Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Arkansas Confession: I am a sixth generation Arkansan, and I have never owned a pick-up truck.

I also wear shoes.

My daddy’s idea of “off roadin’” was veering the golf cart into the rough to find a shanked Titleist ball.

Go For It

My husband and I had lovingly restored a 1923-era Mid-Town Tudor cottage for 16 years with no intention of leaving… ever. One afternoon while drinking coffee on our shady veranda, we decided to leap through opportunity’s window to live my childhood dream of country living, This crazy idea came suddenly and unexpectedly, as all great adventures do! 

Country living is a dream since childhood: Sixth grade drawing found in an attic trunk

No one was more surprised than we were.

Recently, I had toured the Wal-Mart Museum in Bentonville, Arkansas. I had loved seeing Sam Walton’s famous truck, but was greatly inspired by his brass keychain which read, “Go For It”. So much wisdom.

Life does not give unlimited “ports”. I believe a wise person knows when it is time to get off the ship. This was our time.

When the Hillcrest Cottage walls began to talk too much. When the ghosts of my children and their friends floated by too much. I had a desire to get busy living for the future more than the past.

These walls whisper the story of grade school sword fights, marathon video game parties, late night study sessions, and the laughter of family gatherings. They speak of the love we do here, of forgiveness, of grace, of the thousands of "I love you's", of acceptance and belonging somewhere in this big, impersonal world. The yucky stuff, sifted through grace, will be trampled underfoot and swept aside. The good stuff will rise as a sweet aroma full of goodness, like the smell of bacon frying on a snowy morning.

I don't have to live here to recall my memories. The best videos are played in the mind.

So, good-bye Mid-Town with all your wonderful amenities: walking on sidewalks to restaurants, the bank and post office, the grocery store, and, even, to work.

Good-bye wonderful old Tudor cottage where we raised three sons plus a slew of other people’s teenagers who we loved as our own. The laughter and love filled this four-story house from basement to attic. All those incredible memories are packed away and sealed with a smile. I will take them with me.

A lot of living happened in Hillcrest Cottage.

Good-bye hometown, you will always be my first love. You made me who I am. I know everything about you, both good and bad; I still love you anyway.

River Trail and Pinnacle Mountain, I love you.

Good-bye work colleagues, wonderful bank lady, old friends, new church that we were only beginning to know and love, River Trail bike path, familiar random faces whose names I do not know but were still part of my belonging here, morning view on my veranda with the peaceful clicking of the ceiling fan, daily 3 mile power walk through Knoop Park, secret room behind the bookcase, my Mr. Ed door, midnight snowy walks through downtown Hillcrest, and I am certain I have left  someone or thing out of this list.

Good-bye "Hillcrest Cottage Life" blog. This is my final post.

The moving trucks are loaded up outside. It is time to go.

It is always good to leave something you love while you still love it.


P.S. When two city kids exchange their mid-town life for a country farmhouse, this happens at my new blog: Hillcrest Cottage Farm (hillcrestcottagefarm.com)

"The Farm"

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