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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.

Monday, June 09, 2014

You've worked me like a convict!

If laughter is good medicine, my heart is full and healthy. For almost a week, Stephanie, Beloved Sistah, visited and I haven't laughed so much, so loud and so long since well before Dave got sick in 2010! Steph is eight years younger than I and slipped into my heart the first moment I laid eyes on her, cradled in Mom's arms. When Mom brought her home from the hospital, the very first night, I slipped her from her crib and into my bed and was fully prepared to do my duty as Big Sister. Except for a very few times (that, frankly make me cringe) I've done just that. I'd definitely give that woman a kidney and, quite possibly, my liver if she needed either. 

Recently, she's had a few health problems so her husband brought her to Roanoke where I picked her up and brought her to the farm where I expected her to do a bit of R&R. Oh no, she did not! What she did do was pack up the dining room and Dave's office...massive jobs both as there were four pieces of furniture in the dining room and all filled with dishes and breakables. Some quite ancient, some antique, some only vintage but all extremely fragile. She would work feverishly (the only way the women in my family know how to work) and then, around 4 in the afternoon, we'd sit on the front porch where we'd shred paper. That's right...we filled eighteen fourteen gallon sized bags full of shredded paper from Dave's grandfather, his uncle, his mother, his first wife, Dave, a couple of companies...madness! We spent half dozen hours, on three nights, shredding paper that dated from 1932 in preparation for selling Thistle Cove Farm, here. The shredded paper was taken to Dr. Anne's for use in cat kennels and wasn't wasted. 
At one point, Stephanie turned to me and said, "You're working me like a convict!" then we both collapsed into laughter. These are halcyon days, even with all the work and made sweeter by Beloved Sistah's presence. She's home now, sorely missed but, God willing, the farm will sell so I can move closer to her and the rest of our family. In the meantime, I feel like Abraham; I'm preparing to move even though I don't know when nor where, exactly but am confident God, in His time, will make things clear. I'm hopeful and prayerful God will move me sooner than He moved Abraham; Abe was 75 when God said, "Go!" and Moses was 80 when he led his people out of Egypt! "Do Lord, O do Lord, O do remember me..."

In past years, God has moved me, several times, and truthfully sometimes I've never understood why. Dave has been dead a trifle more than 2.5 years and it's taken me this long to become emotionally ready to leave this farm. Like I've always said, "It takes as long as it takes"; grief cannot be rushed and it cannot be avoided. Grief will have its way and I believe it's best to walk through that valley of the shadow of death in order to come out the other side, in order to move forward with life.
I've been working on Thistle Cove Cottage, the Cherry Grove, North Myrtle Beach, SC rental condo and lots of other people have been enjoying it. (wry smile) This photo shows a portion of the dining and living areas but the table has been turned so the long side is against the wall. That gives much more space for both dining and walking through the area. 
The cottage is filled with meaningful things from home, such as this Hoosier cabinet in the full sized kitchen. Little touches like embroidery, baskets and Home Sweet Home plaques fill space. 
The master queen bedroom, with private bath, is comfortable and cozy and has balcony access to sit and watch the ocean. I best enjoy early mornings, sitting on the balcony, coffee in hand and having devotions, it's a sweet start to the day.
The second bedroom, with private bath, has twin beds and wall hangings from Budapest. The condo is deliberately not "beachy" because I wanted people to have a sanctuary, a place where they could feel the balm in Gilead when they returned after a long day on the beach, playing mini-golf, shopping or doing what they enjoy. The condo has a private pool, hot tub and rental rates haven't changed in two years. If you, or someone you know, would enjoy a beach vacation, please contact me for available dates. Peggy, "connected kin", is Manager and lives local so there's someone to call upon if need be.

My life isn't all that exciting right now...mainly work, work and more work but it's all good. I'm at a better place, emotionally, since I've been since Dave died and God is healing the hurt. I bless your name for remembering me in prayer; if not for your prayers and God's grace, mercy and love, I would not have made it. If you've time, please listen to Do Lord and Balm; both will lift and renew your spirit. God loves you with an everlasting love and underneath are His everlasting arms.

Blessings ~ prayers ~ Thistle Cove Farm ~ Thistle Cove Cottage ~ a balm in Gilead ~ laughter ~ Beloved Sistah ~ God's timing ~


  1. Sisters ROCK!

    ~Have a lovely day!

  2. I'm the queen plodder.

    What else to do in G*d's time?

    Learned fresh, every day. G*d's timeline not mine.

    Are you renting on & & craigslist?

    Helping Beloved with his cabin on those and getting lots of rentals.

