter dinner. . . maybe up to 17 people here! And as the title of the blog says, we also downsized! This should be interesting.

Today's photo is a little peek at the Cozy Little Cabin during a recent snow. Yes! East TX had snow. That. Stayed. On. The. Ground. How about that?