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I am Sandra - faithful steward. listener. shepherd. dream believer. hard worker. collects brass bells, boots. Jesus follower. contented. star gazer. homemaker. farmer. prayer warrior. country woman. reader. traveler. writer. homebody. living life large.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


~ Beloved Sistah ~
The past few weeks have been chocked full of busyness but now we're winding down. My family was here this week and we thoroughly enjoyed their visit but Thursday night, before they left early Friday morning, we received a phone call from a Baltimore cousin who tracked Mom and Daddy here. Richard had bad news; earlier, around 7:00 p.m., Aunt Esther had an apparent heart attack and died. She had fallen in her front yard, going to visit Ocie, her beloved friend of more than seven decades! and next door neighbor. Ocie was waiting on her porch, saw Aunt Esther fall and ran out with blanket, pillow and telephone to call for help. Before help or family could arrive, Aunt Esther died, held lovingly in Ocie's arms. Thank God, it was quick and she suffered little; finally, she's at peace and with Uncle Clarence, her husband, and Frank, her son, both of whom had gone Home decades earlier. 

When Aunt Esther and I visited a few weeks ago, she was full of talk about how "life doesn't seem fair. I don't mean to complain but it just doesn't seem fair. Clarence went decades ago and Frank followed, leaving me behind. I just don't understand." Neither do I but we both decided, again, we'd trust God and believe He knows best; our life is in His hands, His Good Hands, and so we trust.

Aunt Esther's favorite poem was The House By the Side of the Road by Sam Walter Foss:
THERE are hermit souls that live withdrawn
In the place of their self-content;
There are souls like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze the paths
Where highways never ran-
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. 

Let me live in a house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by-
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner's seat
Nor hurl the cynic's ban-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. 

I see from my house by the side of the road
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife,
But I turn not away from their smiles and tears,
Both parts of an infinite plan-
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. 

I know there are brook-gladdened meadows ahead,
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
And still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone. 

Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish - so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man. 
Each time I would visit, we would talk about being Christian women who are content with their lives. She often told me all she wanted was to "be a friend to man" and she was too. There are many, over the course of her life, who counted her a friend and loved her. She was a tireless church and community worker and leaves behind a legacy of family, friends and neighbors who not only loved her well but knew she loved them. The blessings are too many too count.
~ mo mhuimtir ~
Dave and I have made this weekend a wee-cation...get it? I'm rather a clever gal, aren't I (huge chortle)! We went to the library this morning, downloaded some audio books then came home and napped. It's been cool, no warmer than 59 degrees F and great sleeping weather. Home is where I need to be nestled, contained, held, loved right now. Home is the great sustaining influence in my life while Christ is the great sustaining influence over my life. Dave and I have built Sanctuary here at Thistle Cove Farm and have been blessed to share it with many. 

My fondest desire is that I've been a friend to man, living in my house by the side of the road. That most people who come here find a blessing and not a curse, although, at times, I know too well how I've failed and ask forgiveness of those whom I've injured. Whenever possible, I want to cast off me and put on the mantle of Christ; let people see Him in both His handiwork and our lives; less of me, more of Him.

Save me a place, Aunt Esther; I'll be Home directly.

Blessings ~ Aunt Esther ~ my family ~ Uncle Clarence ~ Frank ~ Dave ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~
~ Christ ~


  1. I'm sorry about your Aunt Esther. Big hugs to you.

  2. Your Aunt Esther sounds as though she was a wise woman that more of us should emulate. Your tribute to her was lovely.
    Enjoy your wee-cation.
    Hugs and prayers of peace to you from Louisiana.

  3. Hi Sandra, Aunt Esther is Home now. She sounds like a wonderful woman. Mother loved this same poem and could recite it from memory. Thank you for sharing it. God bless you all.

  4. Dearest Sandra:

    I am sorry to hear about Aunt Esther. The poem that was her favorite is so touching. Thank you for sharing that with us.

    Sending Love,

  5. Dear sweet Aunt Esther! T'was the happiest day of her life! Forever home, now, with those she loves!
    She must have been an absolute dear.

    Enjoy your 'Wee-cation'. That is what we are doing here at Cove Cottage Farm while the sky rains down upon us. Nibbling and dozing and enjoying just being.

  6. What a sweet picture, her dear friend coming across with everything she needed, and holding her as she entered eternity. I am sorry for your families loss.


  7. So sorry about Aunt Esther, she sounds like someone I would of liked to know. She is at peace now with her loved ones, God Bless her soul. Love the poem.

  8. I bet her friend is going to be lonely...I glad they were together and she was able to comfort your Aunt.
    And I know you take comfort in your Aunt be reunited with her love and son.
    Sounds as if it were the perfect time for your family to be visiting!
    Hugs to you and Dave :) Kisses to all the critters!
    xo, misha

  9. Sweet Blessings to you and may God comfort you.
    I have a Aunt Esther as well.

  10. Oh don't plan on going too soon - we both still have work and fun to do - I do believe!

  11. Wishing you comfort and sympathy dear Sandra, knowing that Aunt Esther truly is "Home" now, at last....
    Hugs and Blessingg, Nancy and the menagerie

  12. You're in my thoughts!

    I hope the weecation was wonderful.

  13. So glad your got your family time!

  14. Thank you for sharing Aunt Esther's favorite poem; such lovely words and a lesson for all of us.
    Sending our sympathy... wishing you comfort.

  15. To you for your Aunt Esther. I too have an Aunt Esther my mother's people, she just turned 92. As with your Aunt most are gone and she is now living in a home with my other Aunt who is younger and Aunt Esther's daughter who is an adult with disabilities. I spoke with her on her birthday. I miss my mother's people and my mother. God Bless you and Dave.


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