    Garden & Be Well, XOT

  3. I'm surprised you didn't use the shredded paper to pack the dishes, but I'm glad it didn't go to waste. Sisters can be such treasures. I miss mine; for reasons I don't understand and she won't share, she wants basically nothing to do with me right now. :-(

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  6. I hear something in your voice that I haven't heard in a long time ... and it makes me smile. I've told you before, Sandra dear, that you are my hero. Even more so now. (when we moved years ago, I paid one of my daughters to shred paper. Best money I ever spent. Crosscut shredder, and I added the shreddings to my new compost pile.)

  7. I have no idea why my comment posted three times!

  8. I really enjoyed reading this post-hugs

  9. What a lovely space you have created, doesn't look like condo living at all, more rustic charm, warm and inviting.

    Loved reading about your sister-visit... wonderful times together, Amen.

  10. I'm so glad you take time to laugh with the hardships you are facing. You will get moment at a time. and you are never alone.

  11. I didn't know you had a condo. How delightful. Can't stay there, though. I read the rules and they don't allow motorcycles. (hands on hips & smiling) What's up with that?

    It's wonderful that Stephanie got to visit. It would be nice if y'all could be together more often. I pray she's completely healed soon and that you can move closer. I'll probably be in this house until I'm toes up.

    Be well my friend. ~:)
    (Hope you know I'm not really upset they don't allow M/C's. Just joshin'.)

  12. Happy you and your sis have had dome giggles together!
    Laughter can indeed be a balm . . .

  13. It's wonderful to have such a good sister. God has good ideas to heal your pain ecause of the loss of Dave, and you are open for His consolations and open to go new ways, Mrs. Abraham!

  14. May God strengthen you for the tasks ahead and give you patience to wait for His best! :) Glad you had such a blessed time with your sister!

  15. Anonymous7:28 PM EDT

    The time that you and Stephanie spent together is so good for both of you. Change is difficult but I have seen so many prayers answered. It is a blessing to share friendships with Christian bloggers who uplift one another in prayer thru the highs and lows in our lives. I remember you in my prayers.

  16. I am so glad you had that time with your sister. Sounds like some soul soothing for both of you.
    Everyone does heal in their own time and it sounds like you are ready to move on. That was a whole lot of shredding to do in preparation for that move.

    God bless you-you are doing a fine job- xo Diana

  17. This post made me smile, and made me very happy for you and your sister. God is so good !

  18. What an uplifting post! It is so good to hear about your sisters' visit and moving forward. God will provide the right place at the right time.

    You inspire me as you've been on this widow journey about a year longer. Thank you for sharing your faith here too.

    Love and hugs to you ~ FlowerLady

  19. What a blessing to have your sister there with you! I will keep you in my prayers as you look to sell the farm and move. God will provide and give you discernment. He is faithful, as you already know!

  20. This post made me nice your sister could come to be with you...makes the work more fun! I so admire your willingness to be open to the future...xo

  21. Sandra, so glad to hear your life is moving smoothly ahead and it sounds like your spirits are up - I love to hear that. Hugs!

  22. May God bless your dear sister Real Good for coming and lightening your load on several levels. I'm looking forward to some laughing with my sister in the Fall. :-)

  23. Love your post!

  24. You're an amazing woman.

    God bless you.

  25. Grief does indeed just have to work its way through without a schedule. So glad you are feeling better and laughing with your sister. I've never had a sister so have always had a bit of a jealous streak going about that. I'm glad she is there for you.

    Would love to see that beach house, but I"m headed to the other coast for vacation this year. SC and NC beaches on my list though.

    Best to you.

  26. What fun to work side by side with your sister. I hope things work out for a move closer to family. I'll continue to appreciate your farm stories until then. Love your spring banner.

  27. Beautiful post. Walking that path, as you know. Spending the night at a hospital ER.

  28. This entire post made me smile...I have a wonderful sister too.

  29. Your sister sounds like a pearl. I'm so glad you had such a sweet time with her. Yes, living closer to family will feel good.
    I laughed when I read about all that shredded important paper being used for cat litter! Ironic, huh?
    Take care, good Sandra.

  30. There is no one like a sister to make you feel better!

  31. I'm sorry I'm late to visit this post dear Sandra-- it's truly wonderful. You share a special relationship with your sister- you are both blessed. I'm glad you had this special time together-- I think it's just what you needed right now--

  32. I so enjoyed reading your descriptions of your sister's visit! I've often wished for a sister...older or younger, I'm not particular! - but it was all brothers, and plenty of them. ;)


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