My Profile

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, September 25, 2017

I've found my HaPpY Place!


My favorite new restaurant is the Happy Cafe in downtown Blackstone in southside Virginia. Blackstone is a small town, about 3650 people, in Nottoway County which has fewer than 16,000 people. As soon as I entered the Happy Cafe and heard jazz playing, I knew I'd like it. The food is delicious and made on-site; their bread pudding with ice cream is incredible! I used to make bread pudding and theirs is better than mine...I'm happy to say because now I can have it whenever I want it...delish!

Some of you have heard me say or seen written on this blog, "I spent the best one-third of my life on Thistle Cove Farm in southwest Virginia." It's true; it was on that little piece of consecrated land I found my calling, Dave and I grew our friendship into love, Dave made his peace with God, God showed me His new plan for my life (although not quite as soon as I would have liked! --laughing--) and so much more.

There are new owners of the farm; I wish them well and hope they'll be as happy and contented as we were. I said to them, "You can run the farm or you can run the roads but you can't run both. For good or ill, this farm is your visual testimony as to your stewardship of what God has allowed you to have." Dave and I found that farm in terrible shape and other than the fields needing mowing, I left it in fabulous shape...mostly restored house, restored barns and outbuildings, new fences, new garage...the list goes on and on. I counted it all joy to do the work required there and thank God for His allowing Dave and I stewardship.

Last week Beloved Sistah asked, "Do you miss the other place?" I smiled and said, "Not in the least bit! God brought me to a place where He knew I was ready, without hesitation, to close that season of life and move to the next. This has been a wonderful change and a wonderful new beginning."

~ new location, same glorious name! ~

About five months after Dave died, I had a meltdown where I collapsed on the kitchen floor, tears flooding my face, sobbing uncontrollably while dogs huddled around giving what comfort they could. Actually, they were panicked as well...Sam had watched as Melvin performed CPR on Dave and Sam still has panic attacks when he thinks I'm leaving (it's as if he's afraid I won't come back) and when I return, he can't contain his joy. I do wonder what goes on in his little mind...? Anyway, that was the moment I considered taking my life. It wasn't so much I wanted to be with Dave, it was more I was so totally overwhelmed, despondent and had no idea of what to do, how to do it, when, etc. With all my heart I believe God whispered to me, "Sandra, if you do take your own life, you'll miss all the blessings I have for you." I could not conceive of blessings, not in the midst of such horrible grief but I knew (know) God can be trusted. He has a plan...a plan for my good and His glory so I made the decision to "do the next thing" and that's what I've done since. I've done the next thing and the next and the next... I come from sturdy stock and the family stories I've grown up with would curl your hair. I've watched as Aunts and Grandmothers were left widows, sometimes in horrific circumstances, yet they "did the next thing". Never was a tainted word associated with them, they had little except their dignity and honor yet kept both unscathed.

~ view of our (God and me) pond ~

Great Aunt Effie was left a widow with 13 children when, one September, Great Uncle James was, quite literally, blown up while working on the railroad. She did other people's laundry for ten cents a day to keep food on the table, clothes on her children and a roof over their heads. James and Granddaddy were working together, when the dynamite cap went off, Great Uncle James was killed instantly with little to be found except bits and pieces. Granddaddy was blown out of his overalls, and found wandering in total shock, so the newspaper article said, half mile down the track. His eye was blown out so he had a glass eye made and used that in the socket; he delighted in taking it out, and showing it to me but I can't remember if I screamed or laughed. I do remember extreme awe he was able to do such a thing. Daddy told me more of the story when he and I were recently at the WV family cabin: When Uncle Clarence, Daddy's oldest brother was hunting a few months later, his dog scruffled around in the leaves and came up with Great Uncle James' hand. Daddy said Uncle Clarence did the only thing he could do, he buried the hand and, remembering Uncle Clarence as a fine Christian man, he said a few words of prayer.

~ view of pond with house in background ~

That story and so many more are part of my marrow, reminding me I come from sturdy stock, people who came to the New World almost two hundred years before the great famine in search of a better life. God has a plan that is, usually, totally beyond (my) comprehension. His ways are not our ways but I choose to trust Him and that brings me to this new season in life...less than thirty miles from parents, siblings and nephew with a good church even closer and a wonderful restaurant within walking distance of the church. Mercy me...can it get any better?! 

