Last week we removed the furniture, dishes, etc. from our old guest cottage and left it ready for the new owners to take over. The furniture is pretty shabby, but it’s all we have for the next guest cottage, so we’re holding on to it! It’s funny how when you’ve owned something for a very long time you tend see it as having retained more value than others might see. Anyway, after the cleaning was done and as I pulled the door shut behind me, I paused for one last look at a place that held so many memories for our family and the mission. Scenes from times past quickly came to mind, like when my mom and I hung curtains when the cottage was brand new, of our kids having fun-packed sleepovers with their friends, and of the many people who stayed there for short or longer periods of time. Tears stung my eyes *choke*. The memories, we keep. It’s only the place we leave behind. And with that I closed the door for the last time.
Along that same vein, the other day as I was passing the huge wild fig tree on the “old farm”, I decided to take a couple of pictures of it. As I circled round and round deciding which angle would best capture it, I noticed all the carvings made by our kids and their friends in the tree’s bark. Although the carved inscriptions were at very least several years old, the happy memories were just moments away.
Even a piece of the old swinging rope kept its place of honour as if to say, “My purpose used to be to entertain kids. My purpose now is to help you remember.” There is no place we live and don’t leave “inscriptions” that tell our story.
If you look closely you can see “LAGORE” and in the 1st picture. In the 2nd, I’m in the lowest crook in the tree where I found a wealth of information…all in kid-hieroglyphics J. Although the words were unintelligible, the message was “happy kids played here”.
And while we’re on the topic, let’s take a step even further back, right to our first year here. We and another family of 4 pitched our tents around this old chicken coop floor, then had a thatched roof erected over it. The little square room at the back was the bathroom. That corner was missing from the original chicken coop and had to be completely built by us with brick and cement…hence it is about the only part that’s left, well, sort of intact! This “camp kitchen” was where we all cooked, ate, homeschooled, did laundry, treated the infirm, where pups were born, kids played, Christmas and birthdays were celebrated, the whole shmeer. Rats got into everything, snakes came to visit and when it rained, it leaked like a sieve. Oh yes, those were the days. And by the way, the brick walls are recent. In our time they were made of grass also half way up. There was a door on the far right as well as on the left.
This is our first “hot water donkey” aka Rhodesian boiler just outside the above mentioned bathroom. Converting a fuel drum into a donkey isn’t ideal for obvious reasons, but when you’re desperate, it’ll do just fine. I don’t believe this is the original oil drum by the way. It looks far too fresh! Our plan for a donkey at the new cottage is to use a big old propane tank (an empty, converted one, of course). Wish us luck!
(I had to fight with blogger today, so if items are a bit helter-skelter, please excuse the disorder.)