There is a house with roses in the front yard. In this house lives a stubborn old missionary and his daughter. There is really nothing special about this house, but if you saw it like I do there is no mansion in Beverly Hills, no estate in England that could rival it’s beauty.
In this house there is a freezer with the most delicious homemade freezer jam ever made with tiny crystals of sugar hidden it that become their own special surprise. In this house there is a small dachshund that will bark at anyone who walks through the door no matter who it is or how long they have lived there.
In front of this house is a bench in a rose garden that started me in the most spectacular adventure I have ever been on. On that bench I fell in love for the last time after having fought it all the way.
In this house I silenced a man who had never in his life been found at a loss for words. In this house I was often awaken to GOOD MORNING TO YOU!!! Often times harmonized poorly. Never at less than full volume. Never sung well.
In this house is a table where I have set many mornings reading the comic section of the paper because its the only part of the paper I can stand to read. I was required to be at this table at least once a week for a family meal. It consequently was the only meal I would have with this group of people that didn’t involve the phrase “To heaven if we follow Jesus,” uttered at kneejerk speed.
All around this house are flowers, mostly roses but always flowers. I’ve often been there in the winter when I’m sure it would have been impossible to have flowers, but for some reason every memory of that house has flowers in it. These flowers were planted by some one I believe had to a direct descendant of Eve herself. I don’t think she could have killed a plant if she wanted to, but then again I do believe this woman could accomplish anything she set her mind to.
In this house was a 300 gallon fish tank. That’s probably an exaggeration but I’m pretty sure Bass Pro Shop got their design ideas from this tank. Every other tank I have ever seen always had just a little algae build up on it somewhere. Never this one. Every single viewing surface of this tank was spotless…on the inside. The outside always seemed to have at least 3 or 4 sets of tiny fingerprints from unimaginably loved grandchildren. I always loved looking at that tank. I couldn’t tell you what kind if fish were in it but I can tell you that they were happy fish. Everything in that house was happy even when it wasn’t.
In this house is a couch that has seen more Mariners games than the people that sat on it. It has seen countless college football games that its controlling occupant watched through his mouth. This couch has seen every episode of Star Trek and just about every crime drama ever. This couch was where I was sitting when I saw the stubborn old missionary in his underwear and undershirt. It is also where I watched him ride a NordicTrak in spandex. These two memories are the only two memories I have worked tirelessly to scrub
from my banks and have not yet succeeded at.
In this house is a bedroom with bookshelves crammed way beyond their weight capacity with books. I couldn’t tell you what kind of books they were because it always felt slightly odd to me to be in there.
In this house is a kitchen that if it were a recipe book it would have made Julia Child weep at her own inadequacy. The walls of this room are saturated with aromas of countless meals and sealed in with a thick coating of the love that went into every one. Some how even just a glass of water from there tasted better, even though it was terrible municipal water.
In this kitchen I made a promise that I was reminded of today. You see every Saturday I set about the task of shaving my head. If you read my blog regularly you already know why so I won’t recount it again, although I never grow tired of telling it. Every Saturday I wish my hair would start thinning because some days the task of shaving this orb of wisdom is just exhausting. And every Saturday I am reminded of just how much I am loved. Not was loved not used to be loved, AM loved.
Every time I shave my head a new memory pops into my head. Today it was something small but it feels huge to me. You see in that bedroom is a bed. I set next to this bed as my aunt was passing away and held her hand. She either hiccuped or a sharp pain hit her, I choose to believe it was a hiccup, and I said to her, “Yeah I have that effect on most women.” She squeezed my hand because she was way beyond being able to talk at that point, and I choose to believe that was her smacking me on the arm for being a smart mouth again. I also choose to believe it was as much of her signature laugh as she could muster. In my head I heard her laugh.
It’s hard to believe that the memory of that house means so much to me. I mean none of the people that lived there are related to me by blood, though if she ever heard me say that I’d be in trouble. Why would a 300 pound man be afraid of a little old (I get hit for that too) 120 pound woman with a bum hip? I don’t know but I was and to be honest I still kind of am.
The house used to be on street named something like T&G or something which I always though sounded like a name to knock off root beer. They have since changed the name of the street to Brickyard which I think is much more fitting. The spiritual houses that were built in that house were made from strong bricks made with African clay and potting soil. I have a few of them in my own house. They are strong and I believe unbreakable. I’m proud to share them with the thousands of people that have them and I look forward to seeing them in my children’s lives.
There is a house with roses in the front yard. It’s not much to look at if you don’t know how to see it. It may look to you just like every other double wide on that street, but to me, oh to me, it is one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen. When I get to heaven, after I’ve seen my Father, my very next stop will be to find the house in heaven with the roses in the front yard.