I'm happiest in smaller, rural communities and this is still the case. Monday through Friday, Steve Winn hosts Coffee Chat at WSVS Radio where Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs got their start. Click here to see Steve (in his Hokies shirt!) and to hear him promoting vacuum cleaners. Think home town sweetness when you think Coffee Chat; folks call in and Steve knows so many of their voices, calls them by name, asks about them/their spouse and families and off they go! Some call to sell things, some call to update him on their latest hospital visit including aches, pains and operations, others call just to say hello, some call to say, "I just made some stew and will bring you some later on today." Quite simply, it's small town Americana at its absolute best!

~ Beloved Sistah, et al, on the steps at my new home ~

I hadn't moved in when Beloved Sistah said, "Dustin is bringing his family here the end of August." I replied, "Oh, I hope I get a chance to see them." She grinned and said, "You will; we're all meeting here for lunch on Sunday." How glorious! We had a grand time...Mom, Dad, my brother/wife, my sister/husband, two sons with wives/children...it was incredible and the first time we've all been together in quite a while. Cherish those time...simply cherish those times!


My views haven't change enormously...it's still farm country with round bales being put up and corn silage being cut. With the help of Daniel, Robbie, Jimmy, Tommy, Christopher, Chloe, GraceAnn, Mandy and Joe, as well as the Tazewell Mennonite community, I was moved lock, stock and barrel. Steve, my brother, and Walt, my brother-in-law, helped once I arrived in Southside VA. A couple of days, Mom and Dad came, bringing lunch and that was gratefully received and eaten. Some things were meant to be left behind in southwest VA but I'm finding they were packed and moved here. So be it. At the end it was crazy hectic and I'm grateful to those folks for doing the hard work of moving me. My Beloved Sistah has spent many days, helping unpack boxes, re-arrange basement and barn but there are still boxes to unpack. I'm in giveaway mode and have many goodies to bestow on someone or a thrift store. I love where I live and foresee many happy years right here, celebrating God's plan for my life and His glory. If you're ever in southside Virginia, send me an e-mail and come visit; I'm not proud...even in total disarray, God's creation shines forth and there's always time for sweet ice tea, shortbread and a chin wag while porch sitting.

If you've followed this saga, included me in prayer, sent a card or e-mail...my heart is grateful. The process has been long, at times arduous but hardly boring. No, never boring!

Thank you; God's greatest blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.

Ponder this ~ "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." ~ Omar Khayyam ~

55 comments:

  1. Hello dear Sandra, I just read this full post to my hubby and was humbled by what you and your ancestors have been through. I'd love to adopt that admonition "do the next thing". We are looking at a next thing in our lives that is a lot milder than yours for sure. May God bless you and keep you in your new spot! Yippee for a good church and a good cafe!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Ellen, thank you and it always amazes me when people are blessed by something I've written. Elisabeth Elliott was the author of "do the next thing"; it's a good adage to follow. God bless you and your husband as you move into the next season, the next challenge. God has a plan for your good and His glory.

      Delete
  2. So happy for you, Sandra! We experienced the same feelings when we moved to Buckhannon 2 years ago. We couldn't be happier!
    Much love,
    Becky

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yay Becky...so glad you're happy living in your "new" digs; it's both blessing and gift.

      Delete
  3. I'm so happy you are happy! I hope it's fun to settle in and I pray your new house/farm will be full of God's sweet peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Karen; as soon as I moved in, this farm/home was dedicated to God. The basement is full of boxes to unpack...the new has worn off the unpacking -grin!

      Delete
  4. I'm very happy for you. It looks like a beautiful place. God bless you in this new season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another piece of God's beautiful creation, Jody. Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Hi Sandra:
    It's so wonderful to see that God, indeed, answered your prayers. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your new home, and reading more about the life you'll be living moving forward. You're still one of the strongest women I've had the pleasure to meet through blogging. Best wishes and God's blessings upon you. xoxo Donna

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Donna and thank you. I don't think of myself as strong but I do ask God for His strength quite often daily. He always gives forth! xoxo, S.

