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.


  1. AMAZING STORY! I already had been kept up on the process, but reading it all nice and tidy like this is even better! I'm so happy for y'all and can't wait to see it.