      Delete
  6. What a beautiful wonderful post, set in such a beautiful, wonderful home & homesite. That pond!!!! Awesome!! I am so happy for you to be near your family, to have the little town around you and things more convenient. Yes, the Lord has it all laid out if we could just relax and let it be. The next thing? For me, I don't know, but for now I'm content, safe & happy. And, that's enough. I love you, you wonderful brilliant country cousin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Marsha, Yes to being so very happy here! As soon as I wake I say, "Thank You, God!" and last think I say at night is the same. I'm slower than 'lasses in January but will post soon with more photos. love you, city mouse, lol

      Delete
  7. I am so happy to hear that you have moved to somewhere that suits you so well. I'm looking forward to following your new adventures and seeing more of your new place. Much love from the UK. Eleanor x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Eleanor, thank you so very much! Yes, this area is wonderful for me and it's all good. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers for a really good day today.

      Delete
  8. It all sounds, and looks delightful, peaceful and calm. So happy that you have found your 'place'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You and me both, Elizabeth! Thank you so much!

      Delete
  9. You sound happy and content, Sandra...so happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Linda; I am happy and contented. I told my brother I carry my happy with me -lol.

      Delete
  10. "Do the next thing", is just what I needed to hear dear Sandra. Thank you for sharing parts of your story and your great faith in God.

    Looking forward to seeing your new home. Love the pond and swing.

    Happy Autumn in your Happy Place ~ FlowerLady

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rainey, I'm not sure that swing will hold my weight, it's seen its best days already. Daddy said he might have one I can have, must check asap. Yes, to a wonderful pond...it's full of fish too! Be safe, trust God; He has a plan for your good and His glory.

      Delete
  11. Love the "do the next thing " . . . brush yourself off, God's plan view.
    Love that you've found a Happy Place with the best bread pudding, "ever." And a home with a pond, swing to swing in, family 30 miles away . . . (Wrote another post, don't think it published, if you receive two, delete one please.) One question for now . . . did the doggies, kitties, all . . . come with you to the new TCF . . .
    Blessings, joy and my love Sandra. So happy for you.
    Love ~
    Lynne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Lynne - I brought 11 cats, 4 kittens, 4 horses and 2 dogs. As to the barn cats left behind, I left almost 40 pounds of cat food and told the new owners, "You can have cats or you can have rats. Poison was never an option due to the dogs." They agreed and, hopefully, are continuing to feed the barn cats.

      Delete
  12. Sandra, your post floods my heart with joy! What a testimony to God's GOODNESS. I love his unchanging nature and faithfulness. Our family had a cabin in WV, Tallmansville, to be exact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Carol...you're in the NEXT county to where the family cabin is located! How about we get together next time we're both in WV? And another blogger friend lives in Buckhannon -see Becky above-. Oh wait. You wrote "had"...you no longer have? drats.

      Delete
    2. P. S. Carol, are you still blogging? I visited OSKH but see no recent posts. You are MISSED!

      Delete
  13. Anonymous10:45 AM EDT

    Dear Sandra I have followed you for many years. Cried with you and rejoiced with you and prayed with you. Your life is a wonderful example of God's love and how he will provide everything we need and more. Happy Happy Happy to you on the start of your new adventure. Love, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy - THANK YOU! Please don't be a stranger and write more often. If you're ever in the southside VA area, send an e-mail and we'll get together. love and prayers to you and yours, S.

      Delete
  14. Dearest Sandra I am so happy to hear you've settled into your new home and thrilled that you are already enjoying time with your family and embracing your new community. We visited Blackstone about 3-4 years ago for a street fair and absolutely loved it. I told My husband then that I thought it would be a wonderful small town to settle in but alas it was a bit far from his job in Richmond. It was a very charming place and I'd love to visit it again. If you hear of any weekend fairs or festivals in the area let me know and perhaps I can get my family down there! Enjoy this new season in your life and please keep the lovely blog posts coming!! Love hearing about your corner of the world!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mee - weallllll, it can't really be called "settled"...the piles of boxes are enormous but I'm living here anyway -lol. Victoria is a few miles from Blackstone and having their Annual Autumn Days this Saturday. I'm headed that way, it sounds like tons of fun.

      Delete
  15. My dear Sandra, I have prayed for you over the years that this would happen. You are a staunch Christian for sure. I envy your determination. I am so glad you are near your family, Looking forward to your posts on your new adventure. God love and God willing my blogging friend. Hugs, lj

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lady Jane - the straight and narrow is difficult but SO worth it, both now and for ever! God has a plan, for our good and His glory.
      Do the next thing. xoxo

      Delete
  16. Dear Sandra, I have been praying for years and thank the Lord for placing you in your new home in His time. You sound so happy. My heart is full of joy for you. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Mildred, you are a faithful prayer and so greatly appreciated! It's been a long, hard, lonely rode and to find myself in this new season of life is simply wonderful. I am happy! xoxo

      Delete
  17. Yes, Sandra, you sound so happy. I'm so glad for you! It's been a long time waiting, but you've your new place at last and it sounds wonderful. What a blessing your sistah :) has been to you! Looking forward to seeing more pictures of the new place. The pond is lovely. xo Deborah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Deborah, thank you SO much! Yes, it's been a long time..I think so anyway -grin-...but it's home at last until I go Home. I'm trying for a new post this week...better get my skates on, eh? lol

      Delete
  18. Our wonderful God! He did the same for me, leading me gently and preparing the way for each change. I'm looking forward to what He has in store, and I'm so glad you've found a place you love! Blessings on the new Thistle Cove Farm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are in total agreement, Lisa...Our Wonderful God! He has a plan for our good and His glory; I'm grateful we're finding our way.

      Delete
  19. Dear Sandra...TY so much for sharing your story and so much of your life with all of us. You are truly an inspiration to all. I thank God for you and for your happiness and new life! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello AveryClaire, you are SO very welcome and thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Yes, thank God for His amazing goodness!

      Delete
  20. I am very happy for you! Trusting God is hard for some of us, but it is always the best plan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Lori...trusting God is hard for ALL of us! Please don't think anyone/me does trust easily; no one does. It's one of God's hardest lessons but so worthwhile. He has a plan for our good and His glory...just do the next thing. xo

      Delete
  21. Wonderful, wonderful news. How very blessed, and so deserved. Congratulations on finding your happy place! Enjoy.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoop-Whoop! YES to finding a great new place; it's all good, Karen. Thanks.

      Delete
  22. Glory to God!! I remember crying on the floor, too! And now, the happiness. In every season of life He is our Life. It is so sweet that you are near your family, and still in your beloved Virginia. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES Gretchen...glory to God! It's a new season of life and I am so grateful!

      Delete
  23. So, so glad to read this, Sandra. Wishing you all the best in your new home :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Quinn; this is a good time and season for me. I am grateful.

      Delete
  24. Oh my Sandra, I had no idea that you had been going through this. So sorry about losing your husband! I am so glad that you listened to the Lord and living life. I know it will be hard many times, but there are days that will be so joyful! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jann, God has a plan for our good and His glory; this new season and place is all part of it. Hope you're enjoying CO...be safe.

      Delete
  25. Sandra, tears on my cheeks, literally.

    Happy, hot, rolling tears.

    XOT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tara for your sweetness; it's been a long, hard journey and while this isn't the End, it's a good stopping place for a while. xoxo, S

      Delete
  26. Wow! Sandra, I'm thrilled for you! All of this, the happiness that flows from this post has been found after such a long trail. I know you would tell me it was all God's perfect timing but there were times that I got impatient with its length for you. I'm so very happy that you've found your new home, church, community all within easy traveling time from your beloved family. It will be a happy Thanksgiving Day for sure this year!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow! Sandra, I'm thrilled for you! All of this, the happiness that flows from this post has been found after such a long trail. I know you would tell me it was all God's perfect timing but there were times that I got impatient with its length for you. I'm so very happy that you've found your new home, church, community all within easy traveling time from your beloved family. It will be a happy Thanksgiving Day for sure this year!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting Thistle Cove Farm; may God bless you, yours and the work of your hands and heart. My goal is to respond, here, to your comments although it may take a while